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December Bulletin 2018

December Bulletin 2018


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Hello and welcome to our last bulletin of 2018. Bringing you our usual mix of news, publications, project updates and more.

This has been a busy year for us at SCPHRP with lots to celebrate and look back on, including our move to our new home in the School of Health in Social Science. In this issue you can read about:
  • Our Citizen Science project
  • The recent graduations of some of SCPHRP’s master students
  • Why Edinburgh has less car use than other cities in Britain
  • Recent conferences the team have presented at
  • Our latest publications
  • Our two new PhD students starting in January

And then we also have a chance to sign up for a new Environmnetal Arts Therapy Group and a chance to take part in the George Street (Edinburgh) consultation. Please also get in touch if you have ever used 6SQuID as we want to hear about it.

As always, we love to hear your news as well, so if you have anything you want to share with us and the wider membership, including job vacancies, projects, conferences you can find out how to do so at the end of the bulletin.

Here we are celebrating the end of another successful year at our SCPHRP Christmas lunch.

We would like to thank all our friends and colleagues for your support and wish you all a lovely break and all the best for 2019.With very best wishes,
Everyone at SCPHRP


Citizen science project ‘Our Outdoors’ 
‘Our Outdoors’ is a citizen science project exploring how shared (public) outdoor spaces affect health and wellbeing.  John McAteer, Kathleen Morrison, Yvonne Laird and Ruth Jepson are working with Edinburgh City Council, Sustrans and industry partner AECOM to examine outdoor space and health in relation to a new planned development in Lower Granton Road.The design intent of the development is to create a series of stimulating spaces, at a variety of scales, vary the sense of enclosure and openness within the greenspace, and work seamlessly with its context. The design includes wildflower meadows, low earth mounds, and trees. The waterfront greenspace alongside the cycle way hopes to enhance a sense of place through changes to the landscape. The landscape proposals provide greater visual interest, opportunities for informal seating, rest and recreation, whilst maintaining one of the key aspects of this space: stunning coastal views.

The Team recently held a community forum on Saturday 8th December at St Columba’s Hospice in Trinity. The two hour event was is an informal drop-in style event and was an opportunity for members of the public to engage with the issue of outdoor space and health through fun activities (such as lego!) and to learn more about how they can be involved in the project.  The event was well attended by both children and adults.

Inclusion Health Projects
Larry Doi, Yvonne Laird and Kathleen Morrison recently delivered an inclusion health workshop on behalf of NHS Lothian. The workshop aimed to develop an evaluation plan for a number of inclusion health projects currently being delivered around the NHS Lothian locality.  John McAteer, Larry and Yvonne continue to work with NHS Lothian to assist with their evaluation planning.
PhD update – Audrey Buelo
SCPHRP PhD student, Audrey Buelo, attended the Diabetes UK PhD networking day in London on the 30th November, an opportunity to meet with other Diabetes UK-funded PhD students and learn about their work. Audrey presented a short talk of an overview of her PhD (see image) about developing and testing a physical activity intervention for women with previous gestational diabetes. The talk was well-received amongst the primarily biomolecular research students and Audrey won the best poster presentation award. Congratulations Audrey!
Audrey also held her third Lay Advisory Group meeting in Glasgow in November, composed of three women who have had gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies. At the meeting, she discussed her research progress with them and received their feedback. They also worked together to come up with a plan for a future project to develop the physical activity intervention. It appears that social media is an increasingly useful tool to contact mothers of young children, due to its ease of access for time-constrained groups. Audrey is very excited to move forward with this research and grateful for the help of her advisory group.

New SCPHRP PhD students

Kathleen Morrison has been awarded a School PhD studentship to evaluate the implementation of the enhanced Health Visitor Pathway in Scotland. She will be starting in January 2019 and will be supervised by Ruth Jepson, Larry Doi and Julia Egan
Ana Sofia Alvarado has received a studentship  from CONACyT Mexico to undertake a PhD with SCPHRP (supervised by Ruth Jepson and John McAteer). Her topic area will be ‘Right to Food: integrating efforts towards adequate food for all’ and she will also be starting in January 2019.

NEW Publications

Cycling and walking for individual and population health benefits 
SCPHRP’s Yvonne Laird was involved in conducting a rapid review of the health benefits of walking and cycling with Paul Kelly of the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, and James Woodcock and Soren Brage of the Centre for Diet and Activity Research, University of Cambridge.The rapid review was commissioned by Public Health England. The report has recently been published and can be viewed here.The impact of community-based universal youth work in Scotland
Working with colleagues within NHS Lothian, Youthlink Scotland, and the Institute For Education, John McAteer has recently completed a national research project that engaged with three communities in Scotland examining the impact of community-based universal youth work services, using Transformative Evaluation (Cooper, 2012). You can read the findings of the report here.

Pringle, J., Whitehead, R., Milne, D., Scott, E., McAteer, J. 2018. The relationship between a trusted adult and adolescent outcomes: a protocol for a scoping review. Systematic Reviews, 7, 207. Link to paper here.

Pringle J. 2018. Health mind-mapping has the potential to facilitate patient engagement in self-management of long term conditions. Evidence Based Nursing. Commentary on: Buitron de la Vega P, Coe C, Paasche-Orlow MK et al. “It’s like a mirror image of my illness”: Exploring Patient Perceptions About Illness Using Health Mind Mapping-a Qualitative Study. J Gen Intern Med. 2018 Jul 10. Link to paper here.

Pringle J, Doi L, Jepson R, McAteer J. 2018. Developing an evidence and theory based intervention that seeks to promote positive adolescent health and education outcomes. Lancet (Nov): 73

The Lancet Public Health Science Conference 
Belfast, November 23rd 2018

Jan Pringle attended the Lancet Public Health Science Conference in November to present the following poster abstract.‘Developing an evidence and theory based intervention that seeks to promote positive adolescent health and education outcomes’ – Jan Pringle, Lawrence Doi, Ruth Jepson, John McAteer

This study describes the applicability of a robust intervention development framework to the area of adolescent health. The relevance of each step in the framework is described using the example of an intervention for teaching assistants working with young people. It draws upon the findings of two major reviews conducted by SCPHRP with colleagues from NHS Health Scotland in the area of adolescent physiological development and health behaviour and trusted relationships during adolescence.  For further information, contact


Dissertations and graduations

Congratulations to three Masters students who undertook dissertations on topics related to SCPHRP projects. Unfortunately none of us were able to attend graduation, but Ruth Jepson met with them after to get those all important photos!

Left to right: Yuning, Ruth and Tong

Yuning Guo and Tong Zang undertook dissertations about air pollution and 20mph zones for their MSc in Environmental Protection and Management in the School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh. They were supervised by Stefan Reis and supported by Ruth Jepson and Glenna Nightingale and our French intern Samuel Kerr.

Yuning Guo dissertation was entitled: The Contribution of Implementing 20 mph Zones to Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations in Edinburgh

Tong Zang’s dissertation was entitled: Impacts of the implementation of the 20 mph zones on traffic (NOx) emissions in Edinburgh

Left to right: Ruth and Siobhan

Siobhan Conner graduated with MPH in Public Health (distinction) in the Edinburgh Medical School: Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences. Her dissertation was entitled The effects of physical exercise on behavioural and psychological symptoms in nursing home residents with dementia: a systematic review and narrative synthesis

Dissertation summary: Why is car use lower in Edinburgh than in other UK cities? By Patrick Miner

Map of cars per household in Edinburgh (darker areas have more cars)

In the UK, Edinburgh has lower car use than most cities and the highest level of public transport patronage outside of London. Edinburgh’s relative “success” regarding the car use problem is an underutilised case study among cities without metro train systems. This study sought to explore transport in Edinburgh and build evidence for the city’s unusual position among its peer cities. The research is organised using the individual, social, and material (ISM) framework developed by Southerton et al. (2011) and the Scottish Government. Using secondary data analysis and GIS techniques, Edinburgh was compared with 74 other UK cities and factors that contribute to low levels of car use were identified. The main conclusion is that Edinburgh’s historic, densely-populated city centre (with 90% of residents living in flats) has a pervasive walking culture that combines with high-quality, affordable bus service (and less-than-average space for cars) in peripheral areas to give the city one of the lowest car use rates in the UK.

Research summary (PDF)
Story map: This interactive and address-searchable series of maps explores Edinburgh transport modes further

Patrick Miner
MScR Human Geography, School of GeoSciences
University of Edinburgh

News and events

George Street Consultation

The George Street New Town (GNT) project aims to design a vibrant street environment that is safe for all users – one which significantly enhances its use for pedestrians while prioritising active travel and accessibility. The project is being developed as part of the wider City Centre Transformation project

A new concept design has been produced for the streets, and whatever your views about the proposals, we want to hear from you.

An online survey is available until 25 January 2019. Further information about the project including a film of the proposals can be found on the GNT project website

SCPHRP needs your help

There are exciting times ahead at SCPHRP and we need your help. Please contact us if you or a colleague are using the Six Steps in Quality Intervention Development (6SQuID) Framework in any part of your research. Please email Audrey ( with details of your experience of 6SQuID.


Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, outdoor and nature
A new Environmental Arts Therapy group entitled Circle of Trees, run by Rachel Campling is  starting in February 2019 at the Salisbury Centre in Edinburgh’s southside. 
This will be a fortnightly experiential therapy group for counsellors, therapists and people working in education, health and social care who wish to deepen their relationship with nature and with themselves.

If you have work colleagues or other professional contacts who may be interested in joining this small group, the information can be found on the Salisbury Centre Facebook page:

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 ( by 25th January.


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