Dr Penny Furness PhD, CPsychol, MBPS, MBACP (Accred), PGDHCE, FHEA
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
I teach Counselling Skills and Theory, Qualitative Methods and Social / Health Psychology. I am a qualified, accredited and practising Integrative Counsellor and Psychotherapist. I conduct qualitative and mixed methods research into the experience of and care for chronic pain and illness, health applications of virtual reality technology, psychotherapy and the therapeutic relationship.
I have worked in academia for over 20 years, since 2001. My main teaching interests currently lie in Counselling and Psychotherapy practice, theory and professional issues. I also teach Social Psychology, Qualitative Methods and Health Psychology.
I am an experienced researcher and focus on qualitative or mixed methods approaches. My work has included small scale and larger, collaborative projects, experiential work, feasibility and evaluation studies, interviews, focus groups, thematic and interpretive approaches, and creative approaches.
My research focuses broadly on topics related to health and well-being. Examples include the experience of autism, unexplained medical symptoms, burns, chronic illness and pain, virtual reality interventions in healthcare, interprofessional learning in the health sciences, overweight in pregnancy, the lived experience of disfiguring injury and chronic illness, community history, happiness, psychotherapy interventions and the therapeutic relationship.
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.
More recently I completed a 4-year part-time Professional Diploma in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy at the Academy SPACE in Sheffield, and qualified in 2021. During and since my training I have worked as a therapist in a range of voluntary organisations. I have worked as in private practice since qualification. I am accredited by the BACP. My integrative approach is based on person-centred, relational and existential principles and ideas.
My areas of interest are:
- Chronic illness;
- Traditional and critical approaches to Health Psychology;
- Health applications of Virtual Reality;
- Happiness and Wellbeing;
- Social Relationships;
Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics
College of Social Sciences and Arts
Varied, focusing on
Virtual Reality interventions,
The experience and care of chronic pain and illness
Happiness and well-being
The Therapeutic relationship
Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics
MSc Developmental Psychology
Varied, focusing on Counselling and Psychotherapy
Please see list of recent publications below
- Colleagues in ACES,
- Biomedical Sciences,
- Clinical Practice at University of Sheffield.
- MRC Confidence in Concept;
- Polly Fogs Fibromyalgia Research UK.
Furness, P., Shelton, T., Beresford, R., Lawson, K., Taylor, S., & Haywood-Small, S. (2023). Physiotherapy for fibromyalgia: a phenomenological study of patients’ experiences. Journal of Pain Management, 15 (4). https://novapublishers.com/shop/volume-15-issue-4-2022-journal-of-pain-management/
Furness, P., Shelton, T., Beresford, R., Lawson, K., Taylor, S., & Haywood-Small, S. (2023). Remote care for chronic pain: A qualitative evaluation with managers, practitioners and patients. Journal of Pain Management, 15 (4). https://novapublishers.com/shop/volume-15-issue-4-2022-journal-of-pain-management/
Wai Chau, W.M., & Furness, P. (2023). Happiness in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Qualitative Study. American Journal of Qualitative Research, 7 (1), 168-190. http://doi.org/10.29333/ajqr/12950
Phelan, I., Carrion-Plaza, A., Furness, P., & Dimitri, P. (2023). Home-based immersive virtual reality physical rehabilitation in paediatric patients for upper limb motor impairment: a feasibility study. Virtual Reality. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-023-00747-6
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, 814830. 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.
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
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.
Peer reviewer for various Health and Psychology journals
Five current supervisions and five completions.
Qualitative projects on a range of topics related to my research interests.