Image of elderly couple doing exercise

Enhancing Self Care

What do we mean by Enhancing Self-Care?

Self-care is what people do to care for themselves, their children, other family members and their communities. In relation to health care, it is all that people do to maintain health, prevent illness, seek treatment, manage symptoms and side effects, accomplish recovery and rehabilitation and manage the impact of chronic illness and/or disability.

What do we do?

Our aim is to support self-care and self-management in a variety of settings using a range of person-centred research approaches.  Our qualitative, quantitative and mixed method research across the lifespan focuses on:

  • interventions that aim to support self-care and self-management for individuals.
  • ways in which health and social care professionals can support individuals to self-care or self-manage.

In this way, our research feeds into the wider University research theme of health and behaviour.

Additional to these programmes of work, staff collaborate within the Faculty, across the University and with a range of external partners.

Who are we?

A range of staff from the Faculty work within the Enhancing Self-care research theme:

Research students

We have a number of PhD and Clinical Doctorate students currently working within the enhancing self-care research theme.


Jenny's Diary

Supporting conversations about dementia with people who have  a learning disability

Life through a Lens

Learning disability and dementia


Treatment of prolapse with self-care pessary.


Implementation and evidence-based pelvic floor muscle training intervention for women with pelvic prolapse.

Promoting smoking cessation during pregnancy

This study investigates the feasibility and likelihood of success of a narrative and image-based intervention for smoking cessation in pregnant women. The intervention, informed by theories of health behaviour change, factors influencing smoking behaviour in pregnancy and stakeholder input, aims to alter women’s perceptions of risk, social norms, outcomes and self-efficacy using targeted behaviour change techniques. It embeds these techniques in a narrative story, images of fetus and tailored supportive responses, which are delivered to women through a series of text-messages. The study investigates the feasibility of evaluating this intervention in a randomised controlled trial.

Talking health and housing

Funded by Innovate UK and in collaboration with Age Concern Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University, Talking Mats Ltd and Wheatley Housing Group Limited, this study aims to conduct a feasibility study to co-design, implement, evaluate and deliver a visual, digital care management application for those who find communicating their health needs challenging.

Impact of minimum unit pricing of alcohol on ambulance call-outs in Scotland

This CSO funded study is the first to determine whether increasing the price of cheap alcohol affects ambulance call-outs. Ambulance call-outs due to alcohol cost up to £52 million annually in Scotland. Under the Scottish Government ‘Minimum Unit Pricing’ policy, the cheapest alcoholic drinks became more expensive from 1st May 2018. Research suggests that this will reduce drinking, especially in heavier drinkers from deprived backgrounds, but the knock-on effect on ambulance call-outs is unknown. Using detailed data from the Scottish Ambulance Service, we are examining if the Minimum Pricing Unit has an impact on alcohol-related call-outs, including in different groups (varying by sex/age/wealth).

The findings will help the Scottish Government, who must decide in 2024 if enough evidence exists of benefits of minimum pricing to continue it beyond that date, and will support the Scottish Ambulance service with service planning.

Evaluation of family life story project

A life story can give a sense of identity and help to share memories, experiences and significant events. The compilation of a life story can be an empowering process leading to the individual feeling valued, listened to and most importantly give them ‘a voice’.  Many parents of people with Down’s syndrome (who previously did not enjoy such longevity) worry about what the future holds for their family member and what might happen when they can no longer provide care. Having a life story can not only ease challenging transitions and help the person come to terms with change, but can also help to continue important routines as well as being crucial for support services to ‘know the person’.

Funded by the RS MacDonald Charitable Trust and using pre- and post- testing, the University of Stirling are evaluating this project which supports families of people with Down's syndrome in Scotland to develop a life story in a format that is appropriate for each individual.

Reducing traffic-related trauma in Malawi

This MRC award: 'Reducing traffic-related trauma - A community-based prevention and first-response programme intervention for Malawi and beyond' enables the development of an interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral community of researchers, partners and community stakeholders. The long-term aim is to reduce road traffic related trauma in Malawi and across sub-Saharan Africa. The initial focus has been on building partnerships and co-constructing a programme intervention to improve community prevention and first-response within local communities highly affected by road traffic related trauma.