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Dr Diane Dixon



Personal statement

My research is in Health Psychology and Health Services Research.  I work on disability and on the development and evaluation of interventions for people with physical illnesses and those receiving medical and surgical interventions.  My theoretical interests are in the measurement of disability, in the explanation of activity limitations and the integration of theoretical models of disability derived from disparate academic disciplines.  I use quantitative methods, including structural equation modelling and experimental single case designs.

I collaborate with research groups in the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Salford and Bristol.  I also work and have worked with policy workers in the Health Directorates of the Scottish Government and clinical colleagues within NHS Fife, Tayside, Forth Valley and Grampian and the Rehabilitation Institute de Hoogstraat, Utrecht.  We receive funding from the MRC, the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office, Arthritis Research Campaign, Quality Improvement Scotland and NHS R&D. 

I am a member of the Population Research Committee at CRUK.


Using participatory methods to design an mHealth intervention for a low income country, a case study in Chikwawa, Malawi
Laidlaw Rebecca, Dixon Diane, Morse Tracy, Beattie Tara K., Kumwenda Save, Mpemberera Grant
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making Vol 17, (2017)
Use of the ICF to investigate impairment, activity limitation and participation restriction in people using ankle-foot orthoses to manage mobility disabilities
McMonagle Christine, Rasmussen Susan, Elliott Mark A., Dixon Diane
Disability and Rehabilitation Vol 38, pp. 605-612, (2016)
Developing an integrated biomedical and behavioural theory of functioning and disability : adding models of behaviour to the ICF framework
Johnston Marie, Dixon Diane
Health Psychology Review Vol 8, pp. 381-403, (2014)
Core outcome measures for exercise studies in people with multiple sclerosis : recommendations from a multidisciplinary consensus meeting
Paul Lorna, Coote Susan, Crosbie Jean, Dixon Diane, Hale Leigh, Holloway Ed, McCrone Paul, Miller Linda, Saxton John, Sincock Caroline, White Lesley
Multiple Sclerosis Journal Vol 20, pp. 1641-1650, (2014)
Does the impact of osteoarthritis vary by age, gender and social deprivation? A community study using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
Pollard Beth, Dixon Diane, Johnston Marie
Disability and Rehabilitation Vol 36, pp. 1445-1451, (2014)
Discriminant content validity : a quantitative methodology for assessing content of theory-based measures, with illustrative applications
Johnston Marie A., Dixon Diane L., Hart Jo, Glidewell Liz, Schröder Carin D., Pollard Beth S.
British Journal of Health Psychology Vol 19, pp. 240-257, (2014)

more publications

Research interests

I am a chartered psychologist and my main research interest is in the area of disability and chronic illness. My current research focuses on the following:

  1. Integration of psychological and medical models of health and illness
  2. Development of theory based health outcome measures
  3. Self-management of long-term conditions, including musculoskeletal disorders, chronic pain and stroke
  4. Application of theory to individual level health behaviour and behaviour change
  5. Development and testing of theory-based, individually tailored interventions to change behaviour
  6. Aging and health behaviour
  7. Development of evidence based professional competency frameworks for the delivery of health behaviour change

Professional activities

SYNERGY training workshop
SYNERGY training workshop
British Journal of Health Psychology (Journal)
Editorial board member
Division Health Psychology
Delivering health psychology into government. British Psychological Society, Division of Health Psychology-Scotland. Annual Meeting, Edinburgh.
Invited speaker
House of Lords (External organisation)

more professional activities


BTG: Developing effective interventions to promote safe administration of medicines mixed in foodstuff to children in hospital
Akram, Gazala (Academic) Dixon, Diane (Academic)
This cross-disciplinary project addresses a key challenge in children’s health and directly addresses current Government initiatives to improve patient safety following the Francis report. This study is a new cross-faculty collaboration in the area of patient safety and medication use. Patient safety is a core research theme for Behavioural Medicine at Strathclyde (Adair & Dixon) and is a key research theme with the proposed Centre for Behavioural Medicine in HASS. It will initiate a planned programme of cross-faculty collaboration (SIPBS and School of psychological Sciences and Health) in the area of medication use. This programme of research fills a gap and directly addresses the third wave of improvements in health outcomes driven by behaviour change, which will drive many of the advancements in healthcare in the next ten years.
Period 07-Apr-2014 - 06-Jul-2014
How infectious is human behaviour? (Bridging the Gap, University of Strathlyde)
Grealy, Madeleine (Co-investigator) Dixon, Diane (Co-investigator)
We assume that our behaviour is entirely under our conscious control. However, evidence indicates that our ability to exercise conscious, intentional control over our behaviour is quite limited. We know that humans mimic the behaviour of others and that we do this without any conscious awareness. This suggests that our behaviour is infectious and might be regarded as a contagion. Epidemiologists have built mathematical models to understand the spread of infections, such as influenza, within populations. In this study we examine whether these models can also be used to understand the transmission of human behaviour.
Period 01-Mar-2012 - 30-Jun-2013
Understanding how stroke survivors manage their lives after stroke: Application of a theoretical model of successful ageing
Dixon, Diane (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Feb-2013 - 31-Jan-2016

more projects