Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


eHealth Unit

Supervisors: Professor Elizabeth Murray, Dr Fiona Stevenson, Dr Julia Bailey, Dr Fiona Hamilton 

The eHealth Unit is internationally recognised, with a strong multi-disciplinary focus and expertise across a wide range of research methods. It focuses on the use of digital technologies to improve health and health care. Areas of interest include developing and evaluating digital interventions to promote self management for patients with long term conditions (e.g. diabetes, heart disease) and for health promotion / behaviour change (e.g. alcohol, sexual health). The unit also undertakes research on implementation of digital technologies in the NHS and the impact of eHealth on health care professional - patient interactions.

Project: Apps and websites for sexual health promotion 

Supervisor: Dr Julia Bailey 

Students are welcome to propose any projects which involve digital media for sexual health promotion. Projects can cover intervention design, qualitative and quantitative evaluation, digital health implementation, and/or online research methodologies. 

Project: Digital media for sex and relationships education in schools 

Supervisor: Dr Julia Bailey 

School sex and relationships education (SRE) can be a challenge to teach. Teachers and students can find it embarrassing, and students may not be willing to discuss some topics in classroom lessons. E-Health interventions such as tailored websites or mobile phone interventions can offer private, convenient access to SRE. This project is to help to develop digital resources for school children, teachers and parents, and to evaluate their feasibility and acceptability using qualitative interviews with children, parents and teachers.  

Project: Digital tools for GP patients 

Supervisor: Dr Julia Bailey 

There are a huge range of digital tools and e-resources for health promotion and management of illness, for example interactive websites, online decision-aids, behaviour change interventions, electronic reminders and prompts. This project is to explore the barriers and facilitators to clinicians recommending e-health resources to patients. The project involves a literature review and evidence synthesis and qualitative interviews with stakeholders (patients, clinicians, commissioners). The output will be guidance for clinicians on good practice in recommending ehealth resources to patients. 

Project: Use of the internet in GP consultations 

Supervisor: Dr Fiona Stevenson 

One of our ongoing projects is to consider how the internet is used in consultations by both GPs and patients and whether or not internet resources are raised by either patients or GPs as a source of information. The research design is a brief questionnaire prior to consultations, videotaping of consultations and interviews with GPs and patients after consultations. Students would have access to these data and have the opportunity to develop a project related to their own interests in relation to communication about, and use of, digital resources. 

Project: Doctor-patient communication on 'sensitive' topics 

Supervisor: Dr Julia Bailey 

Clinicians strive to be 'non-judgemental', but it is not clear what this actually means in practice. This project is a qualitative discourse analysis of clinician-patient communication on topics such as sexual risk, smoking or alcohol, to explore how clinicians balance being non-judgemental with giving advice about lifestyle factors. It will involve analysis of video recorded consultations and interviews with clinicians and patients. 


Contacts: elizabeth.murray@ucl.ac.uk julia.bailey@ucl.ac.uk f.stevenson@ucl.ac.uk f.hamilton@ucl.ac.uk