Doctor scrubbing hands at washbasinHealth professionals play a crucial role in the safe and effective delivery of health care.

In order to maximise the delivery of high quality, evidence based care, it is important that we understand the factors that influence health professional behaviour, and area able to use this information to develop interventions to reduce stress and disastisfaction, promote the uptake of evidence based care and improve patient safety.

Our research in this area focuses on the development and use of psychological theories to understand, predict and change the behaviour of health professionals and on the determinants and consequences of occupational stress in health professionals.


Current projects in this area include:

  • TRiaDS programme (Translating Research into Practice: Guidance-based Implementation of Dental Evidence; funded by NHS Education for Scotland)
  • An investigation of the sources and consequences of stress in junior doctors using real-time self-report, observational, and physiological methodologies
  • ASTRO-LAB, studying how the content of health care provider behaviour change counselling influences asthma self-management, and key determinants of variability in the ‘quality’ and effectiveness of behaviour change counselling

Sample Publications:

  • Presseau, J., Johnston, M., Francis, JJ., Hrisos, S., Stamp, E., Steen, N., Hawthorne, G., Grimshaw, JM., Elovainio, M., Hunter, M. & Eccles, MP. (2014). 'Theory-based predictors of multiple clinician behaviors in the management of diabetes'. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, vol 37, no. 4, pp. 607-620.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1007/s10865-013-9513-x
  • Presseau, J., Johnston, M., Heponiemi, T., Elovainio, M., Francis, J., Eccles, M., Steen, I,N., Hrisos, S., Stamp, S., Grimshaw, M., Hawthorne, G. & Sniehotta, F. (2014). ‘Reflective and Automatic Processes in Healthcare Professional Behavior: A Dual Process Model Tested across Multiple Behaviors’. Annals of Behavioural Medicine, vol 48, no. 3, pp. 347-358.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1007/s12160-014-9609-8
  • Presseau, J., Johnston, M., Johnston, D., Elovainio, M., Hrisos, S., Steen, N., Stamp, E., Francis, J.J., Grimshaw, J.M., Hawthorne, G., Hunter, M. & Eccles, M.P. (2014). ‘Environmental and individual correlates of distress: Testing Karasek's Demand-Control model in 99 primary care clinical environments’. British Journal of Health Psychology, vol 19, no. 2, pp. 292-310.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1111/bjhp.12073
  • Ryan, C., Ross, S., Davey, P., Duncan, EM., Francis, JJ., Fielding, S., Johnston, M., Ker, J., Lee, AJ., MacLeod, MJ., Maxwell, S., McKay, GA., McLay, JS., Webb, DJ. & Bond, C. (2014). 'Prevalence and Causes of Prescribing Errors: The PRescribing Outcomes for Trainee Doctors Engaged in Clinical Training (PROTECT) Study'. PLoS ONE, vol 9, no. 1, e79802.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079802
  • Johnston, DW., Jones MC., McCann, SK. & McKee, L. (2013) ‘Stress in nurses: stress-related affect and its determinants examined over the nursing day’. Annals of Behavioural Medicine, vol 45, no. 3, pp. 348-356.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1007/s12160-012-9458-2
  • Ross, S., Ryan, C., Duncan, EM., Francis, JJ., Johnston, M., Ker, JS., Lee, AJ., Macleod, MJ., Maxwell, S., McKay, G., McLay, J., Webb, DJ. & Bond, C. (2013). 'Perceived causes of prescribing errors by junior doctors in hospital inpatients: a study from the PROTECT programme'. BMJ Quality & Safety, vol 22, no. 2, pp. 97-102.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1136/bmjqs-2012-001175
  • Eccles, MP., Grimshaw, JM., MacLennan, G., Bonetti, D., Glidewell, E., Pitts, NB., Steen, N., Thomas, R., Walker, A. & Johnston, M. (2012). ‘Explaining clinical behaviours using multiple theoretical models’. Implementation Science, vol 7, 99.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1186/1748-5908-7-99
  • Farquhrson, B., Allan, JL., Johnston, D., Johnston, M., Choudhary, C., & Jones, M. (2012). ‘Stress amongst nurses working in a healthcare telephone-advice service: Relationship with job satisfaction, intention to leave, sickness absence, and performance’. Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol 68, no. 7, pp. 1624-1635.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06006.x