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Professor Rob Newell

PositionEmeritus Professor of Nursing Research

Research Interests (key words only)

Facial appearance; treatment outcomes; psychosocial aspects of illness and adaptation

PhD Supervision

10 PhD students supervised covering a range of topics and research methods.
e.g. experiences of hearing voices; interventions for awake patients in theatres; drug errors; information in head and neck cancer; adaptation following MI; sexual exploitation of young women.

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

None current (retired)
Previously: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy; Research methods.


Rob Newell is Emeritus Professor of Nursing Research, with a background in cognitive behaviour therapy. Over 20 years he developed research in the area of visible difference, including the first randomised controlled trial of an intervention for psychosocial difficulty in facial disfigurement, as well as numerous investigations of the experiences of those with visible differences. Most recently he was a member of the team which undertook the largest ever survey in the field. His wider research interests have centred around quantitative approaches, particularly experiences of illness and the evaluation of health interventions. He developed a special interest in medical ethics and law, and has been a member of numerous research ethics committees. Since his retirement, he was a Trustee of the British Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapies, serving as President in 2015. He is currently an external examiner at the University of the West of Scotland.

Study History

  • 1977 Registered General Nurse St Mary's Hospital, London
  • 1981 Registered Mental Nurse Withington Hospital, Manchester
  • 1983 Cert. Behavioural Psychotherapy Maudsley Hospital, London
  • 1989 BSc (Hons) Psychology IIi Birkbeck College, University of London
  • 1990 Diploma in Nursing Education Royal College of Nursing, London.
  • 1998 PhD Nursing University of Hull
  • 2008 MA Medical Ethics and Law University of Keele

Professional History

  • 1985-1990 Lecturer – Maudsley Hospital/Institute of Pyschiatry.
  • 1990-1997 Lecturer – School of Health, University of Hull
  • 1997-2001 Senior Lecturer and Project Leader, Research Support Team.
  • 2001-2011 Professor of Nursing Research (2007-2011 Associate Dean – Research and Knowledge Transfer), Faculty of Health Studies, University of Bradford.

Research Areas

Facial appearance and disfigurement; experiences of illness and adaptation; treatment outcomes


Authored Books

Clarke, A, Thompson, A, Jenkinson, E, Rumsey, N, Newell, R (2013) CBT for Appearance Anxiety:Psychosocial Interventions for Anxiety Due to Visible Difference. Elsevier.
Newell, R & Burnard, P (2010) Vital Notes for Nurses: Research for Evidence-based Practice. Blackwell (revised 2nd edition)
Newell, R & Burnard, P (2006) Vital Notes for Nurses: Research for Evidence-based Practice. Blackwell
Newell, R (2000) Body Image and Disfigurement Care. London. Routledge.

Edited Books

Newell, R & Gournay, K. (2008) Mental health Nursing: An Evidence-based Approach Harcourt Brace. (revised 2nd edition)

Referreed Academic and Professional Journal papers

Barlow S, Dixey R, Todd J, Taylor V, Carney S, Newell R (2014) Abandoned by medicine'? A qualitative study of women's experiences with lymphoedema secondary to cancer, and the implications for care. Prim Health Care Res Dev. 2014 Oct;15(4):452-63.
Armitage G, Newell R, Wright J, (2010) Improving the quality of drug error reporting.Journal ff Evaluation In Clinical Practice 16 (6),1189-97.
Ndosi M, Newell R (2010) Medicine information sources used by nurses at the point of care., Journal Of Clinical Nursing 19, 17-18, 2659-61;
Thompson, AR, Clarke, SA, Newell, RJ, Gawkrodger, DJ et al (2010) Vitiligo linked to stigmatization in British South Asian women: a qualitative study of the experiences of living with vitiligo. British Journal of Dermatology 163, 481-486.
Small, N, Harrison, J, Newell, R. (2010)Carer burden in Schizophrenia – considerations for nursing practice. Mental Health Practice,14, 4, 20-23.
Armitage G; Adams J; Newell R; Coates D; Ziegler L; Hodgson I (2009) Caring for persons with Parkinson's disease in care homes: Perceptions of residents and their close relatives, and an associated review of residents' care plans. Journal of Research in Nursing, 14 (4): 333-48
Ndosi ME, Newell R, (2009) Nurses' knowledge of pharmacology behind drugs they commonly administer. Journal Of Clinical Nursing; Vol. 18 (4), 570-80
Raghavan, R, Newell, Small, N, Waseem, F (2009) A Randomised Controlled Trial of Specialist Liaison Worker Model for Young People with Intellectual Disabilities with Behaviour and Mental Health Needs. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Difficulties.. 22, 256-263
Harrison J; Newell R; Small N (2008) Do nurses' responses cause more distress than the presence of visions and voices? Mental Health Practice; 11 (5): 17-9
Lee D, Newell R, Ziegler L, Topping A, (2008) Treatment of fatigue in multiple sclerosis: a systematic review of the literature International Journal Of Nursing Practice; Vol. 14 (2), pp. 81-93
Johnson H, Burke J, Newell R, Plews C, Priapia L(2008) Improving the patient’s experience of a bone marrow biopsy. Nitrous Oxide analgesia vs placebo in bone marrow biopsy: a double blind randomised controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Nursing . 17 (6) 717-25.
Ackroyd J, Russon L, Newell R (2007) Views of oncology patients, their relatives and oncologists on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR): Questionnaire based study. Palliative Medicine, 21(2)139-44.
Dobrzanska L. Newell R. (2006) Readmissions: a primary care examination of reasons for readmission of older people and possible readmission risk factors. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 15(5):599-606
Martin, C.R. and Newell, R.J. (2005) The factor structure of the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) in individuals with facial disfigurement. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 59, 4, 113-119.
Martin, C.R. & Newell, R.J. (2004).-Factor structure of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale in individuals with facial disfigurement.Psychology, Health and Medicine, -Vol 9(3) Aug 2004,.-327-336.
Hostick T & Newell R (2004) Concordance with community mental health appointments: service users’ reasons for discontinuation Journal of Clinical Nursing -13, -895–902


  • Author of first RCT of intervention in psychosocial consquences of facial disfigurement. 
  • Co-author of key textbook on CBT for appearance anxiety
  • Co-author of key textbook on research emthods for health care professionals
  • Co-editor of key evidence based mental health care textbook
  • Co-editor of major nursing book series
  • Founding editor and editor for 10 years of refereed journal: 'Clinical Effectiveness in Nursing'

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