Professor Alarcos Cieza
Professor of Medical Psychology
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Professor Alarcos Cieza is Professor of Medical Psychology within Psychology at the University of Southampton.
Alarcos Cieza is Professor of Medical Psychology in the Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences and Honorary Chair Professor in the Faculty of Medicine. Her research focuses on
- The description and measurement of health and disability in a broad range of clinical populations, specially neuropsychiatric disorders;
- Identification of health determinants and measurement of their impact on health;
- Health-related quality of life outcome measures; and
- Implementation of the psychosocial perspective in clinical medicine with a focus on neuropsychiatric disorders. This research is founded on the theoretical premiss that human functioning is the operationalization of health from a comprehensive perspective, include mental, bodily and social domains. The level of health is therefore determined by the health condition and environmental and psychological personal factors.
Alarcos Cieza is one of the world experts on the application in a variety of clinical and public health contexts of the World Health Organization´s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), including its application in clinical medicine, health and disability measurement, and instrument development. She has published extensively on the ICF and several of her papers set the standard for worldwide adoption of the ICF in public health and mental health. In recent work she has taken the lead in showing how health can be compared across population surveys and how psychological personal factors influencing the experience of health can be measured.
Alarcos Cieza was born in Ciudad Real, Spain. She received her diploma in Psychology from the University "Pontificia Comillas" in Madrid and completed her PhD at the Department of Medical Psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in the fields of neuropsychology and health-related quality of life. She also obtained a master's degree in Public Health and her venia legendi in Public Health and Medical Psychology at the same university.
In September 2014, Alarcos Cieza joined the World Health Organization to lead and coordinate the Disability and Rehabilitation Team. There she oversees WHO’s work on disability and rehabilitation related to policies, medical care and rehabilitation, community-based rehabilitation, assistive devices and technologies, data collection approaches and capacity building, all of which contributes to the implementation of the Disability Action Plan 2014-2021.