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Dr Vincent Deary

Professor of Applied Health Psychology

Department: Psychology

Vincent Deary Staffprofile Northumbriauniversity225

Vincent is a writer, researcher, and practitioner health psychologist. He started his academic career fairly late in life, completing his Medical Research Council (MRC) Fellowship funded PhD in 2011. Prior to this he worked mainly as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist with an interest in researching new interventions. Thanks to the MRC funding, he made the transition from clinician to clinical academic and continues to focus on the development and trialling of new interventions for a variety of health complaints. He still works clinically one morning a week in the UK’s first trans-diagnostic fatigue clinic. When he was 50 he published his first book, How We Are. This is the first part of the How To Live trilogy, published by Penguin Press. These books bring together his clinical and academic interests, along with his interest in philosophy, literature and popular culture, to paint a portrait of human life, suffering and well-being.

Altered Eating - Head and Neck survivors describe their experiences 

Altered Eating Research Network

Campus Address

Room 143E
Northumberland Building, Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne

0191 227 3446



Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Vincent’s research focuses on developing new psycho-social interventions for people with a variety of health complaints. Recent work has involved working with older adults with fear of falling. This was funded by the National Institute of Health Research, and he lead on developing and supervising a new cognitive behavioural intervention, which was successfully evaluated in a large Randomised Controlled Trial. Another current interest is in “altered eating”. With collaborators from Newcastle University, a research chef and a group of head and neck cancer survivors, the team recognised that the significance of an altered relationship to food in cancer survivors went far beyond nutritional deficits. It also entailed a loss of some of life’s most fundamental pleasures, the act of eating and eating with others that many of us take for granted. The “altered eating” framework that this work produced is currently being applied to a range of other conditions. See links above. 

Sponsors and Collaborators

  • Academic Health Sciences Network
  • Action for ME
  • Chief Science Officer of Scotland
  • Me/CFS Association
  • Medical Research Council
  • National Institute of Health Research
  • Northumberland Healthcare Trust

Current/Recent Projects

Multiple Symptoms Study 3: pragmatic trial of a community based clinic for patients with persistent (medically unexplained) physical symptoms. NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research

Improving Patient Pathways for Persistent Physical Symptoms. Academic Health Sciences Network

Adapting a falls prevention exercise programme with and for older people with visual impairment: a feasibility study. NIHR Public Health

Cognitive behavioural therapy-based intervention to reduce fear of falling in older fallers attending a community falls service: Therapy development and randomised controlled trial. NIHR Health Technology Assessment

Resources for Living(R4L) Pilot: Exploring the Potential of Progressive Cuisine for Quality of Life Improvement for Head and Cancer Survivors. NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme

Key Publications

Burges Watson, D., Lewis, S., Patterson, J., Kelly, C., Edwards-Stuart, R., Murtagh, M., Deary, V., Altered eating: a definition and framework for assessment and intervention. BMC Nutrition (in press)

Deary, Vincent, Elaine McColl, Paul Carding, Tracy Miller, and Janet Wilson. "A psychosocial intervention for the management of functional dysphonia: complex intervention development and pilot randomised trial." BMC Pilot and Feasibility Studies 4, no. 1 (2018): 46.

Deary, Vincent, Saskia P. Hagenaars, Sarah E. Harris, W. David Hill, Gail Davies, David CM Liewald, Andrew M. McIntosh et al. "Genetic contributions to self-reported tiredness." Molecular psychiatry 23, no. 3 (2018): 609.

Patterson, J. M., M. Fay, C. Exley, E. McColl, M. Breckons, and V. Deary. "Feasibility and acceptability of combining cognitive behavioural therapy techniques with swallowing therapy in head and neck cancer dysphagia." BMC cancer 18, no. 1 (2018): 1.

Parry, S. W., Bamford, C., Deary, V., Finch, T. L., Gray, J., MacDonald, C., ... & McColl, E. M. (2016). Cognitive-behavioural therapy-based intervention to reduce fear of falling in older people: therapy development and randomised controlled trial-the Strategies for Increasing Independence, Confidence and Energy (STRIDE) study. Health Technology Assessment (Winchester, England), 20(56), 1.

Morton, L., Elliott, A., Thomas, R., Cleland, J., Deary, V., & Burton, C. (2016). Developmental study of treatment fidelity, safety and acceptability of a Symptoms Clinic intervention delivered by General Practitioners to patients with multiple medically unexplained symptoms. Journal of psychosomatic research, 84, 37-43.


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