Professor Anne-Sophie Darlington is a Professor of Child and Family Psychological Health within Health Sciences at the University of Southampton.
- Measurement of quality of life
- Development of quality of life instruments
- Investigating the relationship between coping strategies and well-being
- Teenagers and Young Adults with cancer
- Palliative Care in adults (e.g. transferring patients from Critical Care home to die) and children (e.g. experiences of bereaved parents)
Professor Darlington’s research programme focuses on measuring and improving Quality of Life (QoL) of children and young people with a chronic illness. Her work focuses on coping strategies and developing and testing interventions to support parents and children. She has developed a strong international track record in research on predictors of adjustment (e.g. coping), Patient Reported Outcome Measurement, intervention development and Paediatric Palliative Care, focusing on understanding how parents cope when faced with their child’s imminent death and how we can best support them. The questions central to her research are: 1) How do children with a complex illness and their parents adjust? 2) What interventions can be developed and tested to support families and improve their quality of life? 3) How can we best measure outcomes, such as quality of life? She has developed a theoretical framework on parental coping to underpin the work, with clear testable hypotheses driving the research. She is the chair of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Group. She has been awarded funding as PI or co-PI, from national (e.g. Brain Tumour Charity; British Renal Society) and international (e.g. European Organisation of Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) competitive funding agencies. She successfully mentors clinicians with NIHR fellowships, NHS Trust funded fellowships, HEE Clinical Academic Career Awards and Health Education Wessex Clinical Academic Training Programme Internships and Transitional Awards.
Professor Darlington is the past chair of the Executive Committee of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Quality of Life Group. The goals of the EORTC QLG are:
- To develop and refine questionnaires for assessing health-related quality of life (HRQL) of patients for use in oncology clinical trials, in other well-designed research studies and in clinical practice
- To conduct research to better understand the effects of cancer and its treatment on the HRQL of diverse populations of patients with cancer across different cultures.
Anne-Sophie obtained her Master’s degree in Psychology, specialising in Developmental Psychology, from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. She went on to obtain her PhD from the University of Durham in Health Psychology. She spent several years as a postdoctoral researcher, at the University of Exeter, the University of Sheffield and the University of Durham. She spent seven years working in the Department of Medical Psychology at the Erasmus Medical Centre, which is the largest research hospital in the Netherlands. Here her research focused on Quality of Life and Coping, first as a senior researcher and later as a lecturer. After moving back to the UK she has worked in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton as well as the University of Oxford.