Anita Helen Laidlaw


  • KY16 9TF

    United Kingdom

Accepting Postgraduate Research Students

PhD projects

healthcare communication training, higher education student wellbeing, medical student wellbeing, health professional wellbeing, medical education

Personal profile

Research overview

I have two main areas of research, which significantly overlap; healthcare communication and higher education research. This work draws on psychological, organisational and educational theory.

Healthcare communication:

I investigate factors that influence communication within a healthcare setting and enhance the translation of this research by examining how to improve clinical communication training for health professionals. The emphasis is on developing patient centred clinical communication, which should improve patient outcomes. Examples of projects within this area include:

  • Detailed observational research into discussion of weight management within routine primary care consultations.
  • Exploration of the utilisation and impact of empathy maps within undergraduate medical education from the perspectives of students and patient partners.

Higher education research:

I also have an interest in higher education research, including medical education research. This work focuses on student and professional wellbeing, both physical and mental and factors that may influence both wellbeing and help seeking behaviour for wellbeing difficulties. Examples of projects within this area include:

  • Understanding teh experiences of higher education students with long term conditions
  • Burnout and health behaviours in Medical students.
  • Education focused academic career pathways
  • Wellbeing of Doctors during Covid-19 transitions

I employ various research approaches to studying these topics depending on the specific aims. These include detailed coding of video recorded clinical communication behaviour, questionnaire data collection to gain broader understanding of relationships between factors, and qualitative approaches such as interview or focus group to provide rich understanding on relatively unexplored aspects. Throughout my research I am aware of the social environment that human interactions occur within.

Teaching activity

I am module controller for MD5002: Quality of life, communicaiton and chronic illness, a theory module within the MSc Health Psychology.

I also lecture and deliver workshops on healthcare communication and behavioural sciences for the BSc Medicine and ScotGEM courses.

Profile Keywords

Medical Education, Clinical Communication, Wellbeing, Higher Education

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

External positions

ERC ASME, Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME)

7 Jun 2021 → …

rEACH Training co-lead, European Association of Communication in Healthcare (EACH)

1 Jan 2020 → …

Board Member, Scottish Medical Education Research Consortium

2014 → …


  • L Education (General)
  • Higher Education
  • Medical Education
  • BF Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Behavioural Science


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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