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Kay Bridger

Kay Bridger


School of Social Sciences


Kay Bridger is a Lecturer specialising in Trauma, Social Isolation and Mental Health. She teaches on both undergraduate and postgraduate psychology courses, with modules including:

  • Psychology of Trauma
  • Trauma in Children and Adolescents
  • Theories and Application to Mental Health
  • Professional Practice in Psychology

Kay also provides supervision to undergraduate students on their research projects, in particular those using qualitative analysis informed by the social identity approach to health.

Kay is takes part in two NTU research groups: Trauma, Social Isolation and Mental Health; Groups, Identities and Health.

Career overview

Kay has worked in universities since 2004 encouraging under-represented groups to access and thrive in higher education. Through this work she contributed to the development and running of the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL), now a registered charity.

In 2017, Kay began retraining in Psychology to further an interest in responses to trauma. She gained an MSc Psychology conversion from NTU in 2018 then worked as a Research Assistant while undertaking PhD research.

Kay’s doctoral research is linked to her Research Assistant work (2018-2022) on an NIHR research programme to develop and trial an intervention supporting injury survivors in their return to work. This research was jointly funded by ARC East Midlands (Applied Research Collaboration) and NTU Centre for Public and Psychosocial Health.

Research areas

Kay’s research interests are in psychological responses to trauma and adversity. She is particularly interested in understanding what contributes to psychological vulnerability (resulting in distress, secondary traumatic stress, burnout, vicarious trauma) or resilience (including post traumatic growth) following extreme events. Her research includes a focus on identity, relationships, support, coping and structural inequalities informed by the social identity approach to health, amongst other theory.

Recent research has applied social identity approach to health theory to survivor responses to traumatic physical injury. The research involved conducting interviews with 75 stakeholders, including trauma survivors and service providers.

External activity

Kay is a Crisis Disaster & Trauma section (BPS) member and was a co-opted committee member between 2019 and 2022.

Kay is also a member of the BPS Social Psychology section, Institute of Recovery from Childhood Trauma, UK Psychological Trauma Society and European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Sponsors and collaborators

ARC East Midlands (Applied Research Collaboration)

University of Nottingham: Professor Denise Kendrick, Professor Kate Radford, Dr Jade Kettlewell.


  • Kettlewell, J., Radford, K., Kendrick, D., Patel, P., Bridger, K., Kellezi, B., das Nair, R., Jones, T., & Timmons, S. (2022) Qualitative study exploring factors affecting the implementation of a vocational rehabilitation intervention in the UK major trauma pathway. BMJ Open, 12(3)
  • Bridger, K., Kellezi, B., Kendrick, D., Kettlewell, J., Holmes, J., Timmons, S., Andrews, I., Fallon, S., & Radford, K. (2021). Patients views on which return-to-work outcomes should be prioritised: A nominal group technique focus group. British Journal of Occupational Therapy
  • Kettlewell, J., Lindley, R.,  Radford, K., Patel, P., Bridger, K., Kellezi, B., Timmons, S., Andrews, I., Fallon, S., Lannin, N., Holmes, J., Kendrick, D., Team, on behalf of the ROWTATE team. (2021) Factors Affecting the Delivery and Acceptability of the ROWTATE Telehealth Vocational Rehabilitation Intervention for Traumatic Injury Survivors: A Mixed-Methods Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18(18), 9744.
  • Kellezi, B., Wakefield, J., Bowe, M., Bridger, K., & Teague, K. (2021). Adapting Social Prescribing to meet the needs of migrant populations: Challenges and solutions to service access and efficacy. Community Psychology in Global Perspective7(2), 1-21.
  • Kellezi, B., Guxholli, A., Stevenson, C., Wakefield, J. R. H., Bowe, M., & Bridger, K. (2021). ‘Enemy of the People’: Family identity as Social Cure and Curse dynamics in contexts of human rights violations. European Journal of Social Psychology, 51(3), 450-466.
  • Bridger, K., Kellezi, B., Kendrick, D., Radford, K., Timmons, S., Rennoldson, M., Jones, T., Kettlewell, J., and the ROWTATE team. (2021) Patient Perspectives on Key Outcomes for Vocational Rehabilitation Interventions Following Traumatic Injury. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(4), 2035.
  • Kendrick, D., das Nair, R, Kellezi, B., Morriss, R., Kettlewell, J., Holmes, J., Timmons, S., Bridger, K., Patel, P., Brooks, A., Hoffman, K., Radford, K. (2021) Vocational Rehabilitation to Enhance Return to Work after Trauma (ROWTATE): Protocol for a non-randomised single arm mixed-methods feasibility study Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 7(1), 1-12.
  • Kettlewell, J., Timmons, S., Bridger, K., Kendrick, D., Kellezi, B., Holmes, J., Patel, P., & Radford, K. (2020). A study of mapping usual care and unmet need for vocational rehabilitation and psychological support following major trauma in five health districts in the UK. Clinical Rehabilitation, 35(5), 750-764.
  • Bridger, K., Binder, J., & Kellezi, B. (2020). Secondary Traumatic Stress in Foster Carers: Risk Factors and Implications for Intervention. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 29(2), 482-492

Course(s) I teach on

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