School of Health Sciences and Social Work


Photo of Dr Sarah Brien

Dr Sarah Brien

  • Role Title: Principal Research Fellow and RDS SC Portsmouth site lead
  • Address: St Michael's Building (Room 1.18), White Swan Road Portsmouth PO1 2DT
  • Telephone: 023 9284 4439
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Health Sciences and Social Work
  • Faculty: Facuilty of Sience


I have a PhD on the neurochemistry and psychology of eating disorders.

Since completing my PhD, I have conducted research within the Department of Primary Care, University of Southampton. My research has focused on the role of complementary medicine in the management of long-term conditions. I have been awarded two fellowships within this area, including an NIHR postdoctoral fellowship (2004-2008). I have been chief investigator on 18 studies and obtained funding of just under £1million as lead applicant from a range of funding bodies, including NIHR. I have 41 publications, most as lead or final author. I am also an experienced PhD and MSc supervisor (University of Southampton). I also undertake consultancy work in research design, and in the field of herbal and nutritional medicine in the self-management of long term conditions.

In my current role at University of Portsmouth, I am the site lead for NIHR Research Design Service South Central (RDS SC). I also provide advice in qualitative and mixed methods methodology as well as generic research advice which is informed by research experience; I have expertise in designing and running qualitative studies, clinical trials, mixed methods and questionnaire surveys. I am also the lead advisor for NIHR fellowship applications in the RDS SC.


Current project: NIHR School for Primary Care Research funded study exploring psychological and behavioural determinants of quality of life impairment in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. This study will inform future intervention studies aimed to improve quality of life in this patient group.

Interests: self-management of long term conditions (especially arthritis and COPD); herbal medicine; homeopathy; nutritional medicine; placebo; end of life care



Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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