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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.

She is a member of the Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology Research Group, a HCPC registered Health Psychologist, a Chartered Member of the BPS, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research interests

Broadly speaking, my research interests cover two key (and sometimes overlapping) areas. One is understanding and facilitating psychological adjustment to chronic diseases. My focus is on enabling individuals and families to live well with health conditions and I have a particular interest in patients with neurological conditions including multiple sclerosis and motor neuron disease.  My work is centred around exploring how patients experience health conditions, interventions and therapies, and how patient perspectives can be used alongside psychological theory to develop and evaluate interventions.  My second research interest is in e-health, particularly investigating digital interventions to change health-related behaviour and improve psychological wellbeing.  I use both qualitative and quantitative methods in my research and tend to work within multidisciplinary teams.

Work in Progress

I’m currently working on the RECUR NIHR programme grant (also known as Immune Defence). In this research we are developing and evaluating interventions to help people reduce the frequency, severity and duration of respiratory infections (such as colds, sore throats, sinus, chest or ear infections, flu and COVID-19).

I’m currently running exciting programme of research on Motor Neurone Disease exploring the feasibility of digital interventions to tackle emotional wellbeing in patients and family caregivers. This work involves a systematic review of experiences of psychological interventions in neurological, progressive and life-limiting health conditions, qualitative research with people with MND and family caregivers, intervention planning and development and a mixed methods evaluation study. This work is funded by the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

I have recently completed a series of studies with Dr Ian Galea investigating how people with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience prognostic uncertainty, their experiences and views 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.  We have also looked at the experiences of and attitudes of neurologists and MS Specialist nurses towards prognostication and prognosis communication in MS.

I am working alongside Dr Fiona Woollard from Philosophy on a project about shame and blame surrounding infant feeding decisions. This project was 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 have produced downloadable materials and interactive online activities for use by parents, health professionals and NCT and Breastfeeding Network (BfN) practitioners.

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 Sarah Kirby)

Cathryn Pinto The development and initial evaluation of a web-based psychological intervention to reduce distress in people with motor neurone disease and their partners (co-supervised with Dr Adam Geraghty and Prof Lucy Yardley)

I am interested in hearing from prospective PhD students who are interested in studying psychological aspects of 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.

Reducing common infections in usual practice for recurrent respiratory tract infections: The RECUR Programme

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Module co-ordinator for PSYC2026: Introduction to Health Psychology.

I am usually involved in UG and PG teaching in Psychology (Psyc2026 Introduction to Health Psychology, Research Methods, MSc Health Psychology) and regularly contribute to the Psychology as Applied to Medicine curriculum in the Faculty of Medicine.

I supervise third year psychology undergraduate research projects, MSc Health psychology and Clinical Psychology dissertations, 4th year medical student projects (BMedSci) as well as PhD and DM researchers.

My teaching experience includes serving as Subject Lead for psychology for two undergraduate programmes in Medicine (BM4 and BM5) with responsibilities including curriculum design and review, teaching, and assessment.

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

Room Number : 44/3072

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