The Team

The PEGASUS intervention was initially devised in 2011 by Alex Clarke and Diana Harcourt, who between them have extensive experience of clinical practice and applied research with people affected by appearance-related issues and undergoing appearance-altering surgery. Libby Baker and Esther Hansen, from the Royal Free Hospital, provided valuable input to shape this intervention, and research has since been conducted in collaboration with a large group of researchers and stakeholders:

Dr Alex Clarke

Dr Alex Clarke is internationally renowned for her work around the psychological issues associated with appearance-related concerns and interventions, particularly amongst people with a visible difference (disfigurement) of any kind. She was consultant clinical psychologist within the plastic and reconstructive surgery department at the Royal Free Hospital, London from 2005 to 2014. She is a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE), where she has collaborated with the CAR team on numerous projects over the past 15 years.

In 2014 she published ‘CBT for Appearance Anxiety: Psychosocial Interventions for Anxiety due to Visible Difference’ (published by Wiley Blackwell) with members of the Appearance Research Collaboration (a collaboration funded by The Healing Foundation) based on the findings of the world’s largest study to date of the factors and processes associated with adjustment to visible difference. She also co-authored ‘Overcoming Body Image Disorders including Body Dysmorphic Disorder’, with David Veale and Rob Willson (published by Constable and Robinson).

Prof Diana Harcourt

Professor Diana Harcourt is Director of the Centre for Appearance Research at UWE, Bristol and Professor of Appearance and Health Psychology. She has over 20 years’ experience of research into the psychosocial aspects of appearance, particularly those associated with cancer treatment, burns and other appearance-altering conditions. 

Her PhD explored women’s experiences of deciding whether or not to undergo breast reconstruction and she has continued to research this area, including how to support women to make the decision that is best for them. She has published widely and co-edited ‘The Oxford Handbook of The Psychology of Appearance’ (published by Oxford University Press in 2012). She is on the editorial team of the international journals, Body Image and Scars, Burns & Healing.

Research into the acceptability, feasibility and effectiveness of PEGASUS is ongoing and has been conducted in collaboration with :

  • Dr Elisabeth Baker, Royal Free Hospital, London 
  • Dr Jenny Barke, Centre for Appearance Research, UWE, Bristol 
  • Dr Catrin Griffiths, Centre for Appearance Research, UWE, Bristol 
  • Dr Esther Hansen, Royal Free Hospital, London 
  • Dr Nicole Paraskeva, Centre for Appearance Research, UWE, Bristol 
  • Professor Jane Powell, University of the West of England, Bristol 
  • Dr Pippa Tollow, Centre for Appearance Research, UWE, Bristol
  • Dr Paul White, University of the West of England, Bristol

And with the valuable advice and guidance of The PEGASUS Advisory Group :

  • Mrs Nicola Carson, patient representative 
  • Dr Fiona Kennedy, Research Fellow, University of Leeds. 
  • Jennifer Finnegan-John, Evidence and Impact manager, Breast Cancer Now, London
  • Mr Ash Mosahebi, lead Breast Reconstruction Surgeon, Royal Free Hospital, London 
  • Mrs Sarah Sawyer, Patient Representative 
  • Professor Nicola Walsh‚Äč, Professor of Knowledge Mobilisation and Musculoskeletal Health, University of the West of England, Bristol (Chair of the PEGASUS trial steering committee)

We are also very grateful for the collaboration of all staff at the following NHS trusts, who have assisted in research exploring the acceptability, feasibility and effectivness of PEGASUS:

  • Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff.
  • Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Hampshire.
  • North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol.
  • Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust, Treliske.
  • Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London.
  • Royal United Hospitals NHS Trust, Bath.