Skip to content Exit mobile menu

Dr Silvia Riva

Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr Silvia Riva

About Research

Tel: 020 8240 1039


Silvia Riva is an Associate Professor of Psychology at St. Mary's University and a HCPC-registered clinical psychologist.

In 2019, Silvia joined St. Mary's as Senior Lecturer from the University of Wolverhampton where she held the position of Marie Curie Research Fellow (H2020-MSCA-IF-2015) on a project related to decision making, personality and stress.

Silvia obtained a Bachelor degree in Psychology in 2003 and a Master Degree in Clinical Psychology in 2005 from the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Milan (Italy). She obtained her PhD (Doctor Europaeus) from the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Milan in 2012 investigating the use of heuristics and reasoning processes in medical choices.

Academic Responsibility

Careers/Employability Lead (CEL)

Athena Swan Working Group Member


Research profile

Silvia's research interests concern decision processes under different conditions (stress, risk, uncertainty), as well as in several contexts (especially health care). In terms of theory, she is interested in how people make good decisions to improve their health-related quality of life and to cope with the challenges they face in their environment (e.g., diseases, stress, risks). On a practical level, she is interested in studying environmental or educational interventions that may promote a healthier and safer environment.

Furthermore, Silvia is a Registered Clinical Psychologist with the HCPC and a Certified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. Her approach is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as well as Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT).

Research responsibility

Biopsychosocial Health & Wellbeing Cluster Lead, Centre for Applied Social and Health Sciences.

Selected publications

Caminiti, C., Bryce, J., Riva, S., et al. (2022). Cultural adaptation of the Italian version of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Event (PRO-CTCAE®). Tumori Journal, 03008916221099558

Riva, S., et al. (2021). Cross-sectional study to develop and describe psychometric characteristics of a patient-reported instrument (PROFFIT) for measuring financial toxicity of cancer within a public healthcare system. BMJ open, 11(10), e049128.

Riva, S. et al. (2020). Long-term neuropsychological sequelae, emotional wellbeing and quality of life in patients with acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Haematologica, 105(7), 1957–1962.

Riva, S., et al. (2020) A qualitative analysis and development of a conceptual model assessing financial toxicity in cancer patients accessing the universal healthcare system. Support Care Cancer, 29(6):3219-3233.

Riva, S. (2019). Cognitive tips for changing mindsets: improving policies to protect health and environment. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 73(11):985-987.

Turner, K., Cutica, I., Riva, S. et al., (2019). Level of empowerment and decision-making style of women with epilepsy in childbirth age. Epilepsy & Behavior, 93:32-37.

Riva et al., (2018). Optimistic bias in physical activity: When exercise flows into addiction. International Journal of High Risk Behaviors and Addiction, 7(3):e67697

Riva et al., (2016). The choice dilemma in chronic hematological conditions: why choosing is not only a medical issue? A psycho-cognitive perspective. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology, 99, 134-140

View Dr Riva's profile on Google Scholar

Teaching areas

  • Research Methods and Statistics (SPSS)
  • Social Brain
  • Cognitive Psychology (Development, Personality)
  • Psychology of Education

Research interests

  • Decision making
  • Health outcomes
  • Disease burden
  • Health-related quality of life (HrQoL)

Research Projects

PhD supervision and research collaboration

Silvia is interested in supervising PhD research projects in any of these or related areas and is also happy to have research assistants work on her projects. Please contact her by emailing if you would like to discuss projects further.

Current and past students

Mr Alkesh Patel: NIHR Applied Research Collaboration-Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Programme 2021

Topic: Financial toxicity in the UK

Ms Natasha Biscoe: Research assistant

Topic: COVID 19

Charlotte Foster-Brown

Teaching support

Zeina Bushnaq (external examiner)

Topic: Psychological and cognitive factors in ulcerative-colitis surgery (PsychD Examination)

Professional/institutional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol), British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Registered Clinical Psychologist (DClinPsy), the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • AdvanceHE Aurora Member

Media enquiries

For media enquiries, please contact our Press Office Team by emailing