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Meena Hariharan Professor & Head, Centre for Health Psychology, University of Hyderabad

Meena Hariharan is the Professor of the Centre for Health Psychology, University of Hyderabad. She is the founder Director of this Centre, which was launched in 2007. She headed her team of faculty in building this unique Centre in India that offers postgraduate degree and a PhD programme in health psychology. 

Professor Hariharan has been working in the area of behavioural cardiology for more than a decade and resilience studies for more than three decades. Her work mainly concentrates on patients with hypertension and those who have undergone coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Her research in the area includes various interventions and their impact on cardiac health, quality of doctor–patient communication and ICU trauma. She has designed intervention packages for CABG patients and standardized scales for psychosocial assessment of cardiac patients, measurement of quality of doctor–patient communication and adolescent well-being to mention a few. She along with her team evolved the synergy model of resilience, which took a holistic perspective of resilience and later developed the resilience test battery to measure resilience. Her innovations in research include using children as change agents in the management of adult hypertension.

Apart from behavioural cardiology, Professor Hariharan is sensitive to the changing sociocultural scenario in the country and its impact on family relationships. She has initiated a study on children’s understanding of parents on various dimensions. Her attempt is to reinvent the Indian family and cultural values, which have been the stronghold of Indian culture. As a part of this endeavour, she addresses parents, teachers and children on these issues.

Professor Hariharan has published nearly 100 research articles and 3 books. She has completed several projects funded by national and international agencies.

The Association of Health Psychologists was started with her initiative. She is the editor of the Journal of Health Studies published by the association.

She has three decades of teaching experience, has guided many PhDs and attended and organized a number of national and international seminars.