SCPHRP Bulletin April 2016

Take 5 Minutes to read about recent developments at the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research & Policy (SCPHRP).


care logo FINALDevelopment of an intervention for parents/carers with teenage children, Thursday 26th May, 9.30am-1.30pm, COSLA Conference Centre

This event – a partnership between SCPHRP and the Robertson Trust – presents a piece of work conducted by Jane Hartley and John McAteer to develop an intervention for parents/carers with teenage children. The five-week intervention has been developed for kinship carers in the first instance, with a view to expanding its use for other groups. The event is primarily for third sector groups, and policy makers/decision makers who may be interested in taking the intervention forward in terms of implementation and evaluation. Please visit our Eventbrite page to register (

  • How qualitative (or interpretive or critical) is qualitative synthesis and what we can do about this?

SCPHRP will be hosting a public lecture on 22nd June between 3pm – 5pm (venue in Edinburgh TBC) by George Noblitt who developed the meta synthesis approach for qualitative research in the 1980’s. George has been invited to Scotland to input into a NIHR funded project to develop meta-ethnography guidelines (eMERGe). Stirling University are leading the grant and Ruth Jepson from SCPHRP is a co-investigator. More information will be posted shortly.


GGTWENTWOSCPHRP’s Daryll Archibald has had an abstract accepted to present the findings of his work investigating the health and well-being benefits of attending a Green Gym programme for older people at the World Congress of Active Ageing in Melbourne, Australia this coming June and has been awarded an Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics Travel Grant to attend the conference. Daryll and TCV are currently working on an application to the Big Lottery Fund to increase the scope of the Green Gym project. Well done Daryll! Read more about the Green Gym in the Spring magazine here..



SCPHRP awardsSCPHRP Development Awards

We are currently accepting applications for a new funding scheme for third sector and policy/practice Working Group members. This is part of our on-going commitment to enhance the capacity of the Scottish public health workforce to contribute to, and utilise research, via appropriate career development opportunities. Applicants can seek funding for a number of career development activities, including:

  • Attendance at a relevant conference, including registration, travel and accommodation costs.
  • Attendance at a relevant seminar/workshop, including registration, travel and accommodation costs.
  • Further education opportunities, including relevant modules/courses.
  • Travel to meet with a key figure in a related field, where such a meeting is likely to benefit your work.

Applications will be accepted throughout the year, until all available monies (£5,000 per working group) have been allocated. To register as a member of any of the working groups, please visit: and contact the relevant Working Group Fellow for further information.

Mark Hazelwood from the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care was succesful in applying for a SCPHRP development grant to attend the forthcoming meeting of the International Working Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement (IWG), in Dunblane, 6-11th November. Congratulations Mark.


SCPHRP Spring magazine 2016Our Spring magazine is now on the website here.. Read about COLLABORATING WITH ACADEMICS: An Evidence for Success supplementary guide from Patty Lozano-Casal, Evaluation Support Scotland on Page 9, EVERYDAY LIFE AND OLDER PEOPLE’S WELL-BEING in local town centres in Edinburgh from Luca Brunelli on Page 12 and much more. If you would like to contribute to future magazines, please get in touch with Sam Bain at 

  • Frank, J. (2016). World view: Origins of the obesity pandemic can be analysed. Nature, 532, p149. 
  • Evans, J.M., Ryde, G., Jepson, R., Gray, C., Shepherd, A., Mackison, D., Ireland, A.V., McMurdo, M.E., Williams, B. (2016). Accessing and engaging women from socio-economically disadvantaged areas: a participatory approach to the design of a public health intervention for delivery in a Bingo club, BMC Public Health, 16. Full article accessible here:
  • Best, C., Haseen, F., van der Sluijs, W., Ozakinci, G., Currie, D., Eadie, D., Stead, M., Mackintosh, A.M., Pearce, J., Tisch, C., MacGregor, A., Amos, A., Frank, J., Haw, S. (2016). Relationship between e-cigarette point of sale recall and e-cigarette use in secondary school children: a cross-sectional study, 16. Full article accessible here:

SCPHRP’s 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 would like to join our mailing list – go to


How qualitative (or interpretive or critical) is qualitative synthesis and what we can do about this?

Thanks to everyone who attended the seminar on ‘How qualitative (or interpretive or critical) is qualitative synthesis’, it was a huge success.



And you can watch ‘SCPHRP meets George’ here



George W. Noblit is the Joseph R. Neikirk Distinguished Professor of Sociology of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He, with Dwight Hare, developed meta-ethnography. He had occasionally written more about it and has consulted on several large qualitative synthesis projects. He has a forthcoming article on the meta-ethnography of autoethnographies as well as a book in process, The cultural construction of identity: Metaethnographies and theorizing. In truth, however, he more a practicing qualitative researcher whose work has won several awards. He specializes in the study of racialization and class formation from a decidedly critical lens. He is the editor/author of 18 books.

His most recent book, Is Education, equity and economy: Crafting a new intersection for Springer. He edits The Urban Review and two book series. Most recently he is the founding editor of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education which he hopes will not deter Scottish separatists from attending his presentation.


Trauma Conference 2015: Austerity, Poverty and Psychological Trauma

Thursday 28 May 2015, University of Stirling, Stirling

Stirling Campus spring confbanner

The concept of exposure to a traumatic event(s) is now recognised as a contributing factor to the development of a variety of mental health issues. Research supports that major risk factors for mental health issues are poverty, poor education, unemployment, social isolation and adverse life experiences. Living within an environment of deprivation and poverty can increase the exposure and therefore vulnerability to psychological trauma through exposure to traumatic experiences.

To address the treatment and support needs of survivors of trauma within our services requires heightened awareness of the concept, and consequences of ‘Trauma’ across the lifespan.

This conference brings together researchers, clinicians and community action volunteers to share knowledge, insight and experience that address the direct impact on individuals, families and communities exposed to austerity and its consequences. Additionally it will provide a forum for discussion on the future direction of psychological trauma-informed care in our society.

SCPHRP will be running a workshop at the conference under the Public Health theme entitled ‘Generating evidence in public health: A case-study of austerity & health’. For more information about the conference and to register please visit the conference website: Please note registration closes on 14th May 2015.


Open Space on Health Inequalities in Scotland: Emerging Risks and Opportunities for Change


For more information and to register

An open space to discuss what you think health inequalities in Scotland will look like in the next decade and beyond, particularly related to emerging risk factors, health/wellbeing outcomes and potential solutions given the current (and emerging) social and political landscape.

Summary of the event:
This free, one-day Open Space event organised by members of the Adult Life/Working Age Working Group at the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research & Policy (SCPHRP) aims to bring together people from across academia, healthcare, policy and the non-profit/voluntary sector working in Scotland to help identify emerging inequalities in the nation’s health and discuss realistic, yet creative, approaches to addressing these emerging risks. This is not a lecture, seminar or workshop, it’s an Open Space. Essentially, we provide the space, the structure and the sandwiches; you bring the burning questions and the ideas. There are no audience members, just participants.

This event aims to:
• Generate new ideas to help tackle health inequalities in Scotland
• Start to generate new networks who can help research/implement change around these emerging issues/solutions
• Document these ideas to share amongst the group

Following the event, we aim to:
• Produce a short briefing for policymakers and funders explaining where the group thinks health inequalities research should consider focusing in the next decade (in the context of Scotland’s new constitutional powers), and why
• Produce a short report for interested parties about the outcomes from the day
• Produce an academic article considering health inequalities research in the next decade in Scotland
• Organise future meetings/events on specific topics that emerge from the discussions on the day

10:00-10:30 Registration (tea/coffee available)
10:30-10:45 Welcome and introduction to the day (Tony Robertson, SCPHRP)
10:45-12:15 Marketplace of ideas
12:15-12:30 Coffee break
12:30-13:15 Break-out session 1
13:15-14:15 Lunch
14:15-15:00 Break-out session 2
15:00-15:15 Coffee break
15:15-16:00 Break-out session 3
16:00-16:30 Closing

For more information about Open Space and to register


Richard Tremblay – Early Childhood Origins of Violent Behaviour: Implications for Preventive Interventions

Richard E. Tremblay is professor of paediatrics, psychiatry and psychology at the Université de Montréal and professor of child development at the University College Dublin, Ireland; known throughout the world for his innovative research on socialization and the prevention of violence in children. He has published widely in scientific journals, books and websites. Named as one of Canada’s top five researchers by ‘Time’ magazine and featured in ‘Science’.


Professor Clyde Hertzman ’€“ Early Child Development: A Powerful Equalizer

ABSTRACT: Professor Clyde Hertzman is a social epidemiologist with a distinguished scientific career, who has devoted the last 15 years to both study and action on arguably the most important determinant of lifelong health and function: early life.  He has published many papers demonstrating the close links between early life experiences, especially the social environment around and within the family, and the achievement of full human potential across socio-economic groups in modern society. Furthermore, he has consistently expounded the view that early life is, of all the determinants of health, by far the most amenable to policies and programs to reduce socio-economic inequalities in health, in any reasonable timeframe. Proven pre-primary child development programs can ’€œlevel the playing field of life’€ for a birth cohort within just a few years of initiation.

Over the last several years, Prof. Hertzman has established and directed the Human Early Learning Partnership at UBC in Vancouver, an applied research and knowledge transfer/exchange unit, funded from public sources.  It is dedicated to the population-level measurement, and prompt community feedback, of novel indicators of child developmental health ’€“ especially the Early Development Instrument (EDI), a twenty-minute fully validated questionnaire that assesses ’€œreadiness to learn,’€ which is now completed by kindergarten teachers in every British Columbia school every few years.  [This instrument has been clearly demonstrated to predict primary school achievement, and in turn ’€œlife success,’€ which correlates highly to lifelong health and function ’€“ it is therefore a sensitive indicator of social inequalities in health at the community level.]

The EDI results from all British Columbia’€™s far-flung communities are extensively analysed by HELP, using in particular data depiction methods accessible to lay persons. These data are then fed back promptly to local communities, including school boards, parents and teachers.  Part of the analysis allows these  takeholders to judge how their local children entering school that year are doing in developmental terms, compared to both previous birth cohorts in that setting, and same-aged cohorts of children in socio-economically matched settings across the province. Similar programs of population-wide measurement utilizing the EDI are in place in parts of Australia, and are being piloted in several other countries.

A key benefit to participating communities is the complete separation of these measurements from the contentious issue of school performance per se. Because these measures are taken when indergartners (typically five years of age in Canada) are only a few months into their first formal school experience, the results cannot be used to ’€œblame the schools for below-average performance.’€  Rather, the results are invaluable as resources, to local schools and communities, in advocating for additional resources to both improve future birth cohorts’€™ readiness to learn at school entry, via pre-primary child development programs of established effectiveness, and remedial instruction for those already in school.  The HELP program thus works to the advantage of the disadvantaged, at a local level, while also providing sensitive ’€“ and potentially promptly reversible ’€“ measures of human developmental health, at any level of aggregation in an entire population, that is relevant to program and policy decision-making.


Clyde Hertzman – Early Child Development: A Powerful Equalizer


Dr J David Hawkins ’€“ Using Prevention Science to Promote Healthy Youth Development

Dr J David Hawkins is the Endowed Professor of Prevention and Founding Director of the Social Development Research Group, School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle. He received his B.A. in 1967 from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University in 1975. His research focuses on understanding and preventing child and adolescent health and behaviour problems.

He is principal investigator of the Community Youth Development Study, a randomized field experiment involving 24 communities across seven states testing the effectiveness of the Communities That Care prevention system developed by Hawkins and Richard F. Catalano. He has authored numerous articles and several books as well as prevention programs for parents and families, including Guiding Good Choices, Parents Who Care, and Supporting School Success. His prevention work is guided by the social development model, his theory of human behaviour.


Watch: Measuring Health Inequalities. Talks by Rob Young (Oxford) & Frank Popham (St Andrews)

Talk 1: Rob Young, MRC Functional Genomics Unit, University of Oxford: What is the shape of the dose-response relationship between markers of socioeconomic status and health status indicators?

The association between socioeconomic status (SES) and health status has been extensively studied as a linear one, but this assumption of linearity is rarely tested. We have developed a novel technique based on spline theory which calls turning points, known as ’€˜knots’€™, within this linear relationship. Both the number and the position of these knots can be estimated using various standard regression models. The results of this modelling are summarised graphically and by two summary statistics ’€“ the Population Attributable Risk (PAR) and the Relative Index of Inequality (RII). We have used this approach to observe a significant increase in the strength of the positive association between the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) and the rate of hospital admissions due to alcohol misuse after reaching the bottom 10% of SIMD scores. When modelling a categorical variable such as education status we find that accounting for the population distribution can remove significant non-linearity even when analysing individual-level data. This new method improves the accuracy of traditional regression modelling while preserving much of its parsimony and, with the use of standard reporting statistics, its ease of interpretation.

Rob Young has just completed a six-month fellowship at the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy looking at non-linearity in the relationship between SES markers and health status indicators. This fellowship was a break at the end of the 3rd year of his DPhil based in the MRC Functional Genomics Unit, University of Oxford where he worked both computationally and experimentally on noncoding RNAs in the fruit-fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

Talk 2: Frank Popham, School of Geography and Geosciences, University of St Andrews: Comparing health inequalities in Scotland to elsewhere in Europe.

There is growing interest in how the extent of socio-economic inequalities in morbidity and mortality varies across countries. In Europe there have been a number of major comparative studies, the most recent of which covered data from the 1990s. However, Scotland has not been included in this work. So using data from the 1990s and 2000s the aim of the project was to replicate the most recent European work in Scotland. This talk will present the results.

Frank Popham is a research fellow in the School of Geography and Geosciences at the University of St Andrews. He has a social science background and his main research interests are health inequalities and population health.


John Frank & Sally Haw: Measuring and Monitoring Scotland’€™s Health Inequalities: New Approaches

Rob Young – hat is the shape of the relationship between socioeconomic status and health status?

Frank Popham – Comparing health inequalities in Scotland to elsewhere in Europe


Adolescent Health and Risk Behaviours Symposium: Policy, Research and Practice

On Wednesday 29th February 2012 SCPHRP and Health Scotland co-hosted an Adolescent Health and Risk Behaviours Symposium. The Symposium focused on policy, research and practice relating to adolescent health and featured presentations from a variety of speakers, as well as panel discussions and opportunities for Q&A.


Welcome and Opening Introduction: John Frank and Grant Costello

Adolescent Health and Wellbeing – Time to do things differently? Dr. Harry Burns

Trends in adolescent risk behaviour and relationships between risk behaviours – Helen Sweeting

Intervention programmes to prevent multiple risk behaviour – Ruth Jepson

City of Edinburgh Council – Multiple risk behaviour approach

Dumfries and Galloway ’€“ Life stages

Tayside – Taking an asset based approach to reducing teenage pregnancy

Themes from Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children – Candace Currie

Comments from discussion panel and open discussions


Helen Sweeting: Trends in adolescent risk behaviours and relationships between risk behaviours: comparison of two West of Scotland cohorts

Ruth Jepson: Review of interventions/approaches to address multiple risk behaviours in adolescents

John Nicholls: An emerging policy to address young people’€™s Risk Taking Behaviours

Jo Kopela & Michele Mccoy: Approaches to Addressing Adolescent Health Needs in Dumfries & Galloway

Felicity Snowsill & Ann Eriksen: Teenage Pregnancy: Everybody’€™s business!

Candace Currie & Kate Levin: Risk, wellbeing and assets for health: findings from Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children: WHO Collaborative Cross-National Study


Program: Adolescent Health and Risk Behaviours Symposium

List of Attendees