Iain Crombie

+44 (0)1382 383745


My first degree was in Molecular Biology and I have postgraduate degrees in Molecular Biology and in Applied Statistics. My current research interests focuses on reducing alcohol-related harms in high risk groups. This involves developing and testing new interventions and new methods of delivering interventions. These are tailored to specific social groups.

I have previously worked on cancer epidemiology and cardiovascular epidemiology, childhood asthma, chronic pain and the nature of public health policy. I have published over 150 research papers as well as books on public health policy, clinical audit, health services research and critical appraisal.


My current research involves tailoring interventions to specific age, gender and socio-economic groups, utilising mechanisms for intervention delivery that are appropriate to the target group. This involves a collaborative venture involving psychologists, a sociologist, statisticians, an epidemiologist, computer scientists, an addictions expert and graphic designers.

Lectures and conferences

Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN) Think Tank Conference, Friday 6th March 2015, Closing Plenary – Extending the Reach of Brief Alcohol Interventions 10th UKSBM Annual Scientific Meeting, Nottingham. December 2014. Optimising the design of trials of complex public health interventions European Public Health Conference in Glasgow, December 2014. Changing behaviour in 160 characters


I teach the epidemiology module of the Master of Public Health degree and contribute to the public health and research methods modules.


Publications 2004- present

  • Crombie IK, Irvine L, Williams B, Slane PW, McGinnis AR, Alder EM, McMurdo MET. Why older people do not participate in leisure time physical activity: a survey of activity levels, beliefs and deterrents . Age and Ageing 2004 33: 287-292
  • McMurdo MET, Bissett L, Price R, Phillips G, Crombie IK, Does ingestion of cranberry juice reduce symptomatic infectionsin older people in hospital? A double blind placebo controlled trial. Age and Ageing 2005; 34: 256-261
  • Arroll B, Macgillivray S, Ogston S, Reid I, Sullivan F, Williams B, Crombie IK. Efficacy and Tolerability of Tricyclic Antidepressants and SSRIs Compared With Placebo for Treatment of Depression in Primary Care: A Meta-Analysis. Annals of Family Medicine 2005; 3:449-456
  • Ibrahim I, Ogston O, Crombie IK, Alhasso D, Muckopadhyay S Greater knowledge gain with structured than student directed learning in child health: cluster randomised trial Med Teacher 2006; 125 13714-8
  • Irvine L, Crombie IK, Elliott L, Wallace H A review of major influences on current Public Health Policy in developed countries JRSH 2006; 126: 73-78
  • Williams B, Irvine L, McGinnis AR, McMurdo MET, Crombie IK When no might not quite mean no; the importance of informed and meaningful non-consent. Results from a survey of individuals refusing participation in a health-related research project BMC Health Services Research 2007 : 7; 59
  • Crombie IK, Irvine L, Elliott L, Wallace H. How do public health policies tackle alcohol : a review of 12 developed countries Alcohol and Alcoholism 2007; 42: 492-499
  • Crombie IK, Irvine L, Elliott L, Wallace H. Carers of people with mental health: proposals embodied in current mental health policies in nine countries Journal of Public Health Policy 2007, 28: 465-481
  • Crombie IK, Kiezebrink K, Irvine L, et al What maternal factors influence the diet of two year old children living in deprived areas: a cross-sectional survey. Public Health Nutrition 2008; 12:1254-1260
  • Crombie IK, Irvine L, Elliott L, Wallace H. Targets to tackle the obesity epidemic: a review of twelve developed countries. Public Health Nutrition 2008;12: 406-413
  • Kiezebrink K, Crombie IK, Irvine L, et al Strategies for achieving a high response rate in a home interview survey. BMC Medical Research Methodology; 2009 9:46.
  • Poobalan A.S, Aucott LS, Precious E, Crombie IK, Smith WCS Weight loss interventions in young people (18 to 25 year olds): a systematic review. Obesity reviews 2010; 11: 580–592
  • Irvine L, Flynn RWV, Libby G, Crombie IK, Evans JMM. Drugs dispensed in primary care during pregnancy: a record-linkage analysis in Tayside, Scotland. Drug Saf. 2010; 33: 593-604.
  • Crombie IK, Precious E. Changes in the social class gradient of cirrhosis mortality in England and Wales across the 20th Century Alcohol Alcoholism 2011; 46: 80-82
  • Ellis JD, Zvandasara T, Leese G, McAlpine R, Macewen CJ, Baines PS, Crombie I, Morris AD. Clues to duration of undiagnosed disease from retinopathy and maculopathy at diagnosis in type 2 diabetes: a cross-sectional study. Br J Ophthalmol. 2011 ;95: 1229-1233.
  • Dunbar K, Crombie IK. The Rising Tide of Liver Cirrhosis Mortality in the UK: Can its Halt be Predicted? Alcohol Alcoholism 2011; 46: 459-463
  • Swanson V, Power KG, Crombie IK, Irvine L, Kiezebrink K, Wrieden W and Slane PW Maternal feeding behaviour and young children's dietary quality : A cross-sectional study of socially disadvantaged mothers of two-year old children using the Theory of Planned Behaviour International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity 2011, 8:65
  • McMurdo MET, Argo I, Crombie IK, Feng Z, Sniehotta FF, Vadiveloo T, Miles D. Witham MD, Donnan PT. Social, Environmental and Psychological Factors Associated with Objective Physical Activity Levels in the Over 65s. PLoS ONE 7(2): e31878. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031878
  • Irvine L, Falconer DW, Jones C, Ricketts IW, Williams B, Crombie IK. Can text messages reach the parts other process measures cannot reach: an evaluation of a behavior change intervention delivered by mobile phone? 26-Dec-2012 In : PLoS ONE. 7, 12, p. e52621.
  • Crombie IK, Falconer DW, Irvine L, Norrie J, Williams B, Slane PW. Risky single-occasion drinking and disadvantaged men: will recruitment through primary care miss hazardous drinkers? Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013 Sep;37(9):1577-81. doi: 10.1111/acer.12123. Epub 2013 Jun 3
  • Sniehotta FF, Gellert P, Witham MD, Donnan PT, Crombie IK, McMurdo ME. Psychological theory in an interdisciplinary context: psychological, demographic, health-related, social, and environmental correlates of physical activity in a representative cohort of community-dwelling older adults. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2013 Sep 8;10:106. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-10-106.
  • Witham MD, Donnan PT, Vadiveloo T, Sniehotta FF, Crombie IK, Feng Z, McMurdo ME. Association of day length and weather conditions with physical activity levels in older community dwelling people. PLoS One. 2014 Jan 30;9(1):e85331. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085331. eCollection 2014.
  • Feng Z, Dibben C, Witham MD, Donnan PT, Vadiveloo T, Sniehotta F, Crombie IK, McMurdo ME. Dog ownership and physical activity in later life: a cross-sectional observational study. Prev Med. 2014 Sep;66:101-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.06.004. Epub 2014 Jun 12.
  • Crombie IK, Falconer DW, Irvine L, Williams B, Ricketts IW, Humphris G, et al. Reducing alcohol-related harm in disadvantaged men: development and feasibility assessment of a brief intervention delivered by mobile telephone. Public Health Res 2013;1(3). Doi: 10.3310/phr01030
  • Crombie IK, Irvine L, Williams B, Sniehotta FF, Ricketts IW, Jones C, et al A mobile phone intervention to reduce binge drinking among disadvantaged men: study protocol for a randomized controlled cost-effectiveness. Trials 2014 (in press)
  • Gellert P, Witham MD, Crombie IK, Donnan PT, Vadiveloo T, Sniehotta FF, Crombie IK, McMurdo MET The role of perceived barriers and objectively measured physical activity in adults aged 65–100. Age and Ageing 2015 (in press)