Chris read Psychology at the University of Durham and obtained BA, MA and PhD. He is currently Professor of Primary Care and Community Health (formerly Director of Research 2003-2013) in The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work. He is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of The British Psychological Society.

He has held and/or currently holds grants from the Department of Health, NHS, various research charities, MRC,  NIHR and the European Commission,  He was a member of the European Commission DG12 Expert Working Party on research into postural stability and fall prevention in the elderly population. He has reviewed for a wide range of research committees and charities both in UK and overseas. He is currently a member of  NIHR Health Services Research Board and the Dimbleby Cancer Care Scientific Advisory Board.

He wrote The World Health Organisation’s policy synopsis on the prevention of falls amongst older people and was a member of the group which wrote the 2007 WHO Global Report on Falls Prevention.

Methodological knowledge

Promoting positive ageing: The prevention of falls and fractures in older people (See the ProFaNE website). Outcomes of care. Age related inequalities in access to cancer treatments. See the FARSEEING website

The psychology of falling: Mechanisms to promote uptake and adherence to fall prevention interventions. Psycho-social consequences and sequellae of falls (fear of falling). See Prevention of Falls Network Europe (ProFaNE) website.

Stress amongst health care professionals: Surveys of stress in professional groups. Interventions and job redesign to reduce stress.

Research methods: Trial design, outcome measurement, quality of life, interfacing between quantitative and qualitative methods.   See the MORECare and CECo websites

Research interests

Fall Prevention  Falling is very common amongst older people and is responsible for considerable disability and distress. Interventions such as exercise aimed at improving balance and increasing muscle strength can reduce falling amongst older people, but we still need to know a lot more about how to ensure such interventions are most effective. Much of Chris's work relates to identifying how to encourage uptake and adherence to promote effectiveness of interventions. Chris led the Prevention of Falls Network Europe and currently leads a number of projects related to fall prevention.  He also lead the ProFaNE team that developed the FES-I, a very widely used measure of fear of falling.   His current work is focusing on interventions for people with visual impairments and using smartphones and other technologies to predict detect and prevent falls (FARSEEING). He is part of the EC's European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (see EC website1 and website2 ) and leads the Prevention of Falls Network for Dissemination ProFouND.

Cancer and Palliative Care A major area of interest is how to support people during their last illness so that they can have maximum quality of life and remain with their family and friends. Chris’ group have been investigating access to palliative care services and the way that community based palliative care services, nursing services and social care, can help people to remain at home when they are seriously ill. His most recent studies  have focused on supporting the family carers of people with palliative care needs, and the methodological challenges of palliative and end of life care research. He was recwently co-PI on the MORECare project and played a central role in the Cancer Experiences Collaborative CECo leading work on methdology.


Breast cancer amongst older women. Breast cancer is prevalent amongst older women but evidence shows that older women are less likely to receive surgery and other standard interventions than their younger counterparts. Chris works on a programme of studies with Dr Katrina Lavelle and Prof Nigel Bundred investigating aspects of the management of breast cancer. 

Integrating nutrition into the care pathway for colorectal cancer patients. Chris works with Dr Sorrel Burden on a programme that uses the MRC Framework/Guidance for developing complex interventions in this case using nutritional interventions for cancer. The first phase of the work involved qualitative interviews with people with colorectal cancer.  We are currently conducting a randomised controlled trial of a nutritional intervention in preoperative colorectal cancer patients.

A description of my expertise is also held on the ResearcherID website


Chris teachs on a number of courses in the School, including the BNurs. MRes and PhD programmes.

Chris has supervised many PhD students over the years and is always keen to hear from potential students in his areas of interest. 

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