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
+44 114 215 9312
Full contact details
School of Clinical Dentistry
19 Claremont Crescent
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.
- Treatment outcomes in trigeminal neuralgia–a systematic review of domains, dimensions and measures. World Neurosurgery: X, 6. View this article in WRRO
- Is toothwear associated with oral health related quality of life in adults in the UK?. Community Dent Health.
- Modeling the theory of planned behaviour to predict adherence to preventive dental visits in preschool children. PLOS ONE, 15(1). View this article in WRRO
- Cancer and changes in facial appearance: a meta-ethnography of qualitative studies. British Journal of Health Psychology. View this article in WRRO
- Prevalence and factors associated with traumatic dental injuries among schoolchildren in war‐torn Libya. Dental Traumatology. View this article in WRRO
- Measuring the symptomatic, physical, emotional and social impacts of dry mouth: A qualitative study. Gerodontology. View this article in WRRO
- Promoting co-production in the generation and use of research evidence to improve service provision in special care dentistry. British Dental Journal, 227(1), 15-18.
- Perceptions of foundation dentists on minor oral surgery teaching in dental foundation training. European Journal of Dental Education, 23(4), 405-414.
- Systems science and oral health: Implications for dental public health?. Community Dental Health, 36(1), 55-62. View this article in WRRO
- Editorial ‘No simple solutions, no single ingredient’: Systems-orientated approaches for addressing Wicked Problems in population oral health. Community Dental Health, 36(1), 3-4. View this article in WRRO
- Socioeconomic variation in the association between malocclusion and oral health-related quality of life. Community dental health, 36(1), 17-21. View this article in WRRO
- Barriers and facilitators for provision of oral health care in dependent older people: a systematic review. Clinical Oral Investigations, 23(3), 979-993.
- Changing dentists’ carious tissue removal behavior: Qualitative study and behavioral change simulation experiment. Journal of Dentistry, 81, 43-51.
- Application of geographic information systems and simulation modelling to dental public health: Where next?. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 47(1), 1-11. View this article in WRRO
- Can a School-Based Intervention Improve the Oral Health-Related Quality of Life of Brazilian Children?. JDR Clinical & Translational Research, 4(3), 229-238.
- How Should We Evaluate and Use Evidence to Improve Population Oral Health?. Dental Clinics of North America, 63(1), 145-156. View this article in WRRO
- Oral health-related quality of life after prosthodontic treatment for patients with partial edentulism: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, 121, 59-68.e3. View this article in WRRO
- Inequalities in dental caries in children within the UK: Have there been changes over time?. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology. View this article in WRRO
- Pre-clinical evaluation of novel mucoadhesive bilayer patches for local delivery of clobetasol-17-propionate to the oral mucosa. Biomaterials, 178, 134-146. View this article in WRRO
- Structural Determinants and Children's Oral Health: A Cross-National Study.. Journal of Dental Research, 97(10), 1129-1136. View this article in WRRO
- Children’s experiences following a CBT intervention to reduce dental anxiety: one year on. British Dental Journal. View this article in WRRO
- The role of socioeconomic status, dental service use and oral health practices on periodontal health.. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 45(7), 768-779. View this article in WRRO
- The inclusion of children with disabilities in oral health research: A systematic review. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 46(3), 238-244. View this article in WRRO
- To fill or not to fill: a qualitative cross-country study on dentists’ decisions in managing non-cavitated proximal caries lesions. Implementation Science, 13(1), 54-54. View this article in WRRO
- Oral health knowledge among brazilian preschoolers and their carers receiving and not receiving health promotion = Conhecimento sobre saúde bucal entre pré-escolares e seus cuidadores que receberam e que não receberam promoção de saúde. Bioscience Journal, 34(2), 514-524. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Oral health knowledge among Brazilian preschoolers and their carers receiving and not receiving health promotion. Bioscience Journal, 34(2), 1114-1124.
- Development and evaluation of the children's experiences of dental anxiety measure. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 28(2), 140-151. View this article in WRRO
- Young Adults’ Experience of Appearance-Altering Orthognathic Surgery: A Longitudinal Interpretative Phenomenologic Analysis. The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, 55(2), 238-247. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Parent's sense of coherence and children's oral health-related behaviors: Is there an association?. Pediatric Dentistry, 40(1), 23-29.
- The development and psychometric properties of the Arabic version of the child oral health impact profile-short form (COHIP- SF 19). Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 15(1). View this article in WRRO
- Development of a decision aid for children faced with the decision to undergo dental treatment with sedation or general anaesthesia. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 27(5), 344-355. View this article in WRRO
- Using classification and regression tree modelling to investigate response shift patterns in dentine hypersensitivity.. BMC Med Res Methodol, 17(1), 120-120. View this article in WRRO
- Clinical practice guidelines and recommendations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: systematic review and critical appraisal.
- The role of psychosocial factors and treatment need in dental service use and oral health among adults in Norway. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.
Conference proceedings papers
- Novel Bilayer Mucoadhesive Patches for Delivery of Clobetasol-17-Propionate to the Oral Mucosa to Treat Oral Lichen Planus; an in Vitro and in Vivo Evaluation. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology, Vol. 126(4) (pp e204-e204) View this article in WRRO
- 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)
‘Improving oral health: Realising the contribution of Social and Behavioural Sciences’. Keynote Lecture, 97th General Assembly International Association of Dental Research, Vancouver, June 2019
‘Contribution of social and behavioural sciences to improving population oral health’. Invited Lecture, University of Bristol, November 2018
‘Children and families: Promoting adjustment to oral health conditions’. Health Psychology Guest Lecture Series, Sheffield Hallam University, June 2017
‘The influence of psychosocial factors on oral health and disease’ Invited Keynote, Research Day, University of Tromso, April 2017
'Changing dentist’s behaviour: Using psychology to promote the implementation of evidence into clinical practice'. Invited keynote, Research Day, University of Tromso, April 2017
‘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
‘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
‘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
'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
‘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
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.