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Rachael Pattinson   BSc, MSc, PhD GMBPsS

Rachael Pattinson




School of Dentistry

+44 29225 10732
University Dental Hospital, Floor 1, Room 107, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XY
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Health Psychologist and Lecturer at the School of Dentistry, Cardiff University.

I conduct translational research, applying psychology to inform and improve patient care. I specialise in outcome measure development, behaviour change and well-being research. In my role, I collaborate with patients, clinicians, researchers, industry and the public.












I have an established interest in behaviour change, self-management and wellbeing research to improve patient outcomes. My specific expertise is in the assessment and management of the impact of health conditions on patients’ lives, methodologies for the patient-centred development and validation of outcome measures, behaviour change interventions for patients and communication skills training for clinicians.

As a health psychologist, I am trained to work across health conditions and focus on risk factors and behaviour change interventions. Over the last decade, I have worked across a number of therapeutic areas (e.g. dermatology, facial palsy, ophthalmology, dentistry), populations (e.g. patients, clinicians) and research areas (e.g. burden of disease, COVID-19, behaviour change). I have developed expertise in local, national and global research projects; quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research; behaviour change interventions for both patients and clinicians; and service development in the context of long-term conditions. Common across my projects is theoretically informed research, a biopsychosocial approach to health and illness and multidisciplinary team science with a view to improving patient outcomes and experiences and service delivery.

I am passionate about public and patient involvement and multidisciplinary team science in my research work. I actively pursue the real-world impact of my research through dissemination, public and patient involvement, training and clinical work. I sit on the Welsh Senedd Cross Party Group on Skin, working directly with the government to highlight the causes, prevention and treatment of skin conditions and support available for the people living with these conditions. I provide expertise on communication skills to healthcare professionals, as a PROM consultant for industry and behaviour change expert for undergraduate programmes for health professionals (e.g. Physiotherapy) at Cardiff University. This has allowed me to interact with front -line NHS staff, patients and industry who are interested in research of direct relevance to real -world problems.

My PhD focus was to develop and validate the new Patient -Reported Impact of Dermatological Diseases (PRIDD) measure, designed to comprehensively measure the impact of dermatological conditions on patients’ lives. I was supervised by Professor Chris Bundy and Dr Nick Courtier. My PhD formed part of the Global Research on the Impact of Dermatological Diseases (GRIDD) project which is the first global research project on disease burden in multiple skin conditions and the first completely patient-initiated and –drive research project in dermatology.  If you are interested in finding out more about the GRIDD project or you would like to take part, please follow this link:

I am currently involved in a number of externally funded active research projects:

  1. The Patient-Reported Impact of Dermatological Diseases (PRIDD) measure: a global mixed methods measurement development and validation study (GRIDD project) (GlobalSkin)
  2. Developing a mobile health application for people with serious skin conditions: the SkinWise project (Beiersdorf)
  3. Investigating interactions between physiological, cognitive, and behavioural variables in people experiencing long COVID (Health and Care Research Wales)


2021: PhD in Health Sciences, Cardiff University, UK.

2015: MSc in Health Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, UK.

2013: BSc in Applied Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, UK.

2019: Motivational Interviewing with Stephen Rollnick (co-founder of Motivational Interviewing).

2019: Rasch analysis, Leeds University, UK.



Honours and awards

2023: Rising Star, World Congress of Dermatology 2023

2019: First reserve, Cumberland Lodge Life beyond the PhD award

Professional memberships

British Psychological Society (BPS)

BPS Division of Health Psychology

UK Society for Behavioural Medicine

European Health Psychology Society Member

Academic positions

2021 - 2023: Post-doctoral Research Associate, Cardiff University, UK.

2018 – 2021: Doctoral Researcher, Cardiff University, UK.

2017 – 2018: Research Associate, Cardiff University, UK.

2014 – 2016: Research Assistant, University of Manchester, UK.

Committees and reviewing

External committees

Member of the Welsh Senedd Cross Party Group on Skin


Internal committees

Research Ethics Committe, School of Healthcare Sciences


Peer reviewer

BMJ Open

International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

BMC Psychology

Psychology Research and Behavior Management

Psychology, Health and Medicine

Health Psychology Update

Quality of Life Research

British Journal of Dermatology

Journal of the European Academy for Dermatology and Venereology

Skin Health and Disease


I am interested in supervising PhD students investigating behaviour change, patient and clinician beliefs, and outcome measures in the area of oral health. 

Current supervision

Beth Thomas

Beth Thomas

Research student


  • Health psychology
  • Behaviour Change
  • Applied psychology
  • Outcome measures
  • Wellbeing