Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Suzanne McDonald

Research Methodologist


I am a Chartered Health Psychologist and am registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (; registration number: PYL 34149)

In my main role I am a specialist advisor for the NIHR Research Design Service (North East): This involves providing advice to clinicians and academic staff wishing to apply for national peer-reviewed funding for health and social care research on aspects related to health psychology and methodology. I also conduct my own research (see research tab).

Twitter profile:


  • PhD Medical Sciences (health psychology), Newcastle University (Sept 2011-March 2016)
  • MSc Health Psychology; Northumbria University, England (Sept 2012 - June 2013)
  • MSc Public Health & Health Services Research; Newcastle University, England (Sept 2010 - Sept 2011)
  • MRes Psychology; University of Aberdeen, Scotland (Sept 2009 - Sept 2010)
  • MA Psychology(Hons); University of Aberdeen, Scotland (Sept 2005 - June 2009)

Previous Appointments

  • Honorary Assistant Psychologist, NHS Lothian. Research, audit and service evaluation for the Plastic-led Psychology Service and the Scottish Ear Reconstruction Service (January 2012- December 2014).


  • Chartered member of the British Psychological Society (


Research Interests

My main research interests are related to the use of N-of-1 methods in health psychology and behavioural medicine. Specifically, the use of n-of-1 methods to:

  • Understand intra-individual variation and predictors of health-related behaviour (e.g. physical activity, medication adherence, smoking) and symptoms (e.g. pain and fatigue)
  • Identify individual response to health behaviour change interventions
  • Optimise and personalise health interventions to individuals
  • Test behavioural theory
  • Combine n-of-1 designs with advances in technology and novel intervention designs (e.g. just-in-time adaptive interventions)
  • Incorporate participant-centred outcomes into n-of-1 research
  • Co-create knowledge in collaboration with n-of-1 stakeholders

Other research interests include: the development and use of patient reported outcome measures (PROMS) and patient centred outcomes; multiple behaviour change; the psychological and behaviour aspects associated with surgical interventions including weight loss surgery, breast reconstruction, ear reconstruction and face transplantation surgery.


  • Invited guest lecturer for the MSc in Health Psychology, King's College London (2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Invited guest lecturer for the MSc Health in Psychology, Northumbria University (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Invited guest lecturer for the MSc in Health Psychology, Stirling University (2016, 2017)
  • Invited guest lecturer for the MSc in Health Psychology, Newcastle University (2016)