Professor Sarah Baker

BSc (Hons), PhD, Chartered Health Psychologist, AFBPsS

School of Clinical Dentistry

Professor of Psychology as applied to Dentistry

Head of Academic Unit of Oral Health, Dentistry and Society

Sarah Baker
s.r.baker@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 215 9312

Full contact details

Professor Sarah Baker
School of Clinical Dentistry
19 Claremont Crescent
Sheffield
S10 2TA
Profile

I received my PhD in Health Psychology in 1994, and have been a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society since 2002. In 2005, I moved into the field of oral health taking up a position as Lecturer in Psychology in the School of Clinical Dentistry at the University of Sheffield. I am currently a Professor of Psychology as applied to Dentistry. 

In 2018, I was the recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Scientist Award for Behavioural, Epidemiological and Health Services Research from the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). This is the most highly prestigious award given by IADR and is designed to recognise outstanding achievements in the areas of behavioural science and health services research as they relate to dentistry. I am also a past winner of the 2013 and 2016 IADR Giddon Award for Distinguished Research in Behavioural Sciences.  The Giddon Award recognises the best paper internationally in the fields of social or cultural anthropology, education, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, and social work applied to dentistry. 

I have been an Associate Editor for the journal Community Dentistry Oral Epidemiology since 2011, and am on the Editorial Boards of both Community Dental Health and the International Dental Journal. In 2013-2014, I was President of the IADR’s Behavioural, Epidemiological, Health Services Research Group and served on the Executive Board of the Group from 2010 to 2019. 

I am an Honorary Professor at University College London and hold an honorary post with Public Health England. I am currently a member of the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award Sub-Committee (2018-present) and the Peer Review College, UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships programme (2018-2021).

Research interests

My research interests centre on the application of psychological theories, methods and techniques to address key questions in oral health and the field of dentistry. Previous projects have included:

  • clinical, psychological and social determinants and impacts of oral health
  • child and family adjustment to cleft lip and palate
  • young people’s experience of orthodontic and orthognathic conditions and the treatment pathway
  • development and evaluation of person-centred outcome measures for oral health including, dentine hypersensitivity, dry mouth, and gum health
  • development and evaluation of school oral health promotion interventions
  • cross-country comparison of structural (upstream) determinants of children’s oral health
  • oral health inequalities and barriers to dental care
  • inclusion of underserved populations in oral health research
  • life-course approaches to oral health
  • developing, testing and implementing theoretical frameworks in oral health research
  • barriers and facilitators to implementing research findings in dental practice
  • systems science approaches to Wicked Problems in oral health
  • critical evaluation of the use of evidence in population oral health
  • critical dental public health and social oral epidemiology

I have been involved in a large number of national and international multi-disciplinary teams and actively enjoy collaborating with researchers and clinicians in oral health, dentistry, and health psychology around the world. This has included projects in Libya, New Zealand, Germany, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Bahrain, UK, Saudi Arabia, and the USA.

I have funding from research councils, charities and industry including National Institute of Health Research and Glaxosmithkline, and over 200 peer-reviewed publications. I regularly speak at international and national conferences, workshops and symposia, and am external examiner for PhD thesis both nationally and internationally. 

Publications

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

Research group

Current PhD students:

  • Andrew Rawlinson. Periodontal Treatment and Oral Health Related Quality of Life (2015-present)
  • Magdalena Uerlich. Obesity and dental caries: More communalities than just diet? (2016-present)
  • Seham Mohammed. Oral health, school attendance and school performance: A prospective, longitudinal study (2018-present)
  • Faisal Alanazi. The Oral Health Data Platform: Role of local government interventions on children’s oral health (2018-present)
  • Thitika Kimise. The informal market for ‘fashion braces’ (2018-present)
  • Hanieh Javidi. Does Orthodontics Improve Oral Health-Related Quality of Life? A Cohort Study (2017-present)
  • Maram Alwadi. The inclusion of disability in oral health research (2017-present)
  • Arisa Srikong, The impact of dry mouth on oral health quality of life and well-being (2019-present)

Past PhD students:

  • Zaid Ali. Oral Health Related Quality of Life in Removable Partial Denture Treatments for the Replacement of Missing Teeth (2018)
  • Ninu Paul. Factors which predict better resilience following orthognathic surgery (2018)
  • Karthik Periyakaruppiah. Do coping strategies of patients determine denture success to improve oral health related quality of life? (2017)
  • Tom Broomhead. Spatial inequalities in oral health (2017)
  • Joe Hulin Decision aids in paediatric dental sedation: helping children choose what is right for them (2015)
  • Eamar Al Gtewi Exploring the use and role of online support groups for head and neck cancer (2015)
  • Ekta Gupta The determinants of oral health related quality of life in adults (2014)
  • Marta Krasuska Exploring response shift in relation to dentine sensitivity (2014)
  • Sally Craig How children view other children with enamel defects (2013)
  • Yvonne-Oliva Stocker A qualitative exploration of cultural issues associated with surgery to change facial appearance: Private and public views of orthognathics and the acceptability of appearance altering surgery (2013)
  • Orawan Nammontri The effect of an intervention to enhance sense of coherence on oral health related quality of life: An exploratory study (2012)
  • Orachad Gururatana The impact of screening for oral disease and provision of simple restorations on oral health related quality of life of children in Thailand (2011)
  • Amdah Mat Child oral health related quality of life in Malaysia (2010)
  • Jenny Porritt Childhood dental trauma: A resiliency model of adjustment (2010)
  • Paul Brocklehurst What effects the decision to refer an oral soft tissue lesion from primary to secondary care? (2009)
  • Susan Hill Illness perceptions of people with hand problems: A population survey and focus group enquiry (2006)
Teaching activities
  • I currently have responsibility for the development, teaching and assessment of communication skills within the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) undergraduate curriculum (Years 1-5).
  • I am module lead for the Masters in Dental Public Health (MDPH) dissertation module.
  • I am module lead for the MClinDent in International Dental Public Health Fieldwork Project. 
  • I supervise dissertations for the Doctor in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) programme in the Department of Clinical Psychology, oral health promotion projects for the Hygiene and Therapy Diploma in the School of Clinical Dentistry, and dissertations for both the Masters in Dental Public Health and MClinDent in International Dental Public Health, School of Clinical Dentistry.
Professional activities
  • President (2013-2014), Past President (2014-2016), Program Chair (2011-12), Symposium Organiser (2010-2011, 2017-2018) and Executive committee member (2010-2019), Behavioural, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research Group (BEHSR), International Association for Dental Research (IADR)
  • Associate Editor and Editorial Board, Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology (2010 - )
  • Editorial Board, Community Dental Health (2017- )
  • Editorial Board, International Dental Journal (2018- )
  • Section Editor and Editorial Board, Behavioural Sciences, Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal (2009-2015)
  • IADR Distinguished Scientist Award Sub-Committee (2018-2023)
  • Honorary Professor, University College London
  • Peer Review College, UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships (UKRI FLF) programme (2018 – present)
  • Organising Committee, IADR Centennial Social and Behavioural Sciences Summit, Washington, March 2020

Invited international and national lectures and keynotes (2014-2019)

  1. ‘Improving oral health: Realising the contribution of Social and Behavioural Sciences’. Keynote Lecture, 97th General Assembly International Association of Dental Research, Vancouver, June 2019

  2. ‘Contribution of social and behavioural sciences to improving population oral health’. Invited Lecture, University of Bristol, November 2018

  3. ‘Children and families: Promoting adjustment to oral health conditions’. Health Psychology Guest Lecture Series, Sheffield Hallam University, June 2017

  4. ‘The influence of psychosocial factors on oral health and disease’ Invited Keynote, Research Day, University of Tromso, April 2017

  5. 'Changing dentist’s behaviour: Using psychology to promote the implementation of evidence into clinical practice'. Invited keynote, Research Day, University of Tromso, April 2017

  6. ‘Children and families: Promoting adjustment to oral health conditions’ in ‘From Macro to Micro Perspectives: Creating meaning in dentistry’ Colgate Symposium held at the European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry, Belgrade, June 2016

  7. ‘The psychosocial impact of dentine hypersensitivity’ in ‘Is Dentine Hypersensitivity a Dental Public Health Problem?’ symposium to be held at the Pan European Federation of International Association of Dental Research Conference, Croatia, September 2014

  8. ‘Using social science theory in oral and dental research: Why and how?’ Lunch and Learning Event. International Association for Dental Research Conference, Cape Town, June 2014

  9. 'Using theory to link clinical interventions to psychosocial outcomes in oral health research' in ‘Clinical Trials and Methodology Development for Patient-Oriented Outcomes’ symposium, International Association for Dental Research Conference, Cape Town, June 2014

  10. ‘How can behavioural sciences contribute to improving population oral health?’ Invited keynote, European Association of Dental Public Health Conference, Gothenberg, June 2014.

Symposium Organiser and Chair (2014-2020):

  • ‘Complex Systems Science in Dental Research- Needs and Methodological Consideration’ for the International Association for Dental Research Conference, Washington, March, 2020
  • ‘Applying Health Psychology to Oral Health: Recent research and future directions’. Symposium at the British Health Psychology Conference, Newcastle, September 2018
  • ‘Implementation research in dentistry: Can psychological theory be a useful tool?’ Symposium at the International Association for Dental Research, London, July 2018
  • ‘Using social science theory in oral and dental research: Why and how?’ Lunch and Learning event at the International Association for Dental Research, Cape Town, June 2014

Prizes:

Each year the International Association for Dental Research gives Distinguished Scientist Awards. I received the 2018 Distinguished Scientist Award for Behavioural, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research. This award is the most highly prestigious awarded by IADR and is designed to recognise outstanding achievements in the areas of behavioural science and health services research as they relate to dentistry https://www.iadr.org/IADR/Awards/Grants-Awards/Distinguished-Scientist/2018

I have also been the recipient of the Giddon Award for Distinguished Research in the Behavioural Sciences in both 2013 and 2016. This award recognises a single basic or applied research paper within social or cultural anthropology, education, psychology, psychiatry, sociology or social work as applied to dentistry. 

  • 2013 Giddon Award for Distinguished Research in Behavioural Sciences for the paper: Nammontri O, Robinson PG, Baker SR. Enhancing Oral Health via Sense of Coherence: A Cluster randomized Trial. Journal of Dental Research 2013; 92: 26-31
  • 2016 Giddon Award for Distinguished Research in Behavioural Sciences for the paper: Baker SR, Gibson BJ. (2014). Social Oral Epidemi(olog)2y -Where next: one small step or one giant leap? Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 2014; 42: 481-494.