Dr. Siyang Yuan

Research Fellow


Dundee Dental School

Park Place




Phone Number:

+44 (0)1382381 722

Email Address:


 I am a Research Fellow and Principal Researcher of BEHAVE2 Study.  I am a dentist by professional background.  I started my public health track after I received my dental degree in Capital Medical University (China) in 2003.  I was fully funded by Swedish Government with STINT scholarship and received my Master degree in Public Health and Epidemiology in Umea University (Sweden) in 2004.  I did my PhD in dental public health and behavioural sciences in Queen’s University Belfast.   In regard to epidemiological experience, I had been working in China CDC for 4 years managing a National Disease Prevention Programme funded by the Global Fund to Fight Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  This is the largest National Disease Control Programme funded by international funding body in China.

I have clinical experience of practising paediatric dentistry.  Being a mum and paediatric dentist has motivated me to explore further on what communication strategies could engage children (especially the younger ones) in treatment compliance and comprehending oral health information which could possibly improve their behaviour change in later life.  The BEHAVE2 Study that I am currently working on is therefore to explore answers for these questions.  It is to examine the triadic communication between dental professional, young child and parent for better understanding of their behaviour profiles and disentangling the underlying dynamic complexity in the triad.

My research interests reflect my background in behavioural dentistry and public health using social sciences theories:

[1]  dental professional-child-parent triadic communication;

[2]  health inequalities with a focus on oral health/health promotion of socially excluded groups.

In terms of international links, I am a visiting professor of Healthcare Communication in Nanjing Medical University.  I am leading a Special Interest Group (SIG) of Communication in Oral Healthcare in the International Association for Communication in Healthcare (EACH).  I am also a member of the Research Committee of EACH.  I have successfully organised and chaired a few SIG seminars with invited SIG members in exchanging thoughts and experiences in communication research and research-led teaching.

I am currently working on BEHAVE2 Study which is a concurrent mixed-methods study to explore triadic communication between dentist/nurse, young child of 2-5 years and parent in a primary dental care setting.  Based on this study, I developed a Behaviour Coding Scheme (PaeD-TrICS) to record the dentist/dental nurse-child-parent triadic interactive behaviours in dental settings, which could be used in other paediatric settings when suitably modified.  I am also competent in using the software Observer XT for conducting behaviour coding and analysis.

I am also leading an international special interest group in communication in oral healthcare within the International Association for Communication in Healthcare (EACH).


BDS:  Communicating with patients for Year 2, Year 3, Year 4

MDPH: Ethnicity and Oral Health

PG Summer School: Clinical communication


Yuan S, Humphris G, Ross A, MacPherson L, Zhou Y, Freeman R. Predicting success in fluoride varnish applications using a moderator-mediator-modelling approach: A study protocol to examine the communication behaviours within the dental health professional-parent-child triad. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, submitted in November 2017.

Freeman R, Hill K, Yuan S, Newton T, Humphris G. Dental anxiety, communication, trust and shame: developing a mediator-moderator model to predict dental attendance across socio-economic position. Patient Education and Counseling, submitted in June 2017.

Liu L, Jin L, Yuan S, Wang T, Mao B, Hu J, Yan B. Evaluating the effectiveness of a preclinical practice of tooth preparation using digital training system: a randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Dental Education, in press, 2018. DOI: 10.1111/eje.12378

Hally J, Freeman R, Yuan S, Humphris G. The importance of acknowledgement of emotions in routine patient psychological assessment: the example of the dental setting. Patient Education and Counseling, 2017 May 5. Available from, DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2017.05.005 (British Dental Journal. 2017 July 21; 223 (2):  87. Available from, DOI:10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.620)

Freeman R, Gibson B, Humphris G, Leonard H, Yuan S, Whelton H. School-based health education programmes, health-learning capacity and child oral health-related quality of life. Health Education Journal. 2016 Oct 1;75 (6):698-711. Available from, DOI: 10.1177/0017896915612856

Yuan S, Carson SJ, Rooksby M, McKerrow J, Lush C, Humphris G et al. Does dental undergraduate education and postgraduate training enable intention to provide inhalation sedation in primary dental care?: A path analytical exploration. European Journal of Dental Education. 2016 Mar 23. Available from, DOI: 10.1111/eje.12200

Yuan S, Carson SJ, Rooksby M, McKerrow J, Lush C, Freeman R. Assessing sedation need and managing referred dentally anxious patients: is there a role for the Index of Sedation Need? British Dental Journal. 2015 Dec 18; 219(12):571-576. Available from, DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2015.955

Yuan S, Freeman R. Can social support in the guise of an oral health education intervention promote mother infant bonding in Chinese immigrant mothers and their infants? Health Education Journal, 2011 Mar; 70(1): 57-66.

Feng L, Wang X, Huang J, He C, Yuan S. International cooperation in fighting against A/H1N1 flu outbreak. Disease Surveillance, 2010; 25(6): 427-428.

Yuan S, Freeman R, Lahti S, Lloyd-Williams F, Humphris G. Some psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the modified dental anxiety scale with cross validation. Health Qual Life Outcomes, 2008 Mar; 25 (6):22.

Viinikangas A, Lahti S, Yuan S, Pietila I, Freeman R, Humphris G. Evaluating a single dental anxiety question in Finnish adults. Acta Odontologica Scandinavica, 2007 Aug; 65(4):236-40.

Yuan S, Kerr G, Salmon K, Speedy P, Freeman R. Evaluating a community-based dental registration program for preschool children living in areas of high social deprivation. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent. 2007 Mar; 8 (1):55-61.



Banerjee R, Ayers S, Yuan S. Development in early infancy In: Psychology and sociology applied to medicine. Humphris G and van Teijlingen E. 4th ed. Edinburgh: Elsevier; In Press 2019.


Yuan S, Humphris G, Ross A, MacPherson L, Freeman R. How do dental professionals manage triadic communication in Dental Practice? A mixed-methods study. International Conference on Communication for Healthcare, 2018.

Yuan S, Humphris G, Ross A, MacPherson L, Freeman R. Moderating parents: exploring child-parent-dental professional communication in preventive dental visits. International Association for Dental Research, 2018.

Yuan S, Humphris G, Ross A, MacPherson L, Freeman R. Differences between dentists and EDDNs in the delivery of oral health education in Childsmile appointments? Preliminary findings from BEHAVE2 Study. Childsmile Symposium. Beardmore Hotel, Glasgow, January 2018.  

Hally J, Yuan S, Humphris G, Freeman R. Effective communication and reducing dental anxiety: the role of addressing dental patients' emotional needs. The International Conference on Communication in Healthcare, Heidelberg, Germany, 7-10 September 2016.

Yuan S, Lahti S, Viinkangas A, Humphris GM, Freeman R. Dental anxiety in Chinese adults: findings from a workplace survey. J Dent Res 86 (Spec Iss B): 0209 (BSDR/NOF Joint Meeting), 2007 (www.dentalresearch.org).

Humphris GM, Yuan S, Lahti S, Viinikangas A, Freeman R. The Chinese Version of the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale. J Dent Res 86 (Spec Iss B): 0210 (BSDR/NOF Joint Meeting), 2007 (www.dentalresearch.org).

Yuan S, Freeman R. Chinese immigrant and Belfast mothers: determinants of infant toothbrushing intentions. J Dent Res 85 (Spec Iss C): 787 (Pan European Federation), 2006 (www.dentalresearch.org).

Yuan S, Kerr G, Salmon K, Speedy P, Freeman R. Inter-professional working to improve child dental registration rates. J Dent Res 84 (Spec Iss C): 0135 (World Congress on Preventive Dentistry), 2005 (www.dentalresearch.org).

Yuan S, Kerr G, Salmon K, Speedy P, Lazenbatt A, Freeman R. A dental registration intervention for 0-2 year olds: maternal responses. J Dent Res 84 (Spec Iss B): 52 (British Society of Dental Research), 2005 (www.dentalresearch.org).

Yuan S, Kerr G, Salmon K, Speedy P, Lazenbatt A, Freeman R. A dental registration intervention for 0-2 year olds: dentists' responses. J Dent Res 84(Spec Iss B): (IADR-Irish Division), 2005 (www.dentalresearch.org).



Yuan S. How to teach communication skills in the clinical setting? Clinical Governance Group, Dundee Dental Hospital & School, December 2018.

Yuan S. Panel discussion: What can and why should doctors, nurses and dentists contribute to better health literacy? In the Joint Meeting of CMOs, CNOs and CDOs: Healthcare responses to public health challenges – organizational strategies for improving health literacy, tackling antimicrobial resistance and supporting vulnerable groups. November 2018.

Yuan S. Faculty development training in clinical communication training. School of Dentistry, Nanjing Medical University, China, October 2018.

Yuan S. Communication skills teaching in dentistry: theory and practice. School of Stomatology, Capital Medical University (CHINA), 10th July 2017.

Yuan S. Interactions between dental professionals and families: a feasibility and pilot study for audio-visual recording of Childsmile in dental practice (BEHAVE2). Data Training Workshop, Scottish Dental Practice Based Research Network, 3rd March 2017.

Yuan S. Interactions between dental professionals and families: a feasibility and pilot study for audio-visual recording of Childsmile in dental practice (BEHAVE2). University Research Symposium. Crieff Hydro, Crieff, 26th February 2016.  

Yuan S. A Child Dental Registration Intervention in the EHSSB areas in Northern Ireland. Oral Health Promotion Research Group-Irish Link, Ireland (May 2005).