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About me

Damien is Professor of Health Studies and Research Director (College of Liberal Arts & Sciences), visiting professor at the University of New South Wales (Sydney). Initially studying medicine, he transferred to the social sciences, and is a qualitative research expert and psychotherapist. He previously worked in the Health Experiences Research Group (HERG) at the University of Oxford. There, he developed research that fleshed out for the first time what recovery from depression actually entailed for patients, thus moving the field beyond the current rhetoric advocating a general 'recovery approach,' by providing signposts as to what that practice might be about. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) subsequently adopted Ridge & Ziebland's (2006) research on recovery extensively in their guidance on the treatment and management of depression in adults in the UK (2010). More recently, he has explored using patient narratives as a form of treatment (Ridge, 2012), and has looked at the very social turn in contemporary depression narratives: specifically how depression is shaped and constructed by social experience (Ridge & Ziebland, 2011). Damien is committed to putting patient evidence at the heart of health considerations. With a h-index of 26 and an i10-index of 43, Damien has published one book and over 80 peer-reviewed academic journal papers/book chapters. His key areas of study are depression, mental health, gender and mental health, chronic health conditions (e.g. chronic fatigue), HIV and sexuality. His work currently is/has been funded by the MRC/ESRC, NIHR, Department of Health, NHS, NIHR, Wellcome Trust, Make My Day Better (MMDB), Quintin Hogg Trust (QHT) and various other charities.


  • Chronic health conditions, e.g. HIV, Chronic Fatigue
  • Masculinities and health
  • Patient centred care, experience and mental health recovery
  • Sexual health
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Complex evaluations of health and social services
  • Talking therapies

Recent funding

£10,000 for ‘Sleep disturbance, mental health, wellbeing and educational impact in UK university students’,  TRIF, Portsmouth University, Stores, R., Pilkington, K., Strevens, C., Van Laar, D., Meyer, D., & Ridge, D. 2019.

£427,347 for ‘The Health Innovation Ecosystem’. Chaussalet, T., Bell, J., Ridge, D., Peters, D. & Polley, M. QHT, 2018-2021.

£2.5 million for ‘ SUrvivors' Rehabilitation Evaluation after CANcer (SURECAN), NIHR PGfAR, with Queen Mary, University of London leading, 2018-2022.

£75,000 for 'The impact of GP burnout and resilience on patient care'. Funded by the Quintin Hogg Trust (QHT). Ridge, D. & Peters, D. 2017-2019.

£26,000 for Understanding the support needs of people with chronic fatigue syndrome/ myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME): A qualitative meta-synthesis’ (NIHR, Lewith, Pilkington, Ridge, Chew-Graham), 2017-2018.

£90,000 for Is Green Exercise an effective tool for combatting stress in children?’. Wood, C., Clow, A., & Ridge, DT. FST UoW PhD scholarship, 4 years. 2016-2020.

£17,600 for Before we forget: The legacy of the HIV epidemic.’ Ridge, DT. CARA Charity, 2016. 

 £40,889 for ‘Social Prescribing Network for the UK and Ireland.’ Polley, M. (PI), Ridge, DT., Pilkington, K., Herbert, N. Wellcome Trust Seed Award, 2015-2016. 

£40,739 for ‘Graded Exercise Therapy guided Self-help Treatment (GETSET) for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: a nested qualitative investigation.’ Ridge, D. (PI), Cheshire, A., and White, P. (Chief Investigator). NIHR, 2014 -2015.

£32,000 for ‘Electroconvulsive therapy: a qualitative study of the experiences of patients and their carers, as part of healthtalk.org.' Ridge, D.T. NIHR funding, 2014.

£140,000 for ‘Proposal to evaluate the role of a health facilitator to support diabetic and pre-diabetic patients in making healthy lifestyle changes’. Polley, M., Ridge, D. & Pilkington, K. Funded by MMDB Charity, 2013-2015.

£142,000 for 'Men's stress and distress clinic'. Funded by Nelson's. Ridge, D. & Peters, D 2012-2014.

£221,004 for 'HIV and Later Life (HALL)'. Funded by the Medical Research Council/Economic and Social Research Council's Life Long Health and Wellbeing scheme. Rosenfeld, D., Ridge, D., Anderson, J., and Catalan, J. 2011-2013

£95,554 for 'How women experience herbs and herbal practice for distress: Implications' Funded by the Make My Day Better Charity'. Green, J., Ridge, D., Whitehouse, J. 2011-2015

£55,480 for 'Evaluation of the Early Intervention Back Pain Service'. Funding from the Kensington & Chelsea PCT, Damien Ridge & Marie Polley, 2010-2011

£70,000 for 'Masculinity and identifying strategies for establishing positive mental wellbeing in later life', University of Westminster PhD Scholarship, Ridge, Cartwright & Knight, 2008-2011

£8,500 for 'Consultancy for Schizophrenia and patient experience', DIPEx, University of Oxford, 2009-2010

£40,000 for 'Evaluating of an osteopathy/acupuncture service for musculoskeletal pain at the Victoria Medical Centre.' Barcapel Foundation, Ridge & Polley, 2009-2010

£70,000 for 'Men, mindfulness & wellbeing', PhD scholarship (Institute of Wellbeing & Health), Ridge, D., Cartwright, T., & Edginton, T.2009-2012

£70,000 for 'BME carers and mental health' (Dept. of Health), 2007-2008


For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.