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Dr Despina Learmonth

Psy.D. (City University of London)

Note: Please direct all Undergraduate Psychology curriculum enquiries to Dr Learmonth. Her contact details can be found below.

Background and research interests

Despina’s research interests centre on community health psychology in South Africa: health behaviour change, cervical screening adherence, the sex trade, and psychological empowerment. She is available to supervise Masters and Doctoral students wishing to complete a degree at the University of Cape Town.

Teaching responsibilities

Despina is course convener for the third year Health Psychology course. She also teaches on the first year, second year, Honours and Clinical Masters programmes. 

Selected publications

Learmonth, D., Hakala, S. & Keller, M. (2015). “I can't carry on like this”: barriers to exiting the street-based sex trade in South Africa. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 3(1), 348-365.

Learmonth, D, Jansen van Vuuren, A., & De Abreu, C. (2015). The influence of gender roles and traditional healing on cervical screening adherence amongst women in a Cape Town peri-urban settlement. South African Family Practice, 1(1),1–2.

Learmonth, G. & Learmonth, D. (2014). Abnormal cervical cytology requiring colposcopy among women under the age of 30 years in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 20(2), 47 – 50.

Puljevic, C. & Learmonth, D. (2014). Substance abuse prevention in Cape Town’s peri-urban settlements: local health trainers’ perspectives. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine: An Open Access Journal, 2(1), 183-197.

Wepener, I., Learmonth, D., McLeod, K., & Chikte, Z. (2013). Beyond the Tease: Exploring Men’s Constructions of Paying for Sex in South Africa. Psychology Research, 3(12), 749 761.       

Jansen Van Vuuren, A. & Learmonth, D. (2013). Spirit(ed) Away: Preventing foetal alcohol syndrome with MI and CBT. South African Family Practice, 55(1), 1 – 6.

De Abreu, C., Horsfall, H. & Learmonth, D. (2013). Adherence barriers and facilitators for cervical screening among currently disadvantaged women in the Greater Cape Town region of South Africa. African Journal of Primary Healthcare and Family Medicine, 5(1), DOI:

Anderson, C., Jansen van Vuuren, A., & Learmonth, D. (2013). Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) in South Africa - a Focus on Facilitating Physical Activity Behaviour Change in Peri-Urban Youth. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 10(1), DOI:

Witten, J., Jansen van Vuuren, A., & Learmonth, D. (2013). Psychological Interventions to Address Hypertension in South Africa’s Peri-Urban Settlements. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 10(1), DOI:

Crabb, R., Cavanagh, K., Proudfoot, J., Learmonth, D., Rafie, S., & Weingardt, K.R. (2012). Is Computerised Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy a Treatment Option for Depression in Late Life? A Systematic Review. British Journal of Clinical Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-8260.2012.02038. 

Learmonth, D (2011). Increasing Wellbeing and Service capacity through Computerised CBT: Establishing the effectiveness of computerised CBT for service users with and without physical co-morbidities. Lambert Academic Publishing: Germany.

Learmonth, D., Trosh, J., Rai, S., Sewell, J., & Cavanagh, K.  (2008). The role of computer-aided psychotherapy within an NHS CBT Specialist Service. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 8(2), 117 – 123.

Learmonth, D. (2008). Systematic Review of computer-based interventions for the prevention of eating disorders: a brief synopsis. Health Psychology Update, 16(4), 44 – 52. 

Learmonth, D. & Rai, S. (2007). Taking computer-aided CBT beyond primary care.  British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 47(1), 111–118.

Contact details

Tel: +2721 650 3420
Email Address: