Dr Sarah Gunn

Lecturer in Clinical Psychology


I am a registered and practicing clinical psychologist with the majority of my experience in neuropsychological settings and physical health psychology. As an academic my research focuses on:

1) Cognition, behaviour and emotion in ageing and neurodegenerative illness, including Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer's disease.

2) The psychological impact of physical health conditions, including diabetes, neurological conditions and other long-term health difficulties.

3) Stressors and burden on healthcare staff in various contexts such as psychological and residential care.


In terms of research activity, I am pursuing research in the following areas with collaborators from interdisciplinary backgrounds:

1) Cognitive, behavioural and emotional difficulties in people diagnosed with Huntington's disease, related therapeutic approaches, and stressors and dynamics in HD-affected families.
2) Uses of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for people affected by neurological conditions.
3) Formal and informal caregiver burden in neurological settings, and accessibility of related services.
4) Changes in cognition in typical and pathological ageing (e.g., Alzheimer's disease).
5) The impact of self-compassion on wellbeing in long-term illness, e.g. diabetes.



Example papers from my areas of interest are listed below. For a full list, please see my Google Scholar or OrcID profiles.

Huntington's disease:

  • Maltby, J., Ovaska-Stafford, N., & Gunn, S. (2021). The structure of mental health symptoms in Huntington's disease: Comparisons with healthy populations. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 43(7), 737-752
  • Gunn, S., Maltby, J., & Dale, M. (2020). Assessing mental health difficulties among people with Huntington's disease: Does informant presence make a difference? Journal of Neuropsychology and Clinical Neurosciences, 32(3), 244-51.
  • Simpson, J., Dale, M., Theed, R., Gunn, S., Zarotti, N., & Eccles, F. (2019). Validity of irritability in Huntington's disease: A scoping review. Cortex, 120, 353-74

Acquired brain injury:

  • Gunn, S., & Burgess, G. H. (2020). Factors predicting rehabilitation outcomes after severe acquired brain injury in trauma, stroke and anoxia populations: A cohort study. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, e-pub, 1-32.
  • Gunn, S., Schouwenaars, K., & Badwan, D. (2018). Correlation between neurobehavioural assessment and functional magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of prolonged disorders of consciousness. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 28(8), 1311-18.
  • Gunn, S., Burgess, G. H., & Maltby, J. (2018). A factor analysis of Functional Independence and Functional Assessment Measure scores among focal and diffuse brain injury patients: The importance of bi-factor models. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 99(9), 1805-10.

Effects of long-term illness:

  • Robertson, N., Gunn, S., & Piper, R. (2021). The experience of self-conscious emotions in inflammatory bowel disease: A thematic analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings.
  • Mayor, R., Gunn, S., Reuber, M., & Simpson, J. (2021). Experiences of stigma in people with epilepsy: A meta-synthesis of qualitative evidence. Seizure.

Staff wellbeing:

  • Chamdal, V., Gunn, S., & Robertson, N. (in preparation). Conceptualisation and prevalence of work-related stress in genetic counsellors: A systematic review.
  • Malik, S., Gunn, S., & Robertson, N. (2021). The impact of patient suicide on doctors and nurses: A critical interpretive meta-synthesis. Archives of Suicide Research, e-pub.


I am interested in supervising research relating to:

1) Psychological impacts of neurodegenerative and other neurological conditions (cognition, behaviour and emotion).
2) Effects of neurological conditions on families and caregivers.
3) How people manage long-term illness, including the impact of shame and stigma.
4) Therapeutic interventions in any of the above contexts.


I teach on the Leicester Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, including jointly coordinating modules on physical health and neuropsychology. I also offer projects relating to my research interests for iMSc, MRes and intercalated medical students.

Press and media

I am happy to be contacted regarding the following broad areas:

1) Neurodegenerative disease and its psychological effects (cognition, behaviour and emotion), as well as how families are affected
2) Staff wellbeing in healthcare settings
3) Effects of long-term illness on psychological wellbeing

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