SCPHRP Has Moved!

Many of you may know that SCPHRP was funded for ten years until June 2018 by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Chief Scientist Office (CSO). After five years based within the Usher Institute, we are delighted to announce that SCPHRP will continue to operate as a research centre within The University of Edinburgh at the School of Health in Social Sciences. 

The structure of SCPHRP will change from 1st July.  Going forward, 
Dr Ruth Jepson will be the Director and Dr John McAteer will be the Deputy Director. Dr Yvonne LairdDr Larry DoiDr Jan Pringle, and Dr Glenna Nightingale will continue as Research Fellows. Jillian Manner and Kathleen Morrison will continue as Research Assistants and Audrey Buelo will continue her PhD studies with us.  

Our new address as of the 1st July is 2M7, in Doorway 6, Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG.

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Our Outdoors

A new citizen science project exploring how shared (public) outdoor spaces affect health and wellbeing. This project is supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC) who in the summer of 2017 selected the project as their citizen science project.

The project aims to

  • understand the impact shared (e.g. public) outdoor spaces have on the health and wellbeing of the public.
  • Investigate whether shared outdoor spaces affect people differently and if so, why and in what ways?
  • Identify the best methods for engaging members of the public in citizen science for public health.

The project has four phases: 1. Developing, validating and refining the questionnaire. 2. Piloting the questionnaire in Edinburgh and the Lothians. 3. Analysis, reporting and dissemination of questionnaire data. 4. Roll out of Our Outdoors across the UK.

Several methods of engagement have been used to collaborate with the public to learn about health and wellbeing in specific shared outdoor spaces. To find out more about these method please go to

The About Our Outdoors poster

Findings from Community Workshops

Our Outdoors at the Edinburgh International Science Festival

Science Bus

NEXT STEPS

Draft questionnaire: The information gathered from public engagement activities is being used to draft a questionnaire to measure people’s health and wellbeing in specific shared outdoor spaces. Validating and testing questionnaire: Once the questionnaire is complete citizen scientists will be engaged to conduct cognitive testing of the questionnaire items.

This will inform a final questionnaire. Questionnaire piloting and public engagement activities will take place in Edinburgh and the Lothians before being rolled out across the UK.

Please contact Kathleen.morrison@ed.ac.uk for further information.

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May Bulletin 2018

Hello and welcome to our May bulletin. Bringing you our usual mix of news, publications, project updates and more.

Cathy’s Relaxation Story

SCPHRPs Jane Hartley, Sam Bain and John McAteer have developed a support resource for kinship carers: ‘Cathy’s Relaxation Story‘. Kinship carers are family members (often grandparents or aunts and uncles) who take care of children when the birth-parents are no longer able to care for them due to circumstances such as ill-health, addiction, abuse or bereavement.
The comic tells the story of a kinship carer called Cathy and her grandson Jordan. Cathy feels extremely stressed out. She learns relaxation skills at her local kinship support group after which she practices regularly and then notices that her relationship with her grandson improves. Read more and download this free resource here.
University Press Release: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/2018/kinship-carers-comic-created-to-help-relieve-stress

Our Outdoors

Hannah Biggs and Laura Tirman are presenting a poster on SCPHRP’s Our Outdoors citizen science project at the 2nd International European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) Conference in Geneva on June 4th – 5th. The Our Outdoors poster presents the methods and findings of the project’s public engagement activities so far, and describes the next steps for the project. The ECSA Conference brings together universities, museums, non-profit organisations, and other citizen science groups from Europe and internationally to share ideas on engaging the public and conducting participatory research in a range of subjects. For more information about Our Outdoors or ECSA, contact Hannah Biggs at hannah.biggs@ed.ac.uk.

Forest School Project

This study aimed to find out girls experiences of the Nature Unlimited programme. SCPHRP’s Jillian Manner (the primary researcher) interviewed Forest School participants this past fall in order to understand their experiences in the program. The study involved one-to-one interviews with eight of the participants and focused on perceived changes to their wellbeing, resilience, and sense of community since starting the programme. Six themes emerged from the interviews; wellbeing and mental health, resilience, community and social interaction, learning, perception of forest school and favourite and least favourite aspects of the programme and suggested improvements. Most participants felt the programme had a positive effect on their mood, confidence, social skills and relationships and these changes went beyond the Forest School setting. The findings have been submitted to a journal for publication and should hopefully be available soon. If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Jillian Manner at jillian.manner@ed.ac.uk

The 10th Active Travel Scotland Conference

SCPHRP’s PhD student, Mary Allison, was in Perth on 30th May sharing some early findings from her realist evaluation of the Step Count Challenge.
The 10th Active Travel Scotland Conference attracted a crowd of 200 participants and included a variety of presentations on walking, cycling and active commuting. You can contact Mary at m.allison@ed.ac.uk

Inglis, G., Obonsawin, C., & Hunter, C. (2018). Cognitive appraisals mediate affective reactivity in affiliative extraversion. Frontiers in Psychology.
Pringle, J., Doi, L., Jindal-Snape, D., Jepson, R., McAteer, J. (2018). Adolescents and health-related behaviour: using a framework to develop interventions to support positive behaviours. Pilot and Feasibility Studies. 4:69.
Whitehead, R., Brown, L., Riches, E., Rennick, L., Armour, G., McAteer, J., Laird, Y., Reid. G. (2018. Rapid evidence review – Strengths and limitations of tobacco taxation and pricing strategies. NHS Health Scotland: http://www.healthscotland.scot/media/1829/rapid-evidence-review-strengths-and-limitations-of-tobacco-taxation-and-pricing-strategies.pdf
Riches, E., Whitehead, R., Rennick, L., Armour, G., McAteer, J., Laird, Y., Reid, G. (2018). What is the causal link between tobacco outlet density and smoking prevalence? NHS Health Scotland: http://www.healthscotland.scot/media/1831/what-is-the-causal-link-between-tobacco-outlet-density-and-smoking-prevalence.pdf
Laird, Y., McAteer, J., Whitehead, R., Brown, L., Reid, G. (2018). The economics of tobacco control: An overview of the 2016 US National Cancer Institute Tobacco Control Monograph. NHS Health Scotland: http://www.healthscotland.scot/media/1830/the-economics-of-tobacco-and-tobacco-control-an-overview-of-the-2016-us-national-cancer-institute-tobacco-control-monograph.pdf

And finally…

Thank you for taking the time to read our latest bulletin.
We’re always keen to hear from you too – so get in touch if you’d like to share your news, views and comments. In the meantime, it’s bye from all of us at SCPHRP, until next time.
You can always find out more about SCPHRP via our website www.SCPHRP.ac.uk and follow us on twitter @scphrp
Join our mailing list to keep up to date with all the latest info from SCPHRP. We will never share your personal information or send unsolicited emails.

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Latest News

SCPHRP Has Moved! (July 16, 2018)

Many of you may know that SCPHRP was funded for ten years until June 2018 by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Chief Scientist Office (CSO). After five years based within the Usher Institute, we are delighted to announce that SCPHRP will continue to operate as a research centre within The University of Edinburgh at the School of Health […]

Read More


Our Outdoors (June 26, 2018)

A new citizen science project exploring how shared (public) outdoor spaces affect health and wellbeing. This project is supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC) who in the summer of 2017 selected the project as their citizen science project. The project aims to understand the impact shared (e.g. public) outdoor spaces have on the health […]

Read More


May Bulletin 2018 (May 31, 2018)

Hello and welcome to our May bulletin. Bringing you our usual mix of news, publications, project updates and more. Cathy’s Relaxation Story SCPHRPs Jane Hartley, Sam Bain and John McAteer have developed a support resource for kinship carers: ‘Cathy’s Relaxation Story‘. Kinship carers are family members (often grandparents or aunts and uncles) who take care of children […]

Read More


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