Dr Chris Kay

Senior Research Fellow

Veterans & Families Institute for Military Social Research

Faculty of Health, Education and Social Care
Research Supervision:

Chris leads on our Veterans’ HABIT study, in partnership with Swansea University and Anonymind. This study is developing our understanding of gambling behaviours in the UK veteran community and the impact harmful gambling has on the people closest to them.

[email protected]


Through qualitative research methods, Chris's work will gain insight into the pathways to problem gambling that veterans have experienced, the impact it has on other people in their lives and experiences of access to support interventions. The study will provide actionable research that present solutions for change in both policy and practice.

Chris's early academic career was in laboratory-based neuroscience where he studied pain syndromes associated with nerve damage. This led to his desire to work more translationally and subsequent move into military recovery and veteran support research. Since 2014 Chris’s research has revolved around how people adjust to life-changing circumstances such as developing harmful addictive behaviours, transitioning from a military job to civilian life, catastrophic injury and experiencing mental ill-health.

Research interests
  • Military veterans and families
  • Military recovery
  • Gambling harm
  • Nature-based interventions for health and well-being
  • Neuropathic pain
  • PhD in Neuroscience, University of Leeds, 2008–2012
  • BSc (Hons) Human Biology, Leeds Metropolitan University, 2005–2008
Memberships, editorial boards
  • UK Ministry of Defence Recovery Capability - Expert Advisory Panel member
  • European Network of Outdoor Sport - Management committee member and head of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion working group
Selected recent publications

Kay, C. W. P., Sutton, R. J., Margerison, G. L. and McKenna, J. (2022) Providing recovery support to wounded, injured, and sick UK military personnel throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Military Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1080/08995605.2022.2126655

Kay, C. W. P., Wingfield, H. L., and McKenna, J. (2022) Mission Himalaya: Exploring the Impact of a Supported High-Altitude Mountaineering Expedition on the Well-Being and Personal Development of UK Military Veterans. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095049

Kay, C. W. P. and McKenna, J. (2022) The enduring well-being impacts of attending the Battle Back Multi Activity Course for the lives of recovering UK armed forces personnel. Military Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1080/08995605.2021.2002595

Kay, C. W. P. and Sutton, R. J. (2021) Outdoor and Adventurous Activities in Supporting Wounded, Injured and Sick Military Personnel and Veterans. In: Nature and Health: Physical Activity in Nature. New York: Routledge. http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781003154419-17

Sutton, R. J., Kay, C. W. P., McKenna, J. and Kaiseler, M. (2021) Sustained positive behaviour change of wounded, injured and sick UK military following an adaptive adventure sports and health coaching recovery course. BMJ Military Health. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjmilitary-2021-001784

Kaiseler, M., Kay, C. W. P. and McKenna, J. (2019) The Impact of an Outdoor and Adventure Sports Course on the Wellbeing of Recovering UK Military Personnel: An Exploratory Study Sports. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7050112

Kay, C. W. P., D. Ursu, E. Sher and King, A. E. (2016). The role of Cx36 and Cx43 in 4‐aminopyridine‐induced rhythmic activity in the spinal nociceptive dorsal horn: an electrophysiological study in vitro. Physiological Reports. https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.12852