Professional background

Deborah Christie is professor of paediatric and adolescent psychology and consultant clinical psychologist/clinical lead for paediatric and adolescent psychological services at UCLH, where she has worked since 1998. The service has an international reputation for its application of systemic psychological practices in the care of young people with chronic illness.

Professor Christie was awarded a Ph.D in neurobiology from UCL and was a Fulbright Scholar before joining the University of Oxford Department of experimental psychology as an MRC research fellow. She joined Great Ormond Street Hospital as a leukaemia research fellow prior to joining the department of psychological medicine as a clinical psychologist. 

Professor Christie has received a number of awards – the Diabetes Award in Adolescent Health and Society for Adolescent Medicine best practice award for managing obesity in 2001 and the award for outstanding scientific achievement in clinical health psychology in 2004. She and her team were awarded the Quality in Care Best initiative for young people with diabetes. She was the first non-North American to receive the Adele Hoffman visiting professorship in adolescent health and medicine. She was President of the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine (2018/19) and was awarded an honorary fellowship by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in 2017. She is currently editor in chief of Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Professor Christie has a passion for working with young people searching for ways to live with chronic illness. She is an international presenter and trainer in motivational and solution focused therapies and works with multidisciplinary teams to help them engage and communicate effectively with children, young people and families living with chronic illness and managing complexity. Professor Christie has published over 190 peer-reviewed papers and chapters and is co-editor of a bestselling book on psychosocial aspects of diabetes in children, adolescents and families.

Research interests

  • Psychological adjustment in chronic illness in adoelscence including diabetes, obesity, arthritis, chronic fatigue and chronic pain syndromes. 
  • Evaluation of psychologically-driven chronic illness management  
  • Neuropsychological outcomes in children and adolescent survivors of meningitis  
  • Quality of life measures in chronic illness.


Most recent publications:

  • Hanns, L., Radziszewska, A., Suffield, L., Josephs, F., Chaplin, H., Peckham, H., . . . Ioannou, Y. (2020). Anxiety associates with pain and disability but not increased measures of inflammation for adolescent patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). doi:10.1002/acr.24006
  • Casdagli, L., Fredman, G., Huckle, E., Mahony, E., & Christie, D. (2020). The contribution of peer trainers to the Tree of Life project for young people living with Type 1 Diabetes: Building community.. Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry, 1359104520952812. doi:10.1177/1359104520952812
  • Christie, D. (2020). Paediatric psychology services: Keeping the mind and body connected.. Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry, 25(3), 547-549. doi:10.1177/1359104520933060
  • Payne, L., Flannery, H., Kambakara Gedara, C., Daniilidi, X., Hitchcock, M., Lambert, D., Christie, D. (2020). Business as usual? Psychological support at a distance.. Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry, 25(3), 672-686. doi:10.1177/1359104520937378
  • Viner, R. M., Kinra, S., Christie, D., Cole, T. J., Costa, S., Croker, H., Wong, I. C. (2020). Improving the assessment and management of obesity in UK children and adolescents: the PROMISE research programme including a RCT. Programme Grants for Applied Research, 8(3), 1-264. doi:10.3310/pgfar08030
  • Holland, M., Dodgson, S., McLaughlin, P., Khair, K., & Christie, D. (2020). Project gym: promoting fitness enhances psychosocial functioning in young men with haemophilia. In haemophilia Vol. 26 (pp. 180). WILEY. 
  • Christie, D. (2020). Reaching the parts other journals can't reach (revisited).. Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry, 25(1), 3-4. doi:10.1177/1359104519892465
  • Bonell, C., Allen, E., Warren, E., McGowan, J., Bevilacqua, L., Jamal, F.,Viner, R. M. (2019). Modifying the secondary school environment to reduce bullying and aggression: the INCLUSIVE cluster RCT. Public Health Research, 7(18), 1-164. doi:10.3310/phr07180
  • Shevlin, M., Hyland, P., Elklit, A., Murphy, J., Murphy, S., Kearney, M., Christoferson, M. (2019). Social, Familial and Psychological Risk Factors for Endocrine, Nutritional and Metabolic Disorders in Childhood and Early Adulthood: a Birth Cohort Study Using the Danish Registry System. Current psychology, 38(5), 1297-1303. Doi:10.1007/s12144-017-9687-4
  • Neale, F. K., Christie, D., Hargreaves, D. S., & Segal, T. Y. (2020). Illness duration, mood and symptom impact in adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis?. Arch Dis Child, 105(9), 911-912. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2018-316720
  • Reed-Berendt, R., Shafran, R., Langdon, D., Christie, D., Hough, R., & Coughtrey, A. (2019). Experiences of Low Mood in Young People With Cancer: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, 1043454219844232. doi:10.1177/1043454219844232
  • O’Connell, C., Shafran, R., Camic, P. M., Bryon, M., & Christie, D. (2019). What factors influence healthcare professionals to refer children and families to paediatric psychology?. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. doi:10.1177/1359104519836701
  • Doyle, J., Hitchcock, M., & Christie, D. (2019). Quality improvement project aimed at integrating an adapted mindfulness-based stress reduction programme into a paediatric psychology service.. BMJ Open Qual, 8(3), e000514. doi:10.1136/bmjoq-2018-000514
  • Bonell, C., Allen, E., Warren, E., McGowan, J., Bevilacqua, L., Jamal, F., Viner, R. M. (2018). Effects of the Learning Together intervention on bullying and aggression in English secondary schools (INCLUSIVE): a cluster randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31782-3
  • Coughtrey, A. E., Shafran, R., Su, M. T., Allcott-Watson, H., Christie, D., & Hough, R. (2018). Health Professionals' Perspectives on the Nature of Distress and Low Mood in Young People with Cancer.. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. doi:10.1089/jayao.2018.0082
  • Creese H, Viner R, Hope S, Christie D? (2018) Obesity and cognition during childhood: Findings from the Millennium Cohort Study?
  • Christie, D. (2018). Global Adolescent Health Equity: A Brave New World.. J Adolesc Health, 63(3), 368-371. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2018.06.017
  • Hanns, L., Cordingley, L., Galloway, J., Norton, S., Carvalho, L. A., Christie, D., Ioannou, Y. (2018). Depressive symptoms, pain and disability for adolescent patients with JIA. Results from the Childhood Arthritis Prospective Study. Rheumatology.
  • Panca, M., Viner, R. M., White, B., Pandya, T., Melo, H., Adamo, M.,  Morris, S. (2018). Cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery in adolescents with severe obesity in the UK.. Clinical Obesity. doi:10.1111/cob.12232
  • Coughtrey, A., Millington, A., Bennett, S., Christie, D., Hough, R., Su, M., Shafran, R. (2018). The Effectiveness of Psychosocial Interventions for Psychological Outcomes in Paediatric Oncology: A Systematic Review.. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.09.022
  • Panca, M., Christie, D., Cole, T. J., Costa, S., Gregson, J., Holt, R.,Morris, S. (2018). Cost-effectiveness of a community-delivered multicomponent intervention compared with enhanced standard care of obese adolescents: cost-utility analysis alongside a randomised controlled trial (the HELP trial).. BMJ open, 8(2), e018640. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018640
  • McGowan J, Bonell C, (2018) Allen E, Warren E, Aswathikutty A, Bevilacqua L, LegViner R., The relationship between school-level factors and adolescent student well-being: cross-sectional findings from the inclusive trial?
  • Bonell C, Allen E, Warren E, McGowan J, Bevilacqua L, LeGood R, Wiggins M, Viner R (2018) A multi-component school environment intervention reduces bullying and risky behaviour and improves mental health and quality of life: findings from the inclusive cluster randomized controlled trial?
  • Doyle, J., Colville, S., Brown, P., & Christie, D. (2018). How adolescents decide on bariatric surgery: an interpretative phenomenological analysis.. Clin Obes, 8(2), 114-121. doi:10.1111/cob.12236
  • Flannery, H., Glew, S., Brewster, A., & Christie, D. (2017). Measuring Outcomes of Psychological Well-Being within Paediatric Health Settings.. Healthcare (Basel), 6(1). doi:10.3390/healthcare6010001
  • Caes, L., Orchard, A., & Christie, D. (2017). Connecting the Mind-Body Split: Understanding the Relationship between Symptoms and Emotional Well-Being in Chronic Pain and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. HEALTHCARE, 5(4), 12 pages. doi:10.3390/healthcare5040093
  • Hanns L, Suffield L, Josephs F, Chaplin H, Radziszewska A, Carvalho LA, Sen D, Ioannou Y: Adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis experience lower levels of life event stress and trait anxiety than healthy adolescents?
  • White, B., Hsia, Y., Kinra, S., Saxena, S., Christie, D., Viner, R. M., & Wong, I. (2017). Survey of antiobesity drug prescribing for obese children and young people in UK primary care. BMJ Paediatrics Open. doi:10.1136/bmjpo-2017-000104
  • The Use of Medication by Adolescents and Young Adults (2017). Journal of Adolescent Health, 61(3), 396-399. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.06.003
  • Christie, D., Rashid, H., El-Bashir, H., Sweeney, F., Shore, T., Booy, R., & Viner, R. M. (2017). Impact of meningitis on intelligence and development: A systematic review and meta-analysis.. PloS one, 12(8), e0175024. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0175024
  • White, B., Doyle, J., Matschull, K., Adamo, M., Christie, D., Nicholls, D.,  Viner, R. M. (2017). Outcomes of 50 patients entering an adolescent bariatric surgery programme. Archives of disease in childhood. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2017-312670