Dr Rachel Thomson

  • Clinical Research Fellow (MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit)

email: Rachel.Thomson@glasgow.ac.uk

MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Berkeley Square, 99 Berkeley Street, Glasgow, G3 7HR

ORCID iDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3060-939X

Biography

I graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2014 with an undergraduate medical degree (MBChB) and an intercalated BSc (Hons) in Psychological Medicine, before becoming a Specialty Registrar in Public Health Medicine in 2016. I subsequently obtained a Master of Public Health (MPH) with Distinction from the University of Glasgow, with my dissertation investigating the impact of the Great Recession and subsequent austerity measures on population mental health.

My clinical public health work has spanned a range of topics including public health advocacy, the health needs of the working-age population, public mental health and a national needs assessment of Scottish gender identity services. I am currently pausing my NHS training to complete a PhD focused on developing a microsimulation model that predicts the likely impact of changes to social security policies on mental health inequalities, and testing this using Universal Basic Income. 

I am based within the Inequalities programme of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, and supervised by Dr Vittal KatikireddiDr Anna Pearce and Professor Alastair Leyland. I am funded by a Wellcome Trust Fellowship, and am very grateful for their support of my research.

Research interests

In my current Wellcome-funded project, I aim to create a computer-based policy model which can predict how new welfare or tax policies are likely to affect mental health in the UK. Models such as this, based on real-world data, are increasingly being used to predict health outcomes before introducing policies in other policy areas, but this approach has not yet been applied to the social determinants of mental health. 

The first stage of the project involves a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature on income changes and mental health (protocol registered here), and the use of causally-informed statistical methods and UK cohort data to investigate the same relationship. I will then create a virtual UK population which integrates this information on how changes in income and employment can affect mental health, and combine this with an existing model (EUROMOD) that calculates how much new welfare policies will change incomes for individuals and households. I will use the combined model to test the likely outcome of introducing a novel policy of universal basic income on the country’s overall mental health and for different groups. 

Results will be fed back to policy makers, helping them choose policy options most likely to benefit mental health.

Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2014
Number of items: 11.

2021

Tweed, E. J. et al. (2021) Health of people experiencing co-occurring homelessness, imprisonment, substance use, sex work and/or severe mental illness in high-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 75(10), pp. 1010-1018. (doi: 10.1136/jech-2020-215975) (PMID:33893182)

Kromydas, T., Thomson, R. M. , Pulford, A., Green, M. J. and Katikireddi, S. V. (2021) Which is most important for mental health: money, poverty, or paid work? A fixed-effects analysis of the UK Household Longitudinal Study. SSM - Population Health, (doi: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2021.100909) (In Press)

Niedzwiedz, C. L. et al. (2021) Mental health and health behaviours before and during the initial phase of the COVID-19 lockdown: longitudinal analyses of the UK Household Longitudinal Study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 75(3), pp. 224-231. (doi: 10.1136/jech-2020-215060) (PMID:32978210)

2020

Burnett, D. et al. (2020) Protecting the health of the working-age population as lockdown reduces. Documentation. Public Health Scotland.

Thomson, R. M. , Pearce, A. , Leyland, A. and Katikireddi, S. V. (2020) The Causal Effects of Transition into Poverty on Mental Health in the UK Working-Age Population. 16th World Congress on Public Health 2020: Public Health for the future of humanity: analysis, advocacy and action, 12-16 Oct 2020.

2019

Thomson, R. M. , Henderson, H. J. and Smith-Palmer, A. (2019) An outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul in a Scottish childcare facility: the influence of parental under-reporting. BMC Infectious Diseases, 19, 847. (doi: 10.1186/s12879-019-4516-z) (PMID:31615435) (PMCID:PMC6794835)

Thomson, R. and Katikireddi, S. V. (2019) Improving the health of trans people: the need for good data. Lancet Public Health, 4(8), e369-e370. (doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(19)30129-X) (PMID:31376853) (PMCID:PMC6894941)

2018

Thomson, R. M. and Katikireddi, S. (2018) Mental health and the jilted generation: Using age-period-cohort analysis to assess differential trends in young people’s mental health following the great recession and austerity in England. Social Science and Medicine, 214, pp. 133-143. (doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.08.034) (PMID:30195100) (PMCID:PMC6176124)

Thomson, R. M. , Niedzwiedz, C. L. and Katikireddi, S. V. (2018) Trends in gender and socioeconomic inequalities in mental health following the Great Recession and subsequent austerity policies: a repeat cross-sectional analysis of the Health Surveys for England. BMJ Open, 8(8), e022924. (doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022924) (PMID:30166307) (PMCID:PMC6119415)

Thomson, R. , Baker, J. and Arnot, J. (2018) Health Care Needs Assessment of Gender Identity Services. Documentation. ScotPHN.

2014

Thomson, R. M. , Allely, C., Purves, D., Puckering, C., McConnachie, A. , Johnson, P. C.D., Golding, J., Gillberg, C. and Wilson, P. (2014) Predictors of positive and negative parenting behaviours: evidence from the ALSPAC cohort. BMC Pediatrics, 14, 247. (doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-14-247) (PMID:25280577) (PMCID:PMC4287514)

This list was generated on Sun Sep 19 16:49:25 2021 BST.
Number of items: 11.

Articles

Tweed, E. J. et al. (2021) Health of people experiencing co-occurring homelessness, imprisonment, substance use, sex work and/or severe mental illness in high-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 75(10), pp. 1010-1018. (doi: 10.1136/jech-2020-215975) (PMID:33893182)

Kromydas, T., Thomson, R. M. , Pulford, A., Green, M. J. and Katikireddi, S. V. (2021) Which is most important for mental health: money, poverty, or paid work? A fixed-effects analysis of the UK Household Longitudinal Study. SSM - Population Health, (doi: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2021.100909) (In Press)

Niedzwiedz, C. L. et al. (2021) Mental health and health behaviours before and during the initial phase of the COVID-19 lockdown: longitudinal analyses of the UK Household Longitudinal Study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 75(3), pp. 224-231. (doi: 10.1136/jech-2020-215060) (PMID:32978210)

Thomson, R. M. , Henderson, H. J. and Smith-Palmer, A. (2019) An outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul in a Scottish childcare facility: the influence of parental under-reporting. BMC Infectious Diseases, 19, 847. (doi: 10.1186/s12879-019-4516-z) (PMID:31615435) (PMCID:PMC6794835)

Thomson, R. and Katikireddi, S. V. (2019) Improving the health of trans people: the need for good data. Lancet Public Health, 4(8), e369-e370. (doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(19)30129-X) (PMID:31376853) (PMCID:PMC6894941)

Thomson, R. M. and Katikireddi, S. (2018) Mental health and the jilted generation: Using age-period-cohort analysis to assess differential trends in young people’s mental health following the great recession and austerity in England. Social Science and Medicine, 214, pp. 133-143. (doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.08.034) (PMID:30195100) (PMCID:PMC6176124)

Thomson, R. M. , Niedzwiedz, C. L. and Katikireddi, S. V. (2018) Trends in gender and socioeconomic inequalities in mental health following the Great Recession and subsequent austerity policies: a repeat cross-sectional analysis of the Health Surveys for England. BMJ Open, 8(8), e022924. (doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022924) (PMID:30166307) (PMCID:PMC6119415)

Thomson, R. M. , Allely, C., Purves, D., Puckering, C., McConnachie, A. , Johnson, P. C.D., Golding, J., Gillberg, C. and Wilson, P. (2014) Predictors of positive and negative parenting behaviours: evidence from the ALSPAC cohort. BMC Pediatrics, 14, 247. (doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-14-247) (PMID:25280577) (PMCID:PMC4287514)

Research Reports or Papers

Burnett, D. et al. (2020) Protecting the health of the working-age population as lockdown reduces. Documentation. Public Health Scotland.

Thomson, R. , Baker, J. and Arnot, J. (2018) Health Care Needs Assessment of Gender Identity Services. Documentation. ScotPHN.

Conference or Workshop Item

Thomson, R. M. , Pearce, A. , Leyland, A. and Katikireddi, S. V. (2020) The Causal Effects of Transition into Poverty on Mental Health in the UK Working-Age Population. 16th World Congress on Public Health 2020: Public Health for the future of humanity: analysis, advocacy and action, 12-16 Oct 2020.

This list was generated on Sun Sep 19 16:49:25 2021 BST.

Grants

Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.

  • Predicting the impacts of universal basic income on mental health inequalities in the UK population: a microsimulation model
    Wellcome Trust
    2019 - 2022
     

Professional activities & recognition

Prizes, awards & distinctions

  • 2018: Littlejohn Gairdner Prize for outstanding contribution to public health in Scotland (Faculty of Public Health)
  • 2017: Mackinlay Prize for MPH home student with highest average score (University of Glasgow)
  • 2017: Best Project Prize for MPH (University of Glasgow)

Research fellowships

  • 2019 - 2023: Wellcome Trust Research Award for Health Professionals