Centre for Population Health and Public Health Research

Some examples of current or recent research and projects conducted by CPHPHR staff

Dr Catherine Best,  Statistician/ health researcher, works on the Determining the Impact of Smoking Point of Sale Legislation Among Youth (DISPLAY) Study. Her research interests are mainly methodological, focusing on data management and statistical methods in population and public health research.  In addition to the DISPLAY study, recent work includes describing the epidemiology and clinical outcomes of psychiatric/self-harm calls to the Scottish Ambulance Service and evaluation of the effectiveness of assistive technology in supporting people with acquired brain injury in their activities of daily living.  She has also published a number of systematic literature reviews.

Contact: Email: catherine.best2@stir.ac.uk Tel: 01786 466108 Twitter: @cathbest

Dawn Cameron, Lecturer in Health Sciences. Her work focuses on the diabetes, in particular self-monitoring of blood glucose and the prevention of diabetes related complications. She has used routinely collected health care data to identify the frequency of testing and trends across population groups.  She has also explored patient behaviours around self-monitoring of blood glucose, factors affecting these behaviours and the implications on self-management. Other related areas of interest include the implementation of tobacco prevention interventions in maternal health. 

Contact: email dawn.cameron@stir.ac.uk Tel: 01786 466349

Dr Jenni Connelly, member of the Physiology, Exercise and Nutrition Research Group, is a Lecturer in Physical Activity for Health. Her research interests and current projects focus around physical activity promotion in hard to reach populations. Jenni has experience in promoting physical activity in people with disabilities, older adults and people with chronic health conditions, specifically Diabetes. She is interested in the validity of measurement techniques used to measure physical activity and sedentary behaviour in different populations. Jenni is interested in the role technology plays in health promotion specifically increasing physical activity and the management of chronic disease. Previous projects she has been involved in are the Well!Bingo project, an intervention to promote physical activity in ladies who play bingo and DAVE, diabetes and virtual exercise, a website aimed to increase physical activity in people with type 2 diabetes. 

Contact: email jenni.connelly1@stir.ac.uk ,Tel 01786 466399 , Twitter: @DrJenniCo

Claire Eades, Lecturer in Health Sciences co-leads the Population Health and Epidemiology of Common Conditions group within CPHPHR. Her work focuses on the prevention of type 2 diabetes, particularly in high risk groups such as women with gestational diabetes and people with prediabetes. She has focused on the epidemiology of these two conditions and rates of progression to type 2 diabetes using routinely collected health care data.  She has also explored patient perceptions of these conditions with the aim of informing the development of brief lifestyle interventions to delay or prevent progression to type diabetes. Other related areas of interest include public involvement in research and attendance at diabetes appointments.

Contact: email c.e.eades@stir.ac.uk Tel: 01786 466282

Dr Josie Evans, Reader in Public Health co-leads the Population Health and Epidemiology of Common Conditions group within CPHPHR. Her work focuses on the prevention of diabetes. She works with colleagues on a range of projects for the development of interventions for diabetes prevention. These include investigating knowledge and risk perceptions among people at high risk of type 2 diabetes, including women who have had gestational diabetes, people diagnosed with impaired glucose regulation and the relatives of people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. She is the principal investigator on the Well!Bingo project. This participatory project involved working with women in a Bingo club to develop a physical activity intervention. The feasibility of running PA sessions in a Bingo club has now been established and we are seeking funds to roll out this project to more Bingo clubs in Scotland.

Contact: email  josie.evans@stir.ac.uk Tel: 01786 466352    

Professor Sally Haw, Professor of Public Health leads the Designing and Evaluating Complex Public Health Interventions and Policies group within CPHPHR. Her work focuses on the evaluation of public health policy (in particular tobacco control) and the development and the evaluation of complex interventions.  She is also interested in the development and application of ecological models of public health to tackle problems associated with vulnerable young adults and homelessness and child neglect.  Current projects include a 6 year study  Determining the Impact of Smoking Point of sale Legislation Among Youth (DISPLAY) study (NIHR), an Evaluation of the Impact of Tobacco Control Mass Media Campaigns on Quitting Behaviour (CSO), Smoking Prevalence and Smoking-related Health Outcomes and Social and Emotional Education and Development (SEED): a Stratified, Cluster Randomised Trial of a Multi-component Primary School Intervention that follows the Pupils’ Transition into Secondary School (NIHR). Recently completed projects include the reduction in antenatal and early life exposure to second hand smoke among Chinese children. (MRC PHINDS), The Use of Cardiac Rehabilitation Services to Aid the Recovery of Colorectal Cancer Patients: A pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) with embedded feasibility study (NIHR).

Contact: email s.j.haw@stir.ac.uk   Tel: 01786 466381  Mob: 07545 427005

Dr Tessa Parkes is an interdisciplinary researcher with a specialism in mental health and addictions and a track record of creating positive impact on policy and practice. For 20 years her research activity has centred on enhancing the user experience of health and social care services with a clear commitment to social justice, health equity and advocacy for marginalised populations. It is inherently applied with a focus on the evaluation of health-related and policy-based interventions. Her methodological expertise lies in qualitative, mixed methods and intersectional approaches and she has considerable experience of undertaking participatory research with marginalised groups. Because of her passion for bridging gaps between policy, practice and research, she now plays a part in shaping Scotland’s evolving drug policy and practice landscape as a member of the Partnership for Action on Drugs in Scotland Ministerial Group. Recent/current projects include supervising an impact PhD-by-publication comparing drug policy and drug harms in Greece and Scotland and supporting the Scottish Government with a scoping exercise on drugs research in Scotland. She also undertakes educational research focused on the doctoral experience.

Dr Tony Robertson, Lecturer in Public Health co-leads the Social and Economic Determinants of Health and Health Inequalities group within CPHPHR. His work focuses on trying to better understand the mechanisms linking our socioeconomic circumstances (e.g. education, employment, housing) and our health across the life course to help reduce health inequalities. This includes investigating the biological pathways between socioeconomic circumstances and health; investigating the prevalence, incidence and predictive power of (novel and traditional) chronic disease risk markers; working with community organisations and grassroots activist groups trying to improve population health and reduce health inequalities; and a growing interest in social prescribing for mental health. For more information on specific projects please visit: http://biologyofinequality.com/

Contact:  email tony.robertson@stir.ac.uk   Tel: 01786 466360   Twitter: @tonyrobertson82

Dr Gemma Ryde is a Post-Doctoral Impact Research Fellow in Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health and a member of the Physiology, Exercise and Nutrition Research Group at the University. Her research interests are in the area of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the workplace context. Her work to date has focused on the measurement, prevalence and influences (correlates) of physical activity and sedentary lifestyles, and the development and delivery of interventions to modify these behaviours. She also has an interest in physical activity policy and guidelines and has been involved with include the evaluation of the Daily Mile, a school based physical activity initiative, IPAWs (Incentivised Physical Activity in Workplaces), investigating workplaces perceptions of physical activity in paid time and, BOSs (Bums Off Seats), developing novel interventions to reduce sedentary behaviour in the workplace.

Contact: email gemma.ryde@stir.ac.uk ,Tel 01786 466384 , Twitter: @RydeGemma

Professor Andrew Watterson co-leads the Social and Economic Determinants of Health and Health Inequalities group and a cross-Faculty and cross-University Occupational and Environmental Health Research group that is nested within the Centre. His current work focuses on health impact assessments across a range of sectors and public engagement and participatory action research with communities and workers. Other major interests include occupational and environmental disease recognition and the science, policy/ civil society interface. This has included recent work for the WHO on asbestos costs; for the Scottish Government on the links between food, environment and health; for NGOs on firefighter fatalities at fires, and cancer charities on environmental links with breast cancer.  Sectoral interests cover energy (unconventional gas extraction), construction, agriculture and fisheries, and electronics. He is presently working with colleagues in Biological and Environmental Sciences on a funded human habits surveys around Scotland’s nuclear sites and with Canadian colleagues on the occupational health of health service workers.  

Contact: email aew1@stir.ac.uk. Tel 01786 466283 Twitter: @aew1aew1

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