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Ruth Freeman qualified in dentistry in 1979 at The Queen’s University of Belfast. Under the tutelage of Professor Neil Swallow, she completed her PhD in 1983. She studied at the University of London where she completed her training in Dental Public Health. She is a Member of the British Psychoanalytic Council and a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Physicians (UK). Ruth worked as a lecturer in Dental Public Health and Dental Practice at University College London with Professor Aubrey Sheiham before returning to Queen’s University of Belfast where she was Professor of Dental Public Health. She is currently Professor of Dental Public Health Research and Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health. She is Director of the Oral Health and Health Research Programme and with Professor Jan Clarkson is Co-Director of the Dental Health Services Research Unit at the University of Dundee.
The Oral Health and Health Research Programme forms one of the major research themes within DHSRU. This Programme of research uses the MRC framework for complex interventions as a structure from which the research evidence is systematically reviewed, modelling of change theory conducted and feasibility trials piloted. The research programme is underpinned by psychodynamic principles and uses a mixed methods approach. The purpose of this research programme is to reduce health inequality by addressing oral health as an indication and predictor of health and psycho-social functioning. Researching the evidence-base and using a mixed methods approach ensures that by understanding people’s main concerns will permit tailoring and achieve engagement with health interventions for those from socially excluded groups. It achieves this aim by providing high quality research and being successful in securing CSO funding, Research Council funding and grant income from the Scottish Government Health Department.
Current research within the Oral Health and Health Research Programme includes:
- Developing an inventory to Assess Parental concerns and Enable child dental Registration (DAPER): Funded by Childsmile Programme: SGHD. [Post-Doc Research Fellow: Dr S Nanjappa]
- Smile4Life - Developing, implementing and evaluating an oral health preventive programme for homeless populations across Scotland: funded by SGHD. [Research Fellow: E. Coles]
- Scottish Oral Health Improvement Prison Programme (SOHIPP): Developing, implementing and evaluating an oral health preventive programme for prison populations across Scotland: funded by SGHD. [Senior Research Fellow: TBA: Research Assistant T. Akbar]
- Developing an intervention to evaluate a context-based, teacher-led dietary programme to promote healthier snacking behaviour in school children: funded by CSO. [CSO Post-Doctoral Fellow and PI: Dr S Chambers]
- Childhood obesity and childhood dental caries: an investigation into mediating and moderating factors: funded by NES. [Clinical Lecturer and StR in Dental Public Health: S Carson]
- Cope-a-lot-Scot: Exploring the feasibility of conducting a randomised controlled trial to test the impact of a computer assisted on-line cognitive behaviour therapy intervention for child dental anxiety: funded by CSO. [Research Fellow: TBA]
- Stories at the Dentist: Research in the Wild 2012: funded by EPSRC [with Professor A Waller: PI: Research Assistant TBA]
Lessons learned from the streets of Brazil could help tackle a surge in Scottish youth homelessness caused by Covid-19, according to a University of Dundee expert.