Chair in Health Services Research and Ethics


Contact Details

Telephone: +44 (0)1224 438146
Address: Health Services Research Unit, 3rd Floor Health Sciences Building, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD
Telephone: 01224 438146


Vikki Entwistle is Professor of Health Services Research and Ethics.

Vikki started her academic career in health services research as a research fellow at the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York (1994-1998). She then joined the Unit on a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship relating to patients’ participation in treatment decision-making. Vikki spent 2003-2004 as a Harkness Fellow at Harvard School of Public Health developing work on patients’ contributions to healthcare safety. She worked in the Unit, as Senior Research Fellow then Reader, until September 2005 when she moved to the Social Dimensions of Health Institute at the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews as part of the Alliance for Self Care Research. She was promoted in 2007 to Professor of Values in Healthcare. Vikki re-joined the Unit in 2013.

Vikki has served on various research/policy committees. She was Editor of Health Expectations from 2007-2010 and is currently co-co-ordinator of the International Network on Feminist Approaches to Bioethics.

Research Interests

In broad terms, my research is about values and ethics relating to health and health care (including public health).

Some of my work relates to ideas about health care quality that are currently talked about as 'person centred care'. I'm particularly interested in the ways that concepts such as autonomy, paternalism, respect, health literacy, patient enablement, shared decision-making and support for self-management are understood, valued and reflected in practice. I consider the practical and ethical implications of different ways of understanding them, and questions of how aspects of person centredness can be related to the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health service provision. I am also interested in how the plural and sometimes competing perspectives and priorities of citizens, patients, health care professionals and health service managers can appropriately be integrated in policy, practice and research.

My work is usually highly collaborative and interdisciplinary. I use a variety of approaches, often combining philosophy with careful investigations of practice and experience to generate insights that are both practically relevant and theoretically robust. I am currently exploring uses of capabilities approaches (approaches to thinking about quality of life or wellbeing) for conceptualising and evaluating public health and social care policy and practice.


Current Research



Teaching Responsibilities

2017 - 2018

PU5528 Values and ethics in public health (Course co-ordinator)

This course is offered as an elective option within the MPH (Masters of Public Health) and MSc Global Health and Management programmes. It can also serve as a standalone course, including for qualified public health practitioners looking to engage with developments in public health ethics.   

PU5529 Qualitative health research (lecturer: qualitative research and ethical analysis)

PU5505 Global health (lecturer: health and human rights)



PU5528 Values and ethics in public health (Course co-ordinator)

PU5529 Qualitative health research (lecturer: qualitative research and ethical analysis)

PU5505 Global health (lecturer: health and human rights)

ME        Medical humanities dissertation (supervisor)



PH1027 Controversial questions (tutorials covering "Should the state fund fertility treatment?")

PH402D Philosophy dissertation (supervisor)

PU5903 Public health nutrition research project (supervisor)

PU5513 Public health research project (supervisor)



SX1002 Health and wealth of nations (Deputy course co-ordinator; lecturer; tutorial leader)

PU5019 Qualitative health research (occasional lectures) 



SX1502 Health and wealth of nations (Lecturer; tutorial leader)

PU5019 Qualitative health research (occasional lectures)

Note about publication list

Please note that the publication list on this site is not complete - some pre-2010 publications, including editorials written for Health Expectations are not listed.

Educational qualifications

BA (hons) Theology and Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge 1986

MSc Information Science (Distinction), City University 1990

PhD Information Science, City University 1994

MA Philosophy (Distinction), Open University 2008

Social media

I use Twitter, though not particularly regularly. You can find me @entwistlev.


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Contributions to Journals


  • Degeling, C., Barratt, A., Aranda, S., Bell, R., Doust, J., Houssami, N., Hersch, J., Sakowsky, RA., Entwistle, VA. & Carter, S. (in press). 'Should women aged 70-74 be invited to participate in screening mammography?: A report on two Australian community juries'. BMJ Open.
  • Entwistle, VA., Cribb, A., Watt, IS., Skea, ZC., Owens, J., Morgan, HM. & Christmas, S. '"The more you know, the more you realise it is really challenging to do": tensions and uncertainties in person-centred support for people with long-term conditions'. Patient Education and Counseling.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2018.03.028
  • Entwistle, VA., Cribb, A. & Owens, J. (2018). 'Why Health and Social Care Support for People with Long-Term Conditions Should be Oriented Towards Enabling Them to Live Well'. Health Care Analysis, vol 26, no. 1, pp. 48-65.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1007/s10728-016-0335-1
    [Online] AURA: Why_Health_and_Social_Care_Support_for_People_with_Long_Term...
  • Baldie, DJ., Guthrie, B., Entwistle, V. & Kroll, T. (2018). 'Exploring the impact and use of patients' feedback about their care experiences in general practice settings - a realist synthesis'. Family practice, vol 35, no. 1, pp. 13-21.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1093/fampra/cmx067
    [Online] AURA: Family_Practice.pdf
  • Pickles, K., Carter, S., Rychetnik, L., Mccaffery, K. & Entwistle, V. (2018). 'Primary goals, information-giving and men’s understanding: a qualitative study of Australian and UK doctors’ varied communication about PSA screening'. BMJ Open, vol 8, no. 1, e018009.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018009
    [Online] AURA: Primary_goals_information_giving_and_men_s_understanding.pdf
  • Hutchison, K., Rogers, W. & Entwistle, V. (2017). 'Addressing Deficits and Injustices: The Potential Epistemic Contributions of Patients to Research'. Health Care Analysis, vol 25, no. 4, pp. 386-403.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1007/s10728-016-0323-5
    [Online] AURA: Addressing_deficits_and_injustices_pre_submission_version_29...
  • Rogers, W., Craig, W. & Entwistle, VA. (2017). 'Ethical issues raised by thyroid cancer overdiagnosis: a matter for public health?'. Bioethics, vol 31, no. 8, pp. 590-598.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1111/bioe.12383
  • Coulter, A., Edwards, A., Entwistle, V., Kramer, G., Nye, A., Thomson, R. & Walker, E. (2017). 'Shared decision making in the UK: Moving towards wider uptake'. Zeitschrift fur Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualitat im Gesundheitswesen, vol 123-124, pp. 93-103.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1016/j.zefq.2017.05.010
  • Wells, M., Aitchison, PE., Harris, F., Ozakinci, G., Radley, A., Bauld, L., Entwistle, V., Munro, A., Haw, S., Culbard, B. & Williams, B. (2017). 'Barriers and facilitators to smoking cessation in a cancer context: A qualitative study of patient, family and professional views'. BMC Cancer, vol 17, 348, pp. 1-15.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1186/s12885-017-3344-z
    [Online] AURA: Barriers_and_facilitators_to_smoking_cessation_in_a_cancer_c...
  • Morgan, HM., Entwistle, VA., Cribb, A., Christmas, S., Owens, J., Skea, ZC. & Watt, IS. (2017). 'We need to talk about purpose: a critical interpretive synthesis of health and social care professionals’ approaches to self-management support for people with long-term conditions'. Health Expectations, vol 20, no. 2, pp. 243-259.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1111/hex.12453
    [Online] AURA: Morgan_et_al_2017_Health_Expectations.pdf
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