Dr Laura Ward
- Research Associate (Mental Health & Wellbeing)
I am a Research Associate working at the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory (SLDO) since 2017. My work focuses on identifying and reducing the health inequalities faced by people with intellectual (learning) disabilities and/or autism. My main areas of interest include oral health, anticholinergic burden, polypharmacy, psychotropics, and multimorbidity. I am currently completing a project on cancer incidence and mortalities using the Scottish 2011 Census. My experiences in academia are broad but focus on health and utilising many fields of expertise and different disciplinary methodologies (particularly quantitative statistical modelling techniques), to advance our understanding.
I previously completed my PhD at Glasgow Caledonian University (2013 - 2016) researching the impact healthy ageing has on the visual brain (functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy [fNIRS] and psychophysics). I obtained a distinction in the MSc Research Methods in Psychological Science at the University of Glasgow working with stroke patients (2010 - 2011). I did my undergraduate degree (2.1) at the University of Edinburgh in Biological Sciences - Psychology (2005 - 2009).
My work involves multiple fields of expertise including clinical psychology, statistical modelling, epidemiology, public health, dentistry and data linkage. By providing evidence of the health and health inequalities faced by those with intellectual (learning) disabilities, my work can inform government and NHS policy to effect improvements and reduce the gap experienced by this vulnerable population.
Research interests include:
- Anticholinergic burden
- Mental health
- Oral health