Ran Alice Cai

Dr Ran Alice Cai PhD, BSc

Lecturer in Psychology

Alice joined the University of Greenwich as a Lecturer in Psychology in January 2020.

Her background is in health and social psychology, with an interest in how social support, autonomy, and self-efficacy can help prevent and promote the management of chronic illnesses. Alice have worked with children and young people living with chronic rheumatic conditions and type 1 diabetes to help improve their experiences of care and quality of life.

Her postdoctoral research is focused on improving healthcare quality and health-related outcomes for young people (e.g., by developing a self-management smartphone application and a benchmarking toolkit). Her teaching areas include health psychology, social psychology, and research methods. Alice have supervised and mentored BSc, MSc and PhD students and currently she is available as a PhD supervisor for students with a strong interest in her research areas.

Posts held previously
  • Research Associate 2014—2019
    Arthritis Research UK Centre for Adolescent Rheumatology, University College London
  • Assistant Psychologist 2014—2015 Children and young people's psychological services, University College London Hospital
  • Research Assistant 2013—2014
    Division of Psychology and Language Sciences & Psychobiology Group, University College

Responsibilities within the university

  • Lecturer in Psychology
  • Supervisor of BSc and MSc dissertations


  • Ad hoc peer reviewer for: Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Rheumatology
  • Ad hoc assessments for BANNAR grant proposals
  • Member of BANNAR (Barbara Ansell National Network for                    2014—present              Adolescent Rheumatology)
  • Member of UK Paediatric Clinical Studies Group        2019

Research / Scholarly interests

Alice is interested in understanding the relationship between psychosocial factors (e.g., self-efficacy, autonomy and social support) and health outcomes and wellbeing. These include interventions for preventing, or improving the self-management of, chronic health conditions (e.g., resilience, positive coping skills, reactivity to stress). She is also interested in how different modes of programme delivery (e.g., face-to-face vs digital interventions) affects reach/acceptance, outcomes, cost-effectiveness, and its implementation in real-world settings.

Key funded projects

  • UCL Beacon for Public Engagement Bursary    2016
    Engaging young people with chronic rheumatic conditions in research development and communicating their ideas through digital media
  • Contribution to Arthritis Research UK Health Services grant  2016      
    Improving delivery of care and self-management for young people with arthritis
  • Contribution to Health Foundation grant    2015
    Using a mobile phone app to improve self-management and care of young people with arthritis
  • British Academy small research grant    2011
    Social power and multiple goal-pursuit

Recent publications


Cai, Ran A. , Chaplin, Hema, Livermore, Polly, Lee, Martin , Sen, Debajit , Wedderburn, Lucy R. , Wilkinson, Nick , Jeffery, Rachel , Kempa, Andrea , Norton, Imogen (2019), Development of a benchmarking toolkit for adolescent and young adult rheumatology services (BeTAR). BMC (part of Springer Nature). In: , , , . BMC (part of Springer Nature), Pediatric Rheumatology, 17: 23 (1) 1546-0096 (Online) (doi: http://doi.org/10.1186/s12969-019-0323-8).

Cai, Ran A. , Beste, Dominik, Chaplin, Hema, Varakliotis, Socrates , Suffield, Linda , Josephs, Francesca , Sen, Debajit , Wedderburn, Lucy R. , Ioannou, Yiannakis , Hailes, Stephen (2017), Developing and evaluating JIApp: Acceptability and usability of a smartphone app system to improve self-management in young people with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. JMIR Publications. In: , , , . JMIR Publications, JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 5: e121 (8) 2291-5222 (Online) (doi: http://doi.org/10.2196/mhealth.7229).

Cai, Ran Alice and , Guinote, Ana (2017), Doing many things at a time: lack of power decreases the ability to multitask. Wiley. In: , , , . Wiley, British Journal of Social Psychology, 56 (3) . pp. 475-492 ISSN: 0144-6665 (Print), 2044-8309 (Online) (doi: http://doi.org/10.1111/bjso.12190).

Cai, R. A. , Holt, R. I. G., Casdagli, L., Viner, R. M. , Thompson, R. , Barnard, K. , Christie, D. (2017), Development of an acceptable and feasible self-management group for children, young people and families living with Type 1 diabetes. Wiley. In: , , , . Wiley, Diabetic Medicine, 34 (6) . pp. 813-820 ISSN: 0742-3071 (Print), 1464-5491 (Online) (doi: http://doi.org/10.1111/dme.13341).

Book section

Cai, Ran Alice and , Chaplin, Hema (2019), Impact of Rheumatic Musculoskeletal Disease on Psychological Development in Adolescents and Young Adults. Springer. In: , , In: Janet E. McDonagh, Rachel S. Tattersall (eds.), Adolescent and Young Adult Rheumatology In Clinical Practice. Springer, Cham, Switzerland (1st) . pp. 19-33 . ISBN: 9783319955186ISSN: 2199-6652 (Print), (doi: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-95519-3_2).

Chaplin, Hema and , Cai, Ran Alice (2019), Impact of rheumatic disease on social development in adolescents and young adults. Springer. In: , , In: Janet E. McDonagh, Rachel S. Tattersall (eds.), Adolescent and Young Adult Rheumatology In Clinical Practice. Springer, Cham, Switzerland . pp. 35-46 . ISBN: 9783319955186ISSN: 2199-6652 (Print), (doi: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-95519-3_3).