Alison Wearden

Alison Wearden, PhD, CPsychol, AFBPsS


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Personal profile


Professor of Health Psychology

Past Editor (with David French) of British Journal of Health Psychology 01/13-12/17

Past Chair, British Psychological Society, Division of Health Psychology. 


I graduated in Psychology from the University of Manchester in 1977, and then went on to obtain a Diploma in Social Administration and Social Work in 1979. After working for nine years as a Probation Officer and four years at home caring for children, I returned to Psychology in 1993 when I worked on some research looking at age and IQ effects in timing. I worked as a researcher from 1993 to 1999 until taking up my post as lecturer in Psychology in January 2000. I obtained an MSc entitled "Cognitive Functioning in chronic fatigue syndrome" in 1995, and a PhD, entitled "Expressed emotion and Type 1 diabetes" in 2000. My current research interests include understanding and managing chronic illness, particularly chronic fatigue syndrome, focusing on the roles of illness cognitions and interpersonal factors, and the physical health of people with mental health conditions. Current projects and research being carried out by PhD and masters students include developing an app to enhance wellbeing and motivation in people who do not currently want to quit smoking; understanding the experiences, particularly interpersonal experiences, of people with IBD and IDD; quality of life in couples as one partner transitions onto dialysis; the influence of partners on adjustment to recently diagnosed dementia.

Link to my google scholar page:

Research interests

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

Treatment of CFS, the experience of cognitive problems in CFS in relation to fatigue, mood and illness beliefs, family responses to CFS.

Expressed Emotion

The role of family Expressed Emotion in mental and physical health conditions

Healthy living in recent onset pychosis

I am the Health Psychologist on a team which has recently developed and is testing an intervention to encourage healthy living in people recovering from recent onset psychosis

Antibiotic prescribing for respiratory tract infections

We have developed and delivered a brief evidence and theory-based intervention to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for respiratory tract infections.

Family factors in diabetes

I am a member of the Institute of Health Sciences Diabetes and Obesity Research Network. My research interests in this area include:

  • Family factors (in particular partners' expressed emotion) in relation to self-management of and adjustment to diabetes in adults
  • Illness cognitions and diabetes - how the beliefs which patients hold about their diabetes impact on their attempts to manage it, their adjustment and well-being

Individual differences in health and illness

Attachment theory, alexithymia and symptom reporting. Attachment style and therapeutic alliance. Attachment and psychosis.


  • Chronic illness management
  • Health Promotion
  • Patient self-management
  • Individual differences



Level 2 PSYC 20341 Mental health and wellbeing

Level 3: PSYC 30920 Projects


Masters in Clinical and Health Psychology:

PSYC 69822 Mind and body in health and illness (unit leader)

PSYC60010 Masters dissertation supervisor


My collaborations

Chronic fatigue syndrome:
Christopher Dowrick, Carolyn Chew-Graham, Richard Bentall, Richard Morriss, Sarah Peters, Graham Dunn, Gerry Richardson, Karina Lovell, Lisa Riste

Healthy Living in Psychosis
Max Marshall, Jeffrey Warburton, Karina Lovell, Tim Bradshaw, Nusrat Husain, Penny Bee

Expressed Emotion
Professor Christine Barrowclough; Dr Rebecca Band

Antibiotic Prescription
Sarah Peters, Carolyn Chew Graham

Psychophysiological response to stress in healthy and clinical populations

Kimberly Dienes

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences
  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
  • Full Member of the Division of Health Psychology
  • Chartered Psychologist
  • Registered as a Health Psychologist with the Health Professions Council
  • Member of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
  • Member of European Health Psychology Society
  • Member of the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine
  • Member of the American Psychosomatic Society

Methodological knowledge

  • Randomised controlled trials
  • Experimental studies
  • Quantitative
  • Qualitative

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Institute for Data Science and AI
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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