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Dr Penny Furness PhD

Senior Lecturer in Psychology


Summary

I teach Social and Health Psychology, Qualitative Research Methods and Counselling Skills and Theory. I am the course lead for our MSc Psychology (Hong Kong) and Psychology liaison tutor for  BA (Hons) Education with Psychology and Counselling. I am involved in a range of health-focused research using qualitative and mixed methods. I trained and worked as a nurse for 14 years before undertaking my PhD and starting my career in academia. Current projects and papers lie in the areas of chronic illness, health applications of virtual reality, and critical approaches to Health Psychology. I am currently undertaking a Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. 

About

My main teaching interests lie in Social and Health Psychology, Qualitative Research Methods and Counselling Skills/theory. I am one of a group of Social Psychology lecturers who work together to develop and deliver a range of Social Psychology modules within the department, and I regularly supervise student research projects in the areas of Social and Health Psychology. I teach Qualitative Methods, especially about focus groups, interviews, diary methods of data collection, and in thematic analysis, grounded theory, and interpretative approaches to analysis. I have recently started teaching Counselling Skills and Theory lectures in the department.

I am the course lead for our MSc Psychology in Hong Kong and fly out twice a year to lead the course, teach social psychology, meet students and attend Graduation. I also teach Social Psychology on a joint honours degree course at Sheffield Hallam University - BA (Hons) Education with Psychology and Counselling. I am the liaison tutor between the course teams at City and Collegiate campuses, encouraging closer collaboration between teams and supporting the students during their Psychology teaching.

Prior to teaching and research posts, I worked in healthcare, having completed my nurse training and qualifications in 1994. I worked for some years as a staff nurse in the care of burns and re-constructive surgery patients. A strong interest in the psychology of health, illness and recovery led me to undertake a Masters' degree in Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University and then between 2001 and 2005 a PhD at Nottingham University (medical school). I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and have recently undertaken the ASPIRE mentor development programme at Hallam. I am currently completing my Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy, with a view to both teaching and practising.

My research activities have been very varied, although largely in health / health psychology / positive psychology areas, and often using qualitative or mixed method approaches. Topics have included health / nursing care in autism, unexplained medical symptoms, burns, facial injury and chronic illness (especially Fibromyalgia); virtual reality interventions for burn pain and injury rehabilitation in Children; interprofessional learning / working in the health sciences; maternal obesity (including critical approaches); the lived experience of / adaptation to disfiguring injury and chronic illness; risk taking in railway workers; community projects and well-being; and the meaning of happiness.

My areas of interest are:

  • Chronic illness;
  • Traditional and critical approaches to Health Psychology;
  • Health applications of Virtual Reality;
  • Happiness and Wellbeing;
  • Social Relationships;
  • Self-presentation.

Teaching

Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

Social Sciences and Arts

Psychology

  • MSc Psychology (Hong Kong);
  • BA (Hons) Education with Psychology & Counselling;
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology.

  • Social Psychology & Individual Differences;
  • Psychology of Development and Social Behaviour;
  • Cognitive and Social Psychology;
  • Theoretical Approaches in Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Research

  • Virtual Reality and Burn Injury Pain;
  • Virtual Reality and Rehabilitation in Children;
  • Experiences, Perceptions and Treatments for Fibromyalgia.

Collaborators:

  • Colleagues in ACES,
  • Biomedical Sciences,
  • Clinical Practice at University of Sheffield.

Funders:

  • MRC Confidence in Concept;
  • Polly Fogs Fibromyalgia Research UK.

Publications

Journal articles

Machaka, R., Barley, R., Serrant, L., Furness, P., & Dunham, M. (2021). Parenting among Settled Migrants from Southern Africa: A Qualitative Evidence Synthesis. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 30, 2264-2275. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-021-02013-2

Phelan, I., Furness, P., Matsangidou, M., Babiker, N., Fehily, O., Thompson, A., ... Lindley, S. (2021). Designing effective virtual reality environments for pain management in burn-injured patients. Virtual Reality. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-021-00552-z

Phelan, I., Furness, P., Dunn, H., Carrion-Plaza, A., Matsangidou, M., Dimitri, P., & Lindley, S. (2021). Immersive Virtual Reality in Children with Upper Limb Injuries: Findings from a Feasibility Study. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. http://doi.org/10.3233/PRM-190635

Phelan, I., Furness, P., Matsangidou, M., Carrion-Plaza, A., Dunn, H., Dimitri, P., & Lindley, S. (2021). Playing your pain away: designing a virtual reality physical therapy for children with upper limb motor impairment. Virtual Reality. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-021-00522-5

Taylor, S., Furness, P., Ashe, S., Haywood-Small, S., & Lawson, K. (2021). Comorbid Conditions, Mental Health and Cognitive Functions in Adults with Fibromyalgia. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 43 (2), 115-122. http://doi.org/10.1177/0193945920937429

Phelan, I., Furness, P., Fehily, O., Thompson, A., Babiker, N., Lamb, M., & Lindley, S. (2019). A mixed-methods investigation into the acceptability, usability and perceived effectiveness of active and passive virtual reality scenarios in managing pain under experimental conditions. Journal of Burn Care & Research, 40 (1), 85-90. http://doi.org/10.1093/jbcr/iry052

Furness, P. (2019). A qualitative exploration of experiences of physiotherapy among people with fibromyalgia in the United Kingdom. Pain and Rehabilitation - the Journal of Physiotherapy Pain Association, 2020 (48), 37-47. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ppa/pr/2019/00002020/00000048/art00006

Furness, P., Phelan, I., Babiker, N., Fehily, O., Thompson, A., & Lindley, S. (2019). Reducing pain during wound dressings in burn care using virtual reality: a study of perceived impact and usability with patients and nurses. Journal of Burn Care & Research, 40 (6), 878-885. http://doi.org/10.1093/jbcr/irz106

Taylor, S., Steer, M., Ashe, S., Furness, P., Haywood-Small, S., & Lawson, K. (2018). Patients' perspective of the effectiveness and acceptability of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments of fibromyalgia. Scandinavian Journal of Pain. http://doi.org/10.1515/sjpain-2018-0116

Twells, A., Furness, P., Bhanbhro, S., & Gregory, M. (2018). 'It's about giving yourself a sense of belonging’: community-based history and well-being in South Yorkshire. People, place and policy online, 12 (1), 8-28. https://extra.shu.ac.uk/ppp-online/

Furness, P., Vogt, K., Ashe, S., Taylor, S., Haywood-Small, S., & Lawson, K. (2018). What causes Fibromyalgia? An online survey of patient perspectives. Health Psychology Open, 5 (2). http://doi.org/10.1177/2055102918802683

Dean, J., Furness, P., Verrier, D., Lennon, H., Bennett, C., & Spencer, S. (2018). Desert island data: an investigation into researcher positionality. Qualitative Research, 18 (3), 273-289. http://doi.org/10.1177/1468794117714612

Nieto-Rucian, V., & Furness, P. (2018). The experience of growing up with a parent with schizophrenia : a qualitative study. Qualitative Psychology. https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fqup0000112

Ashe, S., Furness, P., Taylor, S., Haywood-Small, S., & Lawson, K. (2017). A qualitative exploration of the experiences of living with and being treated for fibromyalgia. Health Psychology Open, 4 (2), 1-12. http://doi.org/10.1177/2055102917724336

Stenberg, N., & Furness, P. (2017). Living well with a long-term condition : service users’ perspectives of a self-management intervention. Qualitative Health Research, 27 (4), 547-558. http://doi.org/10.1177/1049732316628834

Ashe, S., Furness, P., Taylor, S., Haywood-Small, S., & Lawson, K. (2016). "Not all in my head": a qualitative exploration of living with fibromyalgia and its treatments (Oral presentation). The European Health Psychologist, 18 (Supp), 695. http://www.ehps.net/ehp/index.php/contents/article/view/2048

Morgan, J., Abbott, R., Furness, P., & Ramsay, J. (2016). UK Rail Workers’ Perceptions of Accident Risk Factors : An Exploratory Study. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 55, 103-113. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ergon.2016.08.003

Soltani, H., Duxbury, A., Arden, M., Dearden, A., Furness, P., & Garland, C. (2015). Maternal obesity management using mobile technology : a feasibility study to evaluate a text messaging based complex intervention during pregnancy. Journal of Obesity, 111 (5 pt.2), 1-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/814830

Furness, P., Arden, M., Duxbury, A., Hampshaw, S., Wardle, C., & Soltani, H. (2015). Talking about weight in pregnancy: An exploration of practitioners' and women's and perceptions. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 5 (2), 89. http://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v5n2p89

Soltani, H., Duxbury, A.M.S., Arden, M.A., Dearden, A., Furness, P.J., & Garland, C. (2015). Maternal obesity management using mobile technology: A feasibility study to evaluate a text messaging based complex intervention during pregnancy. Journal of Obesity, 2015. http://doi.org/10.1155/2015/814830

Soltani, H., Furness, P., Mcseveny, K., Arden, M., Garland, C., Sustar, H., & Dearden, A. (2012). Women's and midwives' perspectives on the design of a text messaging support for maternal obesity services. Journal of Obesity. http://doi.org/10.1155/2012/835464

Furness, P., Armitage, H., & Pitt, R. (2012). Qualitative evaluation of three practice-based interprofessional learning initiatives : application of the 'contact hypothesis. International Journal of Medical Education, 3, 83-91. http://doi.org/10.5116/ijme.4f94.8831

Abduljalil, K., Furness, P., Johnson, T.N., Rostami-Hodjegan, A., & Soltani, H. (2012). Anatomical, physiological and metabolic changes with gestational age during normal pregnancy : a database for parameters required in physiologically based pharmacokinetic modelling. Clinical Pharmacokinetics, 51 (6), 365-396. http://doi.org/10.2165/11597440-000000000-00000

Furness, P., Armitage, H., & Pitt, R. (2012). Establishing and facilitating practice-based interprofessional learning: experiences from the TUILIP project. Nursing Reports, 2 (1). http://doi.org/10.4081/nursrep.2012.e5

Abduljalil, K., Furness, P., Johnson, T.N., Rostami-Hodjegan, A., & Soltani, H. (2012). Anatomical, physiological and metabolic changes with gestational age during normal pregnancy: A database for parameters required in physiologically based pharmacokinetic modelling. Clinical Pharmacokinetics, 51 (6), 365-396. http://doi.org/10.2165/11597440-000000000-00000

Furness, P., Armitage, H., & Pitt, R. (2011). An evaluation of practice-based interprofessional education initiatives involving service users. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 25 (1), 46-52. http://doi.org/10.3109/13561820.2010.497748

Furness, P.J., McSeveny, K., Arden, M., Garland, C., Dearden, A., & Soltani, H. (2011). Maternal obesity support services: a qualitative study of the perspectives of women and midwives. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 11 (69). http://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2393-11-69

Furness, P., & Garrud, P. (2010). Adaptation after facial surgery: using the diary as a research tool. Qualitative Health Research, 20 (2), 262-272. http://doi.org/10.1177/1049732309357571

Glazebrook, C., Furness, P., Tay, J., Abbas, K., & Slaveska-Hollis, K. (2009). Development of a scale to assess the attitudes of paediatric staff to caring for children with medically unexplained symptoms: Implications for the role of CAMHS in paediatric care. Child And Adolescent Mental Health, 14 (2), 104-108. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-3588.2008.00507.x

Furness, P.J., Glazebrook, C., Tay, J., Abbas, K., & Slaveska - Hollis, K. (2009). Medically unexplained physical symptoms in children: exploring hospital staff perceptions. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 14 (4), 575-587. http://doi.org/10.1177/1359104509338437

Furness, P., Faulder, A., Garrud, P., & Swift, J. (2006). Coming to terms: a grounded theory of adaptation to facial surgery in adulthood. Journal of Health Psychology, 11 (3), 453-466. http://doi.org/10.1177/1359105306063318

Furness, P. (2005). Exploring supportive care needs and experiences of facial surgery patients. British Journal of Nursing, 14 (12), 641-645.

Furness, P. (2005). Exploring supportive care needs and experiences of facial surgery patients. British journal of nursing. http://www.internurse.com/cgi-bin/go.pl/library/article.cgi?uid=18284;article=BJN_14_12_641_645

Furness, P. (2003). Facing the future: Considering psychosocial issues surrounding facial transplants. The Psychologist, 16 (10), 538-540.

Furness, P.J. (2003). Facing the future. Psychologist, 16 (10), 538-540.

Conference papers

Morgan, J., Abbott, R., Furness, P., & Webster-Spriggs, S. (2013). Perceptions of accident risk among on-track machine workers : an interview study. In Dadashi, N., Scott, A., Wilson, J.R., & Mills, A. (Eds.) Rail human factors : supporting reliability, safety and cost reduction, (pp. 445-452). London: CRC Press

Book chapters

Morgan, J., Abbott, R., Furness, P., & Webster-Spriggs, S. (2013). Perceptions of accident risk among on-track machine workers : an interview study. In Dadashi, N., Scott, A., Wilson, J.R., & Mills, A. (Eds.) Rail human factors : supporting reliability, safety and cost reduction. (pp. 445-452). Leiden, Netherlands: CRC/Balkena: https://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781138000377

Theses / Dissertations

Halpin, J.G. (2014). The role of the nurse in preschool autism assessment. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Hodge, N., & Furness, P.

Postgraduate supervision

  • Rachel Taylor;
  • Amanda Wilcox;
  • Simon Ashe;
  • Ben Partridge.

  • Julia Halpin;
  • Jan Smith.

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