Dr Matt Breckons

Research Fellow in Qualitative Research

Dr Matt Breckons is a Research Fellow in Qualitative Research (50% FTE) in the Enabling Methodologies theme of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria (NENC).

He is also based (50% FTE) in the Health Economics Group within the Newcastle University Population Health Sciences Institute.


Matt is an experienced qualitative researcher with a varied background in a number of methods. He has led qualitative work in a number of topic areas including; dentistry, cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and children’s health services.

He has also conducted health economics work (economic evaluation and examination of indirect costs) in studies alongside qualitative work using interview and focus group methods.

Much of Matt’s current work focuses on the use of applied qualitative methods, for example in the development of a Patient Report Outcome Measures (PROMs) or preference elicitation methods such as Time Trade Off (TTO), Standard Gamble (SG) and Discrete Choice Experiments (DCE).

In his ARC role, Matt is committed to supporting the development and conduct of high quality qualitative evaluation in research in the North East and North Cumbria. He is particularly interested in developing and applying rapid qualitative methods to answer research questions.

Matt has been involved in teaching qualitative methods for a number of years at the university, contributing to MSc Public health/Health Service Research courses and delivering postgraduate courses in NVivo across faculties. He has supervised several PhD students.

Matt joined Newcastle University in 2012, he has previously worked as a researcher in the Macmillan Survivorship Research Group at the University of Southampton, and at Plymouth University where he worked as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate.

Areas of interest

Matt is interested in, and can help you with:

  • Qualitative research design; ‘stand-alone’ projects or as part of mixed/multi-methods research or nested studies within clinical trials.
  • Use of qualitative methods (e.g. interviews and focus groups) in Patient and Participant Involvement (PPI) work.
  • Survey design.
  • Qualitative work to inform Preference Elicitation methods such as Time Trade off, Standard Gamble or Discrete Choice Experiments.
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measurement (PROM) development.

 Recent Publications

  • Brocklehurst P, Hoare Z, Woods C, Williams L, Brand A, Shen J, Breckons M, Ashley J, Jenkins A, Gough L, Preshaw P, Burton C, Shepherd K, Bhattarai N. Dental therapists compared with general dental practitioners for undertaking check-ups in low-risk patients: pilot RCT with realist evaluation. Health Services and Delivery Research 2021, 9(3).
  • Sharma S, Breckons M, Brönnimann Lambelet B, Chung JW, List T, Lobbezoo F, Nixdorf DR, Oyarzo JF, Peck C, Tsukiyama Y, Ohrbach R. Challenges in the Clinical Implementation of a Biopsychosocial Model for Assessment and Management of Orofacial Pain. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation 2020, 47(1), 87-100.
  • Flynn D, Moloney E, Bhattarai N, Scott J, Breckons M, Avery L, Moy N. COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. Health Policy and Technology 2020, (ePub ahead of Print).
  • Cullen I, Shaban F, Ali O, Breckons M, Chilonga K, Wapalila D, Suleilman J, Elinisa M, Woodburn B, Walker R, Horgan L. Day case laparoscopic cholecystectomy at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Tanzania. Surgical Endoscopy 2020, (ePub ahead of Print).
  • McSweeney L, Breckons M, Fattakhova G, Oluboyede Y, Vale L, Ternent L, Balp MM, Doward L, Brass CA, Beyer F, Sanyal A, Anstee QM. Health-Related Quality of Life and Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in NASH-related Cirrhosis. JHEP Reports 2020, 2(3), 100099.
  • Pickard R, Goulao B, Carnell S, Shen J, Maclennan G, Norrie J, Breckons M, Vale L, Whybrow P, Rapley T, Forbes R, Currer S, Forrest M, Wilkinson J, McColl E, Andrich D, Barclay S, Cook J, Mundy A, N’Dow J, Payne S, Watkin N. Open urethroplasty versus endoscopic urethrotomy for recurrent urethral stricture in men: The open rct. Health Technology Assessment 2020, 24(61), 1-110.
  • Lewis EG, Breckons M, Lee RP, Dotchin C, Walker R. Rationing care by frailty during the COVID-19 pandemic. Age and Ageing 2020, (ePub ahead of Print).
  • Goulao B, Carnell S, Shen J, MacLennan G, Norrie J, Cook J, McColl E, Breckons M, Vale L, Whybrow P, Rapley T, Forbes R, Currer S, Forrest M, Wilkinson J, Andrich D, Barclay S, Mundy A, N’Dow J, Payne S, Watkin N, Pickard R. Surgical Treatment for Recurrent Bulbar Urethral Stricture: A Randomised Open-label Superiority Trial of Open Urethroplasty Versus Endoscopic Urethrotomy (the OPEN Trial). European Urology 2020, 78(4), 572-580.
  • Lynch E, McGovern R, Elzerbi C, Breckons M, Deluca P, Drummond C, Alam MF, Boniface S, Coulton S, Gilvarry E, McArdle P, Patton R, Russell I, Strang J, Kaner E. Adolescent perspectives about their participation in alcohol intervention research in emergency care: A qualitative exploration using ethical principles as an analytical framework. PLoS One 2019, 14(6).
  • Shen J, Hill S, Mott D, Breckons M, Vale L, Pickard R. Conducting a Time Trade-Off Study Alongside a Clinical Trial: A Case Study and Recommendations. PharmacoEconomics – Open 2019, 3(1), 5-20.
  • Potthoff S, Presseau J, Sniehotta FF, Breckons M, Rylance A, Avery L. Exploring the role of competing demands and routines during the implementation of a self-management tool for type 2 diabetes: a theory-based qualitative interview study. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2019, 19(1), 23.
  • Shen J, Breckons M, Vale L, Pickard R, OPEN Trial Investigators The. Using Time Trade-Off Methods to Elicit Short-Term Utilities Associated with Treatments for Bulbar Urethral Stricture. PharmacoEconomics – Open 2019, 3, 551–558.
  • Breckons M, Shen J, Vale L, Durham J. DEEP Study: Indirect and out-of-pocket costs of Persistent Orofacial Pain. Journal of Dental Research 2018, 97(11), 1200-1206.
  • Patterson JM, Exley C, McColl E, Breckons M, Deary V. Feasibility and acceptability of combining cognitive behavioural therapy techniques with swallowing therapy in head and neck cancer dysphagia. BMC Cancer 2018, 18, 1.
  • Breckons M, Bissett S, Exley C, Araujo-Soares V, Durham J. Care Pathways in Persistent Orofacial Pain: Qualitative Evidence from the DEEP Study. Journal of Dental Research Clinical and Translational Research 2017, 2(1), 48-57.

Get in touch

Twitter: @MattBreckons
Email: Matthew.Breckons@newcastle.ac.uk