Professor Diana Harcourt

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  • Qualifications:BSc (Hons) Psychology and Health Science, MSc Research Methods in Psychology, PhD
  • Position:Professor of Appearance & Health Psychology
  • Department:HAS - Health and Social Sciences
  • Telephone:+4411732 82192

About me

I am Co-Director of the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at UWE, Bristol.  My research interests focus on psychosocial aspects of having an altered or unusual appearance, including those associated with cancer (particularly breast cancer, mastectomy and breast reconstruction, prostate cancer) and burn injuries. I am interested in the psychosocial impact of an altered appearance or visible difference, interventions to support those who are affected and those facing decisions about treatment that will alter appearance, and patient reported outcome measures (PROMS) in these areas. In collaboration with Alex Clarke, clinical psychologist, I developed the PEGASUS intervention to elicit patients' expectations and goals of appearance-altering surgery.  This is currently being evaluated in a multi-centred study of women considering breast reconstruction.  I lead the VTCT Foundation-funded programme of research at CAR, working closely with charitable organisations that support people whose lives are affected by visible difference.  I lead, with Heidi Williamson, the UNITS study (funded by The Scar Free Foundation) which is exploring the support needs of people affected by an altered appearance as a consequence of military conflict. I worked with Catrin Griffiths on the development of a portfolio of burn-specific patient reported outcome measures (PROMs), the CAR Burns Scales (see

I am a chartered Health Psychologist (HCPC accredited) and sit on the editorial board of the journals Body Image, and Scars, Burns & Healing.  

Diversity statement: Diana is a White female in her fifties. She has surgical scars, most of which are not usually visible to others. 

Area of expertise

Psychosocial aspects of appearance, particularly visible difference including the impact of an altered appeareance as a consequence of burn injury, military conflict, or cancer diagnosis and treatment. 


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