Miss. Laura Beaton

Research Assistant


Division of Oral Health Sciences
Dental Hospital & School
Park Place
Dundee DD1 4HR

Phone Number:

+44 (0)1382381 691

Email Address:


I graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2009 with an M.A. in Psychology. I then went on to study at Queen Margaret University, graduating with a MSc in Health Psychology.  I have worked as a research assistant in the Dental Health Services Unit since February 2013.

M.Sc. with Distinction – Health Psychology – Queen Margaret University (2009)

M.A. (Hons) – Psychology – University of Edinburgh (2010)


I work as a research assistant evaluating the Smile4Life intervention.  This is an oral health improvement programme for homeless populations in Scotland.  My work with Smile4life has involved conducting a process evaluation, investigating the implementation of Smile4life across Scotland. I have also been involved in the HoPSCOTCH evaluation, assessing the impact of Smile4life on people experiencing homelessness, and the effects of Smile4life staff training. I have recently started my PhD, which aims to  investigate the translation of national guidance concerning the prevention of oral disease for people experiencing homelessness into practice in primary dental care and community settings.

Project Title: Increasing access to mainstream dental services for homeless populations: understanding organisational, practitioner and client barriers and facilitators to oral health interventions

Supervisors: Professor Ruth Freeman, Professor Gerry Humphris (Uni. of St Andrews) & Professor Isolbel Anderson (Uni of Stirling)

Research project description: Smile4life is an oral health intervention for people experiencing homelessness in Scotland. Since it was launched in 2012, two evaluations have been conducted which highlighted numerous factors that act as barriers and facilitators to successful implementation. However, the full extent is not yet known – there is a need for further in-depth research into how and why NHS and Third Sector organisations successfully translate Smile4life into practice. This is what my research aims to discover.  

I will first characterise the current delivery of Smile4life, then identify barriers and facilitators at the system, organisational, practitioner and client levels, before finally developing a tool to assess the competent delivery of Smile4life. To meet these objectives I will conduct four stages of data collection – participant observation, focus groups, interviews and a questionnaire. Participants will be purposively sampled from the NHS and Third Sector organisations across Scotland.


Beaton L and Freeman R. (2015) Oral health promotion and homelessness: a theory-based approach to understanding processes of implantation and adoption. Health Education Journal

Beaton, L., Freeman, R., Humprhis, G. (2013) Why Are People Afraid of the Dentist? Observations and Explanations.  Medical Principles and Practice: International Journal of the Kuwait University Health Science Centre. 

Saklofske, DH., Austin, E.J., Mastoras, S.M., Beaton, L. and Osborne, S.E. (2012) Relationships of personality, affect, emotional intelligence and coping with student stress and academic success: Different patterns of association for stress and success.  Learning and Individual Differences, 22, 252-257.


Beaton, L., Coles, E., Kinnear, D., Freeman, R. (2014) Better Oral Health and Better Lives for Homeless People: The Smile4life Intervention. Poster Presentation at The University of Dundee, College of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing Research Symposium. 2014

Beaton L and Freeman R. Oral health promotion and homelessness: a theory-based approach to understanding processes of implementation and adoption. CMDN Research Symposium. 26th February 2015 Beaton L. Oral health and homelessness: the Smile4life intervention. Housing, Health and Wellbeing Module, M.S.c in Housing Studies, University of Stirling. 5th March 2015