Staff Profile


Dr. Abby Foad

Research Director of the Centre for Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research

School: SPEAR

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 922040

Profile summary

I am the Research Director for the Centre for Sport, Physical Education & Activity Research (spear), responsible for directing spear's programme of contract research. spear has a reputation for excellence and innovation, with impact case studies submitted by spear for REF2014 judged as ‘outstanding’ in terms of reach and significance. The Centre’s research is funded by a range of national and international funders and delivers world-leading impact by informing investment, policy and provision, particularly around the physical activity and sport participation of young people, hard to reach and less active populations. spear is located within the Faculty of Social & Applied Sciences at Canterbury Christ Church University. 

Research and knowledge exchange

As Research Director for spear I am currently directing spear's evaluations of Project Rugby for Premiership Rugby, Go-Ride Go for British Cycling, Extra Curricular Programme for the Youth Sport Trust and the BMX Legacy programme monitoring and consultancy for Access Sport. 

I have led projects with specific disability and inclusion strands, controlled designs and counterfactual estimations funded by a range of public, voluntary and commercial organizations including the YST, DH, DfE, EFDS, ELDSA, GLA, Welsh Government, Access Sport,Sports Leaders UK and Mencap. My substantive, multi-disciplinary research expertise is in relation to the psychology of sport, exercise, physical activity participation and wellbeing in school and community settings. 

Teaching and subject expertise

My teaching specialism and subject expertise includes critical psychology, sport and physical activity policy, belief effects in sport and exercise, research methods and statistics.

External activities

Hurst, P., Beedie, C., Coleman, D. A. and Foad, A. (2016) Knowledge and experience of placebo effects modifies athletes’ intentions to use sport supplements. In: American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, 1st-4th June, 2016, Boston, USA. (Unpublished).

Hurst, P., Beedie, C., Coleman, D. A. and Foad, A. (2016) Placebo and nocebo effects during repeat sprint performance. In: American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, 1st-4th June, 2016, Boston, USA

Weed, M., Hagger, M., Chan, D. & Foad, A. J. Attracting and retaining young people’s participation in physical activity and sport. International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP) 13th World Congress of Sport Psychology, Beijing, China, 21st - 25th July, 2013.

Beedie, C., Foad, A., Coleman, D. A. and Uphill, M. A. (2006) Placebo effects of ergogenic aids in sports performance: experimental, psychometric and interview data. In: BASES Symposium, September 2006, University of Wolverhampton, UK.

Beedie, C., Stuart, E., Coleman, D. A. and Foad, A. (2006) Is caffeine all in the head? Evidence for the placebo effects attributable to caffeine in cycling performance. In: Endurance Sport Science Conference, 29-30 April 2006, University of Birmingham, UK.

Foad, A., Beedie, C. and Coleman, D. A. (2006) Caffeine works: whether you believe it or not: evidence for pharmacological effects of caffeine ingestion on 40km cycling performance. In: Endurance Sport Science Conference, 29-30 April 2006, University of Birmingham, UK.

Publications and research outputs

Beedie, C.Whyte, G.Coleman, D. A.Hurst, P.Cohen, E.Lane, A.Raglin, J. and Foad, A. (2017) Caution, this treatment is a placebo. It might work, but it might not”: why emerging mechanistic evidence for placebo effects does not legitimise complementary and alternative medicines in sport. British Journal of Sports Medicine. ISSN 0306-3674

Hurst, P.Foad, A.Coleman, D. A. and Beedie, C. (2017) Athletes intending to use sports supplements are more likely to respond to a placebo. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (MSSE). ISSN 0195-9131.

Hurst, P., Foad, A. J., Coleman, D. A., & Beedie, C. J. Development and validation of the Sports Supplements Belief Scale. Performance Enhancement and Health 2016; ISSN 1537-890X. doi:10.1016/j.peh.2016.10.001

Hurst, P., Foad, A. and Beedie, C. (2016) Beliefs versus reality, or beliefs as reality? The placebo effect in sport and exercise. In: Lane, A., ed. Sport and Exercise Psychology. 2nd ed. Topics in Applied Psychology. London: Routledge. pp. 325-344 ISBN 9781848722231

Beedie, C. J., Foad, A. J., & Hurst, P. Capitalising on the placebo effects of treatments. Current Sports Medicine Reports 2015 14(4):284-7. ISSN 1537-890X. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000172

Hopker, J. G., Foad, A. J., Beedie, C. J., Coleman, D. A. & Leech, G. Placebo effect of an inert gel on experimentally induced leg muscle pain. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine 2010; 1: 215-221. ISSN 1179-1543

Beedie, C. J., & Foad, A. J. The placebo effect in sports performance: A brief review. Sports Medicine 2009; 39(4): 313-329 ISSN 0112-1642.

Foad, A. J., Beedie, C. J., & Coleman, D. A. Pharmacological and psychological effects of caffeine ingestion in 40km cycling performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2008; 40(1): 158-16. ISSN 0195-9131


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 03:57:00