Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Centres: Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health

Elisa is a PhD student based within the veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health Group. Her research is focused on the mental health and wellbeing of professional UK student populations.

Elisa completed a BA in English and Welsh Literature in 2002 (Cardiff University). This was followed by a career in arts and government communications, before completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology with distinction at Oxford Brookes University in 2010. Elisa started her Bloomsbury PhD studentship in 2011 and is based at the Royal Veterinary College and the Psychology Department at Birkbeck, University of London.

Elisa’s research is focused on the mental health and wellbeing of different professional undergraduate populations. Her PhD aims to estimate and compare the prevalence of mental ill-health in students training for the healthcare professions of veterinary medicine, medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. The project will also investigate factors known to contribute to, or exacerbate, psychological distress. An in-depth experiential analysis will further explore students’ lived experiences of training for one of the healthcare professions. The research will comprise a mixed methods approach of questionnaires and interviews. The interviews will be analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Elisa is supervised by Dr Jackie Cardwell at the RVC and co-supervised by Professor Jonathan Smith at Birkbeck, University of London and Professor Sarah Baillie, Bristol Veterinary School.

Elisa has a keen interest in student mental health and in using qualitative research methods.

Cardwell, J.M., Lewis, E.G., Smith, K.C., Holt, E.R., Baillie, S., Allister, R. & Adams, V.J. (2013) A cross-sectional study of mental health in UK veterinary undergraduates. The Veterinary Record, 173 (11).

Limon, G., Lewis, E.G., Chang, Y., Ruiz, H. Balanza, M.E. & Guitian, J. (2013) Using mixed methods to investigate factors influencing reporting of livestock diseases: A case study among smallholders in Bolivia. Preventive Veterinary Medicine.

Burgess, M., King, N., Harris, M. & Lewis, E. (2013) Electric vehicle drivers reported interactions with the public: Driving stereotype change? Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 17, 33 44.

2014: Associate Lecturer, Social Psychology, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck College

2014: Teaching Assistant, Research Methods for Psychology, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck College

2013: Seminar Leader, Exploring Psychological Approaches, Department of Psychology, South Bank University

2012 - present: Demonstrator, Introduction to Research Methods, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck College

2012 - present: Seminar Leader, General Foundations of Psychology, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck College

2012 - present: Teaching Assistant, Critical Analysis, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck College

  • Improving animal health surveillance through better engagement between farmers, vets and government

    The current research into animal health surveillance has been predominantly focused on improving the technical aspects and there is little work looking at the engagement of stakeholders with the surveillance system. UK scanning surveillance relies on the submission of samples or reports from private veterinary surgeons, which in turn rely on the propensity of farmers to seek veterinary advice. Farmers and veterinary practitioners are therefore at the forefront of disease surveillance and the data being received is shaped by what they perceive to be a threat.

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