The University of Southampton
(023) 8059 7549

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

  1. The description and measurement of health and disability in a broad range of clinical populations, specially neuropsychiatric disorders;
  2. Identification of health determinants and measurement of their impact on health;
  3. Health-related quality of life outcome measures; and
  4. 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.






Research group

Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology (CCCAHP)

Research project(s)

MARATONE (Mental Health Training through Research Network in Europe)

MARATONE is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network project coordinated by Prof. Alarcos Cieza that directly addresses the need for high-level training and career pathways in mental health to increase the inter-sectorial and trans-national employability of young scientists in the academic, public and private sectors to meet the enormous challenge of the 2009 EU Parliament Resolution on Mental Health. The Resolution set out recommendations for a comprehensive and integrated mental health strategy for Europe. MARATONE is designed to address the biggest challenge to implementing this ambitious strategy: the lack of training for career pathways for young scientists in multidisciplinary mental health research.

Alarcos Cieza is a Steering committee member of ICF Research Branch, WHO Collaborating Center for the Family of International Classifications (, and has been a collaborating expert and leader of the measurement group at the Swiss Paraplegic Research in Nottwil, Switzerland since 2006. She is reviewer for many international journals including the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, The Lancet and Psychology and Health.


Book Chapters


Supervision of 3rd year students

Supervision of PhD students

3rd year module “Mental Health Epidemiology”

Professor Alarcos Cieza
Building 44 Highfield Campus University of Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number:44/3061

Telephone:(023) 8059 7549
Facsimile:(023) 8059 4597

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