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Dr Martin Dempster

Photo of Martin Dempster

Senior Lecturer, Research Coordinator for Doctorate in Clinical Psychology



Room 03.524, David Keir Building
School of Psychology
Queen's University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland, UK


+44 (0)28 9097 5547



Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) Chartered Statistician (CStat) Chartered Scientist (CSci) Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (AFBPsS) Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) Health Psychologist registered with the Health Professions Council

Chair, Division of Health Psychology – Northern Ireland, British Psychological Society (2010-2012) Chief Assessor, Qualification in Health Psychology, British Psychological Society (2011 - )


Module Co-ordinator PSY3092 Psychology of the Cancer Journey

Research Co-ordinator, DClinPsych Programme


PSY3092 Psychology of the Cancer Journey

PSY3001 Thesis

PSY7051 Research Design & Professional Skills

PSY9015 Applied Research 1 (DClinPsych)

PSY9021 Applied Research 2 (DClinPsych)

PSY9026 Applied Research3 (DClinPsych)


My research is focused on enhancing the psychological well-being / quality of life of people with chronic illness (cancer, diabetes and heart disease) and their families. More specifically:

  • Modelling the psychological predictors of psychological well-being and quality of life via reviews of current literature and primary research
  • Designing and evaluating interventions to enhance quality of life and modify illness and sick-role behaviours.
  • Developing and testing instruments to measure psychological constructs of importance in this area, eg. health-related quality of life.

I also have an interest in research methodology and how research is conducted in applied health settings. See Dempster, M. (2011). A Research Guide for Health and Clinical Psychology. Palgrave Macmillan

Research Outputs

Successful Grant Applications

Psychological Therapies Research in Northern Ireland. A Rapid Review of the Evidence. DHSSPSNI R&D Office. £19,674, 2011, CI

Training in latent variable modelling based on archived social science datasets in Northern Ireland. ESRC RES-046-25-0037. £61,187, 2010, CI

A systematic review of psychosocial factors associated with diabetes self-management and glycaemic control among children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust Discretionary Research Fund. £10,000, 2009, CI

Psychological well-being and breast cancer: The role of illness cognitions and coping. Grant awarded by Breast Cancer Campaign. £12,207, 2008, CI

The assessment and measurement of physical literacy in children. Grant awarded by Sport NI, £39,411, 2008, CI

Enhancing student engagement via an informed and evaluated student-centred induction programme. Grant awarded by the Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund, QUB. £9,613, 2007, CI

Psychological well-being among people with oesophageal cancer – the role of illness cognitions and coping. Grant awarded by Action Cancer. £40,113., 2007, PI

Risks and hazards of blood donation and transfusion – professional and lay knowledge and attitudes to risk in Ireland. Grant awarded by the R&D Office of the HPSSNI. £97,895, 2004, CI

A comparative evaluation of the AgeInfo Database. Grant awarded by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), London. £8,000, 2003, CI

Health and social inequalities relating to cardiac rehabilitation attendance in Northern Ireland: a walking programme for non-attenders. Grant awarded by the R&D Office of the HPSSNI. £150,000, 2003, CI

The effectiveness of using images of oro-facial trauma to reduce “binge” drinking among adolescents. Grant awarded by the British Academy. £3850, 2002, CI

Emotional consequences of cadaver dissection – correlates and mediating factors. Grant awarded by the Learning Teaching Support Network Bioscience. £1087, 2002, PI

Older people at the threshold of care management: a non-randomised controlled trial of rehabilitation. Grant awarded by the South & East Belfast Health & Social Services Trust. £48000, 2000, CI

The development and validation of an individual measure of quality of life among people with heart disease. Grant awarded by the Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke Association. £22305, 1998, PI

An evaluation of the Home from Hospital Services. Grant awarded by the Northern Health and Social Services Board. £6000, 1998, PI


Dempster, M. (in press). A Research Guide for Health and Clinical Psychology. A Manual for Trainees and Supervisors. Palgrave Macmillan.

Dempster, M. (2003) Systematic Review. In R. Miller & J. Brewer (eds) The A-Z of Social Research. London: Sage, pp.312-316.

Peer Reviewed Publications

Breslin, G., McKee, D.P., Dempster, M., Delaney B.J. & Murphy, M.H. (in press). The effect of teachers trained in a fundamental movement skills programme on children’s self-perceptions and motor competence. European Physical Education Review,

Ruggeri, K., Dempster, M. & Hanna, D. (2011). The impact of misunderstanding the nature of statistics. Psychology Teaching Review, 17, 35-40.

Dempster, M. (2011). Assessing quality of life in cardiac rehabilitation: Choosing an appropriate tool. British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 6, 335-340. Commissioned paper.

Dempster, M., McCorry, N.K., Brennan, E., Donnelly, M., Murray, L.J. & Johnston, B.T. (in press). Psychological distress among survivors of esophageal cancer: the role of illness cognitions and coping. Diseases of the Esophagus

Lok, A., Shannon, C. & Dempster, M. (in press). A survey of clinical psychologists to explore their decision to supervise trainee clinical psychologists. Clinical Psychology Forum.

Dempster, M. & McCorry, N.K. (in press). The factor structure of the revised Illness Perceptions Questionnaire in a population of oesophageal cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology

Hunt, O., McCurley, N., Dempster, M. & Marley, J. (in press). Patient anxiety and IV sedation in Northern Ireland. British Dental Journal

Cases, A., Dempster, M., Davies, M. & Gamble, G. (in press). The experience of individuals with renal failure participating in home haemodialysis: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Health Psychology

O’Brien, G., Dempster, M., Doherty, N., Carson, D. & Bell, P. (2011). Disordered eating attitudes among female adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes: Role of mothers. Journal of Diabetes Nursing, 15, 185-190.

Dempster, M., McCarthy, T. & Davies, M. (2011). Psychological adjustment to Type 2 Diabetes and relationship quality. Diabetic Medicine 28, 487-492.

Dempster, M., McCorry, N.K., Brennan, E., Donnelly, M., Murray, L.J. & Johnston, B.T. (2011). Do changes in illness perceptions predict changes in psychological distress among oesophageal cancer survivors? Journal of Health Psychology, 16, 500-509.

Dempster, M., McCorry, N.K., Brennan, E., Donnelly, M., Murray, L.J. & Johnston, B.T. (2011). Illness perceptions among carer-survivor dyads are related to psychological distress among oesophageal cancer survivors. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 70, 432-439.

Dempster, M., McCorry, N.K., Brennan, E., Donnelly, M., Murray, L.J. & Johnston, B.T. (2011). Psychological distress among family carers of oesophageal cancer survivors: the role of illness cognitions and coping. Psycho-Oncology, 20, 698-705.

Clarke, C., McCorry, N.K. & Dempster, M. (2011). The role of identity in adjustment among survivors of oesophageal cancer. Journal of Health Psychology, 16, 99-108.

Russell, M. Dempster, M. & Donnelly, M. (2011). Measuring health-related quality of life after stroke: A brief tool. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 6, 41-51.

Gibbons, C., Dempster, M. and Moutray, M. (2010). Stress, coping and satisfaction in nursing students. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67, 621-632.

Cupples, M., Tully, M., Dempster, M., Corrigan, M., McCall, D. & Downey, B. (2010). Cardiac rehabilitation uptake following myocardial infarction: cross-sectional study in primary care. British Journal of General Practice, 60, 431-435.

Dempster, M., Carney, R. & McClements, R. (2010). Response shift in the assessment of quality of life among people attending cardiac rehabilitation. British Journal of Health Psychology, 15, 307-319.

McCorry, N.K., Corrigan, M., Tully, M.A., Dempster, M., Downey, B. & Cupples, M.E. (2009). Perceptions of exercise among people who have not attended cardiac rehabilitation following myocardial infarction. Journal of Health Psychology, 14, 924-932.

McCorry, N.K., Dempster, M., Clarke, C. & Doyle, R. (2009). Adjusting to life after oesophagectomy: the experience of survivors and carers. Qualitative Health Research, 19, 1485-1494.

Hill, K., Higgins, A., Dempster, M. & McCarthy, A. (2009). Fathers’ views and understanding of their roles in families with a child with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Health Psychology, 14, 1268-1280.

Dorrian, A., Dempster, M. & Adair, P. (2009). Adjustment to inflammatory bowel disease: The relative influence of illness perceptions and coping. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, 15, 47-55.

Gibbons, C., Dempster, M. and Moutray, M. (2009). Index of sources of stress in nursing students: a confirmatory factor analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65, 1095-1102.

Gibbons, C., Dempster, M. and Moutray, M. (2009). Surveying nursing students on their sources of stress: A validation study. Nurse Education Today, 29, 867-872.

McCullough, N., Muldoon, O. & Dempster, M. (2009). Self-perception in overweight and obese children: A cross-sectional study. Child: Care, Health and Development, 35, 357-364.

Hanna, D., Davies, M. & Dempster, M. (2009). The role played by a range of psychological variables in nurses’ handwashing behaviour. Nursing Times, 105 (41), 18-19. Invited paper.

Hanna, D., Davies, M. & Dempster, M. (2009). Psychological processes underlying nurses’ handwashing behaviour. Journal of Infection Prevention, 10, 90-95.

Dempster, M. & McCorry, N.K. (2009). The role of previous experience and attitudes toward statistics in statistics assessment outcomes among undergraduate psychology students. Journal of Statistics Education, 17, 2.

Hanna, D. & Dempster, M. (2009). The effect of statistics anxiety on students’ predicted and actual test scores. Irish Journal of Psychology, 30, 201-210.

Ruggeri, K., Diaz, C., Kelley, K., Papousek, I., Dempster, M. & Hanna, D. (2009) International issues in education. Psychology Teaching Review, 14, 65-74.

Ruggeri, K., Dempster, M., Hanna, D. & Cleary, C. (2009) Experiences and expectations: the real reason nobody likes stats. Psychology Teaching Review, 14, 75-83.

Hanna, D., Shevlin, M. & Dempster, M. (2008). The structure of the Statistics Anxiety Rating Scale: A confirmatory factor analysis using UK psychology students. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 68-74.

Dempster, M., Carney, R. & McClements, R. (2008). Response shift in quality of life assessment during cardiac rehabilitation. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Behavioral Medicine Issue 19, 8-9.

Dempster, M. & Donnelly, M. (2008). Validity of the Perceived Health Competence Scale in a UK primary care setting. Psychology, Health & Medicine 13, 123-127.

Gibbons, C., Dempster, M. & Moutray, M. (2008). Stress and eustress in nursing students. Journal of Advanced Nursing 61, 282-290.

White, O., McCorry, N.K., Scott-Heyes, G., Dempster, M. & Manderson, J. (2008). Maternal appraisals of risk, coping and prenatal attachment among women hospitalised with pregnancy complications. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 26, 74-85.

Mulholland, C., Boyle, C., Shannon, C., Huda, U., Clarke, L., Meenagh, C. & Dempster, M. (2008). Exposure to the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland influences the clinical presentation of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 102, 278-282.

Gormley, G., Dempster, M. & Best, R. (2008). Right-left discrimination among medical students: Getting it right all of the time? British Medical Journal, 337, a2826.

Taylor, B.J., Dempster, M. & Donnelly, M. (2007) Grading gems: Appraising the quality of research about social work and social care. British Journal of Social Work 37, 335-354.

Taylor, B.J., Wylie, E., Dempster, M. & Donnelly, M. (2007). Systematically retrieving research – a case study evaluating seven databases. Research on Social Work Practice 17, 697-706.

Fitzsimons, D., Mullan, D., Wilson, J.S., Conway, B., Corcoran, B., Dempster, M., Gamble, J., Stewart, C., Rafferty, S., McMahon, M., McMahon, J., Mulholland, P., Stockdale, P., Chew, E., Hanna, L., Ireland, J., Ferguson, G. & Fogarty, D. (2007). The challenge of patients’ unmet palliative care needs in the final stages of chronic illness. Palliative Medicine 21, 313-322.

Downey, D.G., Martin, L., Dempster, M., Moore, J.E., Keoghan, M.T., Starcher, B., Edgar, J., Bilton, D. & Elborn, J.S. (2007). The relationship of clinical and inflammatory markers to outcome in stable patients with cystic fibrosis. Pediatric Pulmonology 42, 216-220.

Dempster, M., Black, A., McCorry, N. & Wilson, D. (2006). Appraisal and consequences of cadaver dissection. Medical Education Online 11: 16.

Spence, W., Mulholland, C., Lynch, G., McHugh, S., Dempster, M. & Shannon, C. (2006) Rates of childhood trauma in a sample of patients with schizophrenia as compared with a sample of patients with non-psychotic psychiatric diagnoses. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation 7, 7-22.

Dempster, M., Newell, G., Cowan, G & Marley, J. (2006). Facing up to binge drinking: Reducing binge drinking in adolescent males. British Dental Journal 201, 587-590.

Davies, M., Dempster, M. & Malone, A. (2006) Do people with diabetes who need to talk want to talk? Diabetic Medicine, 23, 917-919.

Malone, A., Dempster, M. & Davies, M. (2005) Providing psychological services for people with diabetes. Practical Diabetes International 22, 244-248.

Dempster, M., Newell, G. & Marley, J. (2005). Explaining binge drinking among adolescent males using the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Irish Journal of Psychology, 26, 17-24. Invited paper for a Special Issue on Health Psychology.

Kee, F., Sheehy, N., O’Hare, L., Bane, C., Bell, A., Dempster, M. & Fitzgerald, O. (2005). Rheumatologists judgments about the efficacy of anti-TNF therapy in two neighbouring regions. Rheumatology 44, 1407-1413.

Hurley, D.A., McDonough, S.M., Baxter, G.D., Dempster, M. & Moore, A.P. (2005) A descriptive study of the usage of spinal manipulative therapy techniques within a randomised clinical trial in acute low back pain. Manual Therapy 10, 61-67.

Hurley, D.A., McDonough, S.M., Dempster, M., Moore, A.P. & Baxter, G.D. (2004) Randomized controlled trial of interferential therapy and manipulative therapy for acute low back pain. Spine 29, 2207-2216.

Dempster, M., Donnelly, M. & O’Loughlin, C. (2004) The validity of the MacNew Quality of Life Questionnaire in heart disease. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2: 6.

Taylor, B.J., Dempster, M. & Donnelly, M. (2003) Hidden Gems: systematically searching electronic databases for research publications for social work and social care. British Journal of Social Work 33, 423-439.

Carney, R., Fitzsimons, D. & Dempster, M. (2002) Why people experiencing acute myocardial infarction delay seeking medical assistance. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 2, 237-242.

Dempster, M., Donnelly, M. & Fitzsimons, D. (2002) Generic, disease-specific and individualised approaches to measuring health-related quality of life among people with heart disease - a comparative analysis. Psychology and Health 17, 447-457.

Dempster, M. & Donnelly, M. (2002) Outcome measurement and service evaluation - a note on research design.  British Journal of Social Work 32, 375-378.

Dempster, M. & Donnelly, M. (2001) GP views about a home from hospital service.  Research, Policy and Planning 19, 37-38.

Dempster, M. (2001) Changes to basic life support guidelines – evidence-based practice? Resuscitation 51, 321.

Dempster, M. & Donnelly, M. (2001) A comparative analysis of the SF-12 and the SF-36 among ischaemic heart disease patients. Journal of Health Psychology 6, 707-712.

Cupples, M. & Dempster, M. (2001) Improving the quality of life for patients with angina pectoris: a team approach to disease management. Disease Management and Health Outcomes 9, 473-481.

Dempster, M. & Donnelly, M. (2000) Measuring the health-related quality of life of people with ischaemic heart disease. Heart 83, 641-644.

Dempster, M. & Donnelly, M. (2000) Selecting a measure of health-related quality of life. Social Work in Health Care 32, 45-56.

Dempster, M. & Donnelly, M. (2000) How well do elderly people complete individualised quality of life measures: an exploratory study. Quality of Life Research 9, 369-375.

Bradley, J., Dempster, M., Wallace, E. & Elborn, S. (1999) The adaptations of a quality of life questionnaire for routine use in clinical practice: the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire in Cystic Fibrosis. Quality of Life Research 8, 65-71.

Donnelly, M. & Dempster, M. (1999) A Home from Hospital service for older people. Ulster Medical Journal 68, 79-83.

Dempster, M., Bradley, J., Wallace, E. & McCoy, P. (1997) Measuring quality of life in cardiac rehabilitation: comparing the Short Form 36 and the Nottingham Health Profile. Coronary Health Care 1, 211-217.

Dempster, M. (1997) Selection for transformational leadership training?  Selection And Development Review  13, 8-12.