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The University of Southampton
(023) 8059 4645

Professor Christina Liossi BA, MPhil, MSc, DPsych, AFBPsS, CPsychol

Professor of Paediatric Psychology, Director of Postgraduate Research Programme

Professor Christina Liossi's photo

Professor Christina Liossi is a Professor of Paediatric Psychology at the University of Southampton.

Professor Christina Liossi is a paediatric psychologist and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Southampton. She is also an Honorary Consultant Paediatric Psychologist, at the Paediatric Chronic Pain Clinic, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, London. Christina has worked as an academic and clinician in the UK and abroad and has cared for children with various chronic medical conditions including cancer, cystic fibrosis, chronic kidney disease, epidermolysis bullosa, and sickle cell disease.

Christina is one of the world experts in paediatric pain. Her research and clinical practice dovetail and focus on three intertwined themes:

Christina’s randomized controlled clinical trials have been critical to the establishment of hypnosis as an evidenced-based intervention in the care of children with cancer. Christina has contributed to national and international evidence-based guidelines on acute and chronic paediatric pain, pain in epidermolysis bullosa and sedation in children. She is currently member of the Pain and Palliative Care Clinical Studies Group for Medicines for Children Research Network (MCRN).

Christina has written a book on procedure-related cancer pain in children, and is a content author on the e-PAIN project

Christina serves as a research mentor to numerous doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and junior staff. Please contact her for questions pertaining to current training opportunities. She would particularly welcome applications from prospective PhD students who wish to explore different aspects of paediatric pain.

Research interests

My primary research focus is on pain in children. I have an active research program in the area of paediatric acute, chronic and recurrent pain. I am particularly interested in the psychosocial and family factors that affect pain perception, daily functioning and quality of life in children and adolescents. I am currently developing and testing individual and family interventions for young people with chronic pain.

Broader research interests include:

  • Understanding adjustment to chronic illness from both the patient and family perspectives.
  • Developing and evaluating CBT based interventions for people with chronic illnesses.

I use a range of methods of data collection and analysis in my research including computerized behavioural tasks, eye movement recording techniques, and a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods form clinical, social and health psychology.

Current research projects include:

  • Cognitive biases in children with chronic pain and their parents
  • Improvement of Pain and Quality of Life in Participants with Sickle Cell Disease with Nocturnal Oxygen Therapy or Auto-adjusting Continuous Positive Airways Pressure
  • Quality of life of children with joint hypermobility and pain
  • Pain and quality of life in young people with Epidermolysis bullosa
  • Improving the engagement of teenagers with asthma with their healthcare
  • Development and evaluation of a theory driven, evidence based, online intervention to prepare young children for general dental anaesthesia

PhD Research Students

Miznah Al-Abbadey (with Dr Cindy Graham)

Polly Hardy-Johnson (with Dr Cindy Graham)

Research group

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

Research project(s)

Moving people toward felt-security


The PARAMOUNT study drawing on the views of family caregivers, children, and professionals aims to co-produce an educational intervention to help caregivers manage paediatric pain at home.  

Director of Postgraduate Research Programme
Member of the School’s Ethics Committee

External Responsibilities
External Examiner, Institute of Psychiatry - Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology (2010 – present)
External Examiner, Swansea University – Chronic Pain Management, MSc Long Term & Chronic Conditions Management (2014 - present)
Associate Editor: PAIN NEWS
Editorial Board: Journal of Health Psychology (2008 – present)
Editorial Advisory Board, British Journal of Health Psychology: British Journal of Health Psychology (2006– present)

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Book Chapters





I provide advice on quality of research theses within the MSc in Health Psychology programme. I also supervise PhD and MSc students, clinical and educational psychology doctorates, and undergraduate research project students.

I am teaching on the following courses:

  • PSYC 6003: Psychosocial aspects of illness and disability (course co-ordinator)
  • PSYC 6002: Psychology and the delivery of health care
  • PSYC 6022: Dissertation


The Pain & Palliative Care Clinical Studies Group (CRN: Children) led by Dr Christina Liossi and Dr Richard Howard (Lead Clinician, Pain Control Service, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust) recently completed a prioritization exercise to identify meaningful and executable research priorities in order to assist researchers and funding bodies in their decisions regarding future investment of time and resources in paediatric pain and palliative care research.

It is clear that many unanswered questions remain about the prevention, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of pain in children in all settings including in the field of palliative and end of life care. Previous international prioritization exercises in paediatric palliative care have identified pain and symptom management as a key area for more research along with other thematic domains including bereavement, psychosocial, spiritual, cultural and sibling's needs, and information preferences and decision-making. Similar methodologically rigorous prioritization exercises had not been conducted in paediatric pain and there was therefore a clear need for such a process to take place.

You can find more information about each of the priorities including current systematic reviews and ongoing trials, if any, on the UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (UK DUETs)

For more information download this pdf  leaflet with the Top 10 research questions



Professor Christina Liossi
Building 44 Highfield Campus University of Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 44/3027

Facsimile: (023) 8059 4597

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