Recently completed projects



We led THRIVE; a randomised controlled trial which has investigated the effectiveness of two parenting support programmes – Mellow Bumps and Enhanced Triple P for Baby – compared with the current treatment being provided by the NHS for women with additional health and social care needs in pregnancy.  Results will soon be available on the NIHR website.

String of condoms on a line

Gay Men’s Health

Our survey provided important data on the sexual health of gay and bisexual men in Scotland. We have also worked with colleagues at GCU on a project to explore how Covid-19 social distancing has amplified the mental health vulnerabilities of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM).

STASH logo


Between 2016 and 2019 we led a transdisciplinary team to develop and test a peer-led and school-based social network intervention called. Adapted from a successful anti-smoking intervention called ASSIST, STASH involved training influential students – chosen by their year group – to start conversations with other students about sexual health on social media and face-to-face. Our feasibility trial in 6 schools found that the approach was broadly acceptable and feasible; the weight of evidence supported continuation to a full trial.  We are now updating the STASH website as a tool to support peer-to-peer sharing of sexual health messages via social media.

The first phase of the STASH project was funded by NIHR, Scottish Government and Edinburgh and Lothian Health Foundation.



We were co-investigators on the Bridge-It trial; a pragmatic cluster randomised cohort cross-over trial designed to determine whether pharmacist provision of a bridging supply of a progestogen-only pill (POP) plus rapid access to a local SRH clinic, results in increased uptake of effective contraception and prevents more unintended pregnancies than provision of EC alone. The results are published in the Lancet.

Recently completed PhD research

Simon Barrett completed his thesis on Parenting practices across generations: a mixed methods study of vulnerable mothers’ parenting practices and understandings. The study explored whether parenting practices are transmitted across generations among a ‘vulnerable’ population of those mothers participating in THRIVE.

Karen Maxwell completed her thesis on Fatherhood in the context of social disadvantage: constructions of fatherhood and attitudes towards parenting interventions of disadvantaged men in Scotland. The study explored disadvantaged UK men’s constructions of fatherhood and attitudes towards parenting interventions.

Martin Anderson completed his thesis on What contextual factors are critical when transferring a drug recovery community model to a substantially different international setting?. The study used network analysis to explore how social connections and the social identity model of recovery may help explain processes of change in a residential substance use rehabilitation community.

MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit logo 800 wide