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Dr Laura Dennison PhD


Dr Laura Dennison's photo

Dr Laura Dennison is a Lecturer within Psychology at the University of Southampton.

I did my BSc at the University of Warwick before completing and MSc in Health Psychology and a PhD here at Southampton.  I currently work as a Lecturer and am a member of the Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology. I am a HCPC registered Health Psychologist and a Chartered Member of the BPS.





Research interests

My research interests cover two broad (and sometimes overlapping) areas

  1. Understanding and facilitating psychological adjustment and self-management in patients with chronic diseases (especially Multiple Sclerosis).
  2. Developing and evaluating e-health interventions to change health-related behaviour, disease outcomes, and to improve psychological wellbeing.

Work in Progress

I’m working with Dr Ian Galea on a series of studies investigating how people with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience prognostic uncertainty, their experiences and view on how healthcare professionals communicate with them about their likely disease course, and their appetite for using an online tool to access long term prognosis forecasts. I am currently supervising a MSc Health Psychology student, Samantha Hornsey, to conduct a qualitative study where neurologists and MS Specialist nurses are being interviewed about their experiences of and attitudes towards prognostication and prognosis communication in MS.

I’m currently working alongside Dr Fiona Woollard from Philosophy on a project about shame and blame surrounding infant feeding decisions. This project is funded by an ESRC Impact Acceleration grant and aims to translate social science research into web-based resources for new mothers and the health professionals who support them. Using a Person-Based Approach to intervention development (Yardley, Morrison, Bradbury & Muller, 2015) we will be producing downloadable materials and interactive online activities for use by parents, health professionals and NCT and Breastfeeding Network (BfN) practitioners. Next year I’ll be beginning an exciting programme of research on Motor Neurone Disease exploring the feasibility of digital interventions to tackle emotional wellbeing in patients and family caregivers.

PhD Research students

Kate Morton. Exploring user perspectives and engagement with e-health interventions for the self-management of physical health conditions (co-supervised with Prof Lucy Yardley)

Charlotte Owen. Developing a falls self-management guide for patients with Parkinson’s Disease and their partners/carers (co-supervised with Prof Helen Roberts and Dr Emma Stack)

I am interested in hearing from prospective PhD students who are interested in studying psychological adjustment and psychological interventions in Motor Neurone Disease (MND, also known as ALS) or Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Research group

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

Research project(s)


The UBhave project aims to investigate the power and challenges of using mobile phones and social networking for Digital Behaviour Change Interventions (DBCIs).


Software that enables behavioural scientists to create online behavioural interventions


The DIPSS (Integrating Digital Interventions into Patient Self-Management Support) project has received funding of £2 million from the NIHR to examine patient digital self-management with healthcare professional support in primary care. Our aim is to develop digital behaviour change interventions for asthma and hypertension self-management, which will be examined in feasibility studies and full RCT (hypertension only). Issues surrounding the feasibility, acceptability, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of digital intervention delivery will be explored with patients and healthcare professionals for each condition.

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I am Subject Lead for Psychology as Applied to Medicine for two undergraduate courses in the faculty of Medicine (BM4 and BM5). I teach the doctors of the future about a range of applied psychology topics including adherence, pain, behaviour change and adjustment to chronic disease.

I also supervise undergraduate and postgraduate student research in both the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of Medicine, and I am Head of Field for Psychology for the BMedSci (3rd year research project for medical students).

Dr Laura Dennison
Building 44 Highfield Campus University of Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 44/3072

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