Dr Aiveen Higgins

Consultant Clinical Psychologist

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Dr Aiveen Higgins, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, has provided a psychological service to families and staff in NNU, Antrim Area Hospital since 2017. She also leads the Paediatric and Neonatal Clinical Psychology Service in NHSCT which provides clinical psychology input into neonatology, complex physical health care needs, paediatric diabetes and epilepsy. Aiveen previously worked in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children for fifteen years, providing a dedicated service to the children’s cancer unit as well as working within general paediatrics. Between 2014 and 2017 she led the psychology service in Occupational Health in BHSCT, working with staff to promote their own wellbeing and resilience. She also held a joint clinical/academic post as Assistant Course Director for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast between 2008 and 2017 and supervised research in the areas of fatherhood, childhood chronic illness and family adjustment.

Aiveen has clinical and research interests in promoting infant wellbeing, helping all family members manage the psychological impact of hospitalisation, illness and loss, and promotion of staff wellbeing and resilience.

Within the Paediatric and Neonatal Clinical Psychology Service, there are also opportunities for research within the clinical areas of children with complex physical health care needs and their families (Dr Ruth Davis, Specialist Clinical Psychologist) and paediatric epilepsy and diabetes (Dr Maeve Cushnahan, Specialist Clinical Psychologist).

Featured Publications

Besani, C., McCusker, C., Higgins, A., & McCarthy, A. (2018). A family based intervention to promote adjustment in siblings of children with cancer: a pilot study. Psycho-oncology.

Agnew, F., Higgins, A., Casey, M., & McCarthy, A. (2017). The experience of fatherhood following childhood cancer survival. Journal of health psychology, 1359105317717598.

Black, P., Kavanagh, M., Carroll, E. & Higgins, A. (2017). NHS staff experiences of participating in an 8-week mindfulness programme: A service evaluation of a pilot programme. Clinical Psychology Forum, Special edition entitled “Service Innovations and Evaluations”.

Gower, C., Higgins, A., Doherty, N. & McCormick, D. (2016). Understanding the experiences of fathers of children with congenital heart disease: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Health Psychology (electronic format).

Hill, K., Higgins, A., Dempster, M. & McCarthy, A. (2009). Fathers’ views and understanding of their roles in families with a child with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Journal of Health Psychology, 14(8), 1268-1280.


Successfully secured funding for a two-year research fellow (Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children) and responsible for leading the research project and supervising the research fellow (2011 to 2013)

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