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Research interests

Dr Emma Anderson is a Research Fellow and chartered Health Psychologist working in vaccine uptake research jointly within the Health Protection Research Unit in Behavioural Science and Evaluation (HPRU-BSE) and the Centre for Academic Child Health (CACH) at the University of Bristol.

Emma set up and leads the Health Psychology and Interventions Group (HPIG), an interest group which draws together Health Psychology and related expertise across and beyond the university, meeting for monthly seminars.


Current research:

  • Maternal Vaccines in the NHS (MAVIS) StudyA mixed methods approach to improving antenatal immunisation rates, focusing on pertussis. This is a four year NIHR-funded doctoral research fellowship project running from 2021-2024. The aim is to identify how NHS maternity services can be supported to improve pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination delivery to pregnant women, and how to reduce inequities between demographic groups and NHS areas.


Recent research:

  • The Pregnant in a Pandemic (PiP) Study: exploring pregnant women's views and experiences of social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic, identifying behavioural facilitators and barriers and producing infographic recources to support women. The project also explored women's experiences of the impact of the pandemic on routine maternal vaccines and attitudes towards testing Covid-19 vaccines on pregnant women.
  • Understanding the Lightning Process for adolescent chronic fatigue syndrome/ myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME): theoretical and conversation analysis to identify potential mechanisms of action of this alternative intervention for CFS/ME, seeking to improve standard medical care.
  • The FITNET-NHS Trial, working with Professor Esther Crawley to evaluate an online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programme for children with CFS/ME.
  • The EEPRIS Study, working with Professor Alastair Hay to track respiratory infections in a community cohort of Bristol children and exploring the potential for an online infection surevillance intervention to improve consultations and antibiotic prescribing behaviour.

Emma has worked in many other successful pragmatic NHS-based studies and trials over the years, including mental health, addictions and other public health research in both primary and secondary care settings.


Clinical work

Emma has also worked clinically in a range of settings including delivering:

  • wellbeing workshops for frontline Covid-19 hospital staff
  • wellbeing workshops for people affected by cancer (charity setting)
  • smoking cessation (primary care)
  • telephone support for depression (CBT-based therapy in primary care)
  • addictions (alcohol and drug) inpatient treatment 


Key words:

  • Vaccine uptake
  • Health psychology
  • Behaviour change
  • Intervention development and evaluation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Randomised Controlled Trials
  • Study Management



  • Health psychology
  • Behaviour change
  • Intervention development and evaluation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Randomised Controlled Trials
  • Study Management


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