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

  • McSweeney, L., Breckons, M., Fattakhova, G., Oluboyede, Y., Vale, L., Ternent, L., Balp, M.M., Doward, L., Brass, C.A., Beyer, F. and Sanyal, A., 2020. Health-related quality of life and patient-reported outcome measures in NASH-related cirrhosis. JHEP Reports, 2(3), p.100099.
  • Breckons, M., Shen, J., Bunga, J., Vale, L. and Durham, J., 2018. DEEP study: indirect and out-of-pocket costs of persistent orofacial pain. Journal of dental research, 97(11), pp.1200-1206.
  • Breckons, M., Bissett, S.M., Exley, C., Araújo-Soares, V. and Durham, J., 2017. Care pathways in persistent orofacial pain: qualitative evidence from the DEEP study. JDR Clinical & Translational Research, 2(1), pp.48-57.
  • Foster C, Grimmett C, May CM, Ewings S, Myall M, Hulme C, Smith PW, Powers C, Calman L, Armes J, Breckons M, Corner J, Fenlon D, Batehup L, Lennan E, May CR, Morris C, Neylon A, Ream E, Turner L, Yardley L, Richardson A. A web-based intervention (RESTORE) to support self-management of cancer-related fatigue following primary cancer treatment: a multi-centre proof of concept randomised controlled trial. Supportive Care in Cancer 2016, 24(6), 2445-2453.
  • Heasman, P.A., Macpherson, L.E., Haining, S.A. and Breckons, M., 2015. Clinical research in primary dental care. British Dental Journal, 219(4), pp.159-163.

Get in touch

Twitter: @MattBreckons
Email: [email protected]