Professor Chris HattonProfessor of Public Health and Disability
I am interested in a wide range of research projects concerning people with intellectual (learning) disabilities. Areas of current research interest include examining and working to reduce the health and social inequalities experienced by people with intellectual disabilities and evaluating innovations in social policy and practice such as self-directed support and short breaks for families with a disabled child.
Other long-standing research interests include staffing issues; ethnicity and religion; psychosocial interventions; personal budgets; and outcome measurement.
My current research largely focuses on the health inequalities experienced by people with intellectual (learning) disabilities. I am currently Co-Director of Improving Health and Lives, the Public Health England sponsored Learning Disabilities Public Health Observatory. This is a collaboration between Public Health England, Lancaster University and the National Development Team for Inclusion. Within the Observatory's work programme, projects led by Lancaster University include:
- Annual collation and analysis of national (English) statistics concerning people with intellectual disabilities.
- Systematic reveiws of evidence relating to the health of people with intellectual disabilities.
- Secondary analysis of large-scale datasets to describe the health status and social determinants of health for people with intellectual disabilities.
- A national survey of NHS Trusts concerning reasonable adjustments for people with intellectual disabilities, including the maintenance of an online, searchable database of examples of reasonable adjustments.
- Thematic analysis of text responses in returns to the Autism nd Health/Social Care Self-Assessment Frameworks.
Other current research includes:
- A multi-site randomised controlled trial of behavioural activation, a psychosocial intervention for people with intellectual disabilities and depression (funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme; with Glasgow University as lead and Bangor and Warwick Universities).
- The development of practice-based evidence concerning the experiences of people using personal budgets in England and their family members (with In Control).
- The experiences of people with intellectual disabilities using care farms (ESRC PhD; Alex Kaley).
My long-standing research interests have largely concerned policy-relevant research with people with intellectual (learning) disabilities, their families, and staff working with them. With a number of University, health and social care, and third sector partners, much of this research has been commissioned by government to evaluate existing practices and innovations in social policy, such as a variety of residential service arrangements, person-centred planning and short breaks for families with a disabled child.
A current major focus of work is Improving Health and Lives, a Public Health England specliast public health observatory focused on people with intellectual (learning) disabilities. The Observatory, a partnership between Public Health England, Lancaster University and the National Development Team for Inclusion, aims to gain the best possible evidence relating to the public health of people with intellectual disabilities in England, analyse this evidence and share it in a variety of acessible formats, and help a variety of groups to use this evidence to improve policy and practice.
I have also, with In Control, been involved in the development and analysis of practice-based evaluation tools (principally the Personalised Outcomes Evaluation Tool, or POET) to monitor the impact of personal budget on the lives of people using them and their families.
I have no current major teaching responsibilities. I teach on issues relating to the public health of people with intellectual disabilities to medical students and to undergraduate social work students.
I am currently Professor of Psychology, Health and Social Care at Lancaster University. I am also Co-Director of Improving Health and Lives, the Public Health England Specialist Learning Disabilities Public Health Observatory, and Regional Co-Director of the NIHR Research Design Service North West.
I moved to Lancaster in 2000. I previously completed my PhD and worked as a researcher at the Hester Adrian Research Centre, University of Manchester from 1989 to 2000. From 2006 to 2009 I was Head of the Division of Health Research, and until 2004 I was also Research Director of the Lancaster University Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology.
PhD Supervision Interests
Chris is interested in supervising a wide range of research projects concerning people withintellectual disabilities. Areas of current research interest include:evaluating innovations in social policy and practice such as self-directed support; staffing issues; ethnicity, religion and culture in the lives of people withintellectual disabilities and their families; the impact of social context and social inequalities on the physical and mental health of people with intellectual disabilities; and outcome measurement in services for people with intellectual disabilities.
NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast
01/10/2019 → 30/09/2024
BeatIt: Behavioural activation for depression in adults with severe intellectual disabilities. A feasibility randomised controlled study of BeatIt versus treatment as usual
01/09/2018 → 31/08/2020
Public Health England
01/01/2017 → …
How accessible is prescription information?
01/10/2016 → 30/09/2017
NIHR (External organisation)
Membership of committee
- Centre for Disability Research CeDR
- Centre for Health Inequalities Research