October Bulletin 2018


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

SCPHRP is on the move again! We have moved offices for the second in six months and hope we can now settle for a while. Our address is

9 Hope Park Square
Edinburgh, EH8 9NW

It is a lovely building, just off Meadow Lane, and next to the Meadows. We hope that many of you will come and visit us there.

We had another busy month, with several of us attending and presenting at International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) conference in London. From there, Ruth Jepson, Yvonne Laird and Bessie Lehman went to a ISPAH post satellite symposium on ‘Creating active and liveable environments – Enhancing the interface between research, policy and practice’. International speakers included Professor Billie Giles-CortiProfessor Rodrigo Reis, and Professor Jim Sallis

The event was organised by Dr Ruth Hunter from Queen’s University Belfast and we are very grateful to her for inviting us and for all her hospitality. Ruth Jepson presented some early findings of our qualitative work (undertaken by Yvonne Laird and Jillian Manner) around how we need to rethink the practice, policy, research cycle. They also visited the inspirational Connswater Greenway project – see section under ‘October events’

We also wrapped up our project with the Junction –  a safe, friendly, confidential centre which offers lots of health-related services, education and support for young people in Leith and North East Edinburgh aged 12-21. We explored the impact of their work on the young people who attend.

If you would like to find out more about SPHRP, please get in touch with us or visit our website.


With very best wishes,

Ruth Jepson (ruth.jepson@ed.ac.uk) and John McAteer (john.mcateer@ed.ac.uk)


NEW Publications


Inglis, G, Daryll, A, Doi, L, Laird, Y, Malden, S, Marryat, L, McAteer, J, Pringle, J & Frank, J 2018, ‘Credibility of subgroup analyses by socioeconomic status in public health intervention evaluations: An underappreciated problem?’ SSM – population health. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmph.2018.09.010


Turner K, Jepson R, MacDonald B, Kelly P, Biggs H, Baker G. Developing and refining a programme theory for understanding how twenty mile per hour speed limits impact health. Journal of Transport and Health 2018. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214140517307302


Project Updates

Is 20 Plenty for Health? Evaluation of 20mph speed limits in Edinburgh and Belfast

Our NIHR funded study is examining the impact of 20mph speed limits on safety and public health in Edinburgh and Belfast. Rates of traffic accidents and injuries before and after the limits were introduced will be measured to look at whether road safety has been enhanced. Any change in transport use will also be scrutinised by examining the take-up of cycling and walking. Residents will also be asked their opinions of the limits The research team, led by the University of Edinburgh and Ruth Jepson of SCPHRP, hopes the project will inform other cities planning to introduce lower speed limits. It is the largest of its kind in the UK and will run until 2020. You can find out more about it, plus a video by Ruth Jepson on our SCPHRP websiteWe had our 3rd Study Steering Committee in October 2018 and the Committee agreed that there was enough evidence of effect for us to proceed with our economic evaluation.  The economic evaluation is being led by Dr Neil Craig from NHS Health Scotland and James Woodcock from The University of Cambridge.

Conference presentations and posters

Dr Paul Kelly from PAHRC gave a presentation at ISPAH on ‘What are the preliminary findings on the impact of city-wide 20mph/30kph legislation in Edinburgh and Belfast?  (slides available0Ruth Jepson  gave an e-poster presentation on  ‘Is 20 plenty? Evaluation of the 20mph/30kph speed limit policies in Edinburgh and Belfast’Mr Kieran Turner from PAHRC had an e-poster presentation on

Evaluation of the 20mph/30kph speed limit policies in Edinburgh and Belfast: Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of 20mph speed limit schemes: A qualitative exploration


Dr Ruth Hunter from Queen’s University Belfast wrote an article for the Conversation entitled, London is proposing 20mph speed limits – here’s the evidence on their effect on city lifeTurner K, Jepson R, MacDonald B, Kelly P, Biggs H, Baker G. Developing and refining a programme theory for understanding how twenty mile per hour speed limits impact health. Journal of Transport and Health 2018. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214140517307302





We had a number of poster abstracts accepted for two upcoming conferences this year, see below for more information.


7th International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) Congress
London, 15th-17th October 2018

Ruth Jepson, Audrey Buelo and Stephen Malden attended the 2018 ISPAH conference to present three successful abstracts (one about 20mph, see above) and one oral presentation from SCPHRP’s work.

Street Fit evaluation

Stephen Malden, Ruth Jepson, Yvonne Laird, John McAteer (oral presentation). An evaluation of a physical activity and peer-support intervention for people experiencing homelessness: Street Fit ScotlandMore information on Street Fit Scotland can be found here https://www.streetfitscotland.org/

Stand Up For Health

Ruth Jepson, Kathleen Morrison, Laura Tirman and Hannah Biggs – e-poster or   ‘Stand Up for Health – Using 6SQuID to Develop a Sedentary Behaviour Intervention in Call Centres’ Watch our video here http://www.scphrp.ac.uk/stand-up-for-health/

Step Count Challenge

Mary Allison, Ruth Jepson, Ailsa Niven‘Developing a realist programme theory for the Paths for All Step Count Challenge’

Mary’s PhD is a Realist Evaluation and Synthesis of the Step Count Challenge.  The first stage of this work has been to generate a ‘realist programme theory’ that can be tested and refined.  The poster sets out how the programme theory was generated and what the 7 candidate programme theories are.


October Events

Here’s an update on some of the recent events we’ve attended this month.

Visit to the Connswater Greenway, Belfast

Whilst some of us were in Belfast, Ruth Hunter organised a visit to the Connswater Greenway in Belfast. Many famous people lived in the area including C.S. Lewis and Van Morrison (Ruth J was very excited to actually see ‘the Hollow’ from the song Brown Eyed Girl).The Connswater Community Greenway has created a 9km linear park through east Belfast, creating vibrant, attractive, safe and accessible parkland for leisure, recreation, community events and activities.

The project

The aim of the project is to improve the quality of life for the people of east Belfast. These include;  40,000 residents, pupils and students attending the 23 schools and colleges, visitors and tourists to east Belfast and those who chose to work and invest in east Belfast.


The UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health NI led a multidisciplinary team to win a prestigious Medical Research Council award to evaluate the Connswater Community Greenway (CCG) and its impacts on physical activity and the healthy of the local population in East Belfast.What was unique about the bid to the National Prevention Research Initiative was that it brought together a partnership of at least four government departments (including Department for Social Development, Department for Regional Development, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, and Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety NI), the Public Health Agency and academics from a range of disciplines to produce a proposal to evaluate the £32M CCG project which will improve the built environment and quality of life in East Belfast.This natural experiment will contribute significantly to the evidence base and has created much excitement internationally in the public health research community.

For those of you interested in the findings of the research, you can find research reports here.

Next to the ‘wardrobe’ from C.S.Lewis ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Left to right: Deepti Adlakha, Yvonne Laird, Michele Bryans (Connswater Community Greenway Trust Manager), Bessie Lehman, Billie Giles-Corti, Jim Sallis, Ruth Jepson and Ruth Hunter


Funding News

The NIHR Public Health Research Programme are accepting stage 1 applications for this primary research topic:18/162 Tobacco cessation, control and harm reduction interventions.

There will be two deadlines for stage 1 applications:

– The first call will close on 12 March 2019 at 1pm.

– The second call will open on 13 March and close on 30 July 2019 at 1pm.

For further information visit:


Goodbye Bessie!

We’d like to wish farewell to Bessie Lehman, from LaTrobe University, Melbourne who completed her three month visit with us this month. She worked with us on our citizen Science Project , Our Outdoors and did a number of interviews with people involved with CHANGES Community Health Project – CHANGES is about providing self help, and support people to self manage.

She also had the opportunity to meet with two international experts in physical activity and the built environment (see photo) whilst she was in Belfast.

Jim Sallis  Distinguished Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at University of California, San Diego. He also is Director of Active Living ResearchBillie Giles-Corti  –  Distinguished Professor and ECP Director, Urban Futures, University of Melbourne.


Jim, Bessie and Billie in Belfast.

Midwives wanted to take part in a Survey!

Discussing alcohol with pregnant women

A project called MAMA – Midwives’ Assessment of expectant Mothers’ Alcohol use, aims to explore the implementation of the 2016 CMO drinking guidelines and is being undertaken by researcher at the University of Edinburgh and University of Hull. The survey is aimed to midwives working in the UK and the research team keen to get as many responses as possible from all four nations.

The survey link can be found at https://edinburgh.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3jwtQ2kbjC9Tug5 and takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. Participants have the opportunity to enter a prize draw for one of three £100 John Lewis vouchers.

This study has been approved by the Nursing Studies Ethics Research Panel at University of Edinburgh.

For more information, please contact Lisa Scholin (lisa.scholin@ed.ac.uk)

The Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research & Policy (SCPHRP) vision is to develop Scotland as a leader in public-health intervention research for equitable health improvement through catalysing strong researcher/research-user collaborations that ensure timely, robust, policy relevant research that is created with – and used by – key decision-makers.

If you have any news including job vacancies, projects, conferences that you would like to include in the next bulletin, please contact
John McAteer (john.mcateer@ed.ac.uk) by 21st November