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Dr Fiona Eccles

Lecturer in Research Methods, Lecturer

Fiona Eccles

Furness Building

Lancaster University


Lancaster LA1 4YG

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 592807


Research overview


My research is focussed on the psychological impact of living with chronic illness, particularly neurological conditions (for example Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or dystonia). We hope to develop psychological therapies to support people with  neurological conditions. I am also interested in the cognitive and psychological outcomes of treatment (both psychological and surgical). In addition, I am interested in people’s own understanding and sense making processes when living with illness (“illness beliefs”). I use both quantitative and qualitative approaches.


Current Research

Research with Dr Richard Scott & Dr Alan Gray includes

  • Neuropsychological outcomes of deep brain stimulation for neuropathic pain
  • Cognitive profile of people with dystonia
  • Neuropsychological outcomes of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease

I currently supervise trainees' theses in the following:

  • Experiences of sleep and dream disturbances following traumatic brain injury
  • Fluctuations in mental healthcare staff's feeings of compassion towards their clients
  • The use of deception with people with dementia in a hospital setting
  • Reasons why women remain in commercial sex work



Research Interests

Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or Multiple Sclerosis which affect both physical health and cognitive functioning can present numerous challenges both to individuals and their families and our work is concerned with the psychological effects of living with these types of conditions. We are interested in aspects such as how people “live well” with their conditions and also how they “make sense” of the illness as well as difficulties encountered such as anxiety and low mood. In the future we are hoping to develop more psychological approaches to help people manage some of psychological difficulties that arise when living with these conditions.

Deep brain stimulation is a surgical procedure which involves implanting a small stimulator in specific parts of the brain which can sometimes relieve some of the symptoms of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor or dystonia. This technique is also now being used to relieve the symptoms of chronic pain. Our work looks at the impact that these stimulators have on how people think (their cognitive functioning) and how they feel emotionally as well as their overall quality of life.

Current Teaching

I am the co-ordinator of the Service Related Project that clinical psychology doctorate trainees undertake in their first and second years of training and deliver various teaching sessions related to this, alongside co-ordinating the peer review exercise and examiners.

I also contribute to general research teaching for the trainees. I teach one session to psychology undergraduates as part of the Psyc327 module.

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