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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Dr Samantha Quaife, BSc, MSc, PhD, CPsychol


Reader in Behavioural Science



I joined QMUL in 2021 as a Senior Lecturer in Behavioural Science within the Centre for Cancer Screening, Prevention and Early Diagnosis at the Wolfson Institute of Population Health. In 2023 I was promoted to a Reader in Behavioural Science. I am a Chartered Psychologist and Behavioural Scientist, whose academic training is in Health Psychology. I am also an Honorary Associate Professor within the Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health at University College London.

I hold a Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Population Research Fellowship, as well as funding from CRUK, Barts Charity, North Central London Cancer Alliance and previous funding from the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. I am the lead Behavioural Scientist on two major lung screening implementation studies (the SUMMIT Study and the Yorkshire Lung Screening Trial) and an expert advisor to NHS England’s Targeted Lung Health Check Programme. I am also a Co-Investigator on the Yorkshire Enhanced Smoking Cessation Study (YESS), the PEARL study (understanding diagnostic experiences of lung cancer patients with no smoking history), as well as studies developing an implementation toolkit for smoking cessation provision in lung cancer screening and testing a radiographer-led intervention,

I actively collaborate with patients and the public in designing, carrying out, and disseminating research, as well as academics, researchers and healthcare professionals nationally and internationally, including University College London, University of Leeds, Cardiff University, University of Nottingham, University of Pennsylvania, University of Glasgow, the National Cancer Institute and the American Thoracic Society. In collaboration with colleagues at KCL and UCL, I co-convene a Cancer Behavioural Science webinar series badged under the CRUK City of London Centre and the UKSBM’s special interest group.


Research Interests:

My goal is to use Health Psychology and Behavioural Science to improve engagement with the cancer control agenda and reduce inequalities in cancer mortality.  

My research interests primarily concern the psychological and behavioural aspects of early detection of cancer, and how to understand and intervene to improve the equity, acceptability, implementation, and impact of population-level detection strategies.  Much of my work is focussed in lung cancer screening with an applied intervention focus, although I am expanding these themes to other types of cancer of unmet need.   In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am also leading work to understand the impact of virtual attendance on the effectiveness and quality of cancer multidisciplinary team meetings.

Cross-cutting themes of work within my behavioural science research group include,

  • socioeconomic and smoking-related inequalities in uptake of cancer screening,
  • surveillance of abnormal findings among individuals at high risk of cancer,
  • informed and shared decision-making among lower literacy participants,
  • communication of risk-based eligibility (including behavioural risk factors),
  • the psychological and behavioural impact of cancer screening,
  • cancer screening as an opportunity for supporting smoking cessation and other types of health behaviour change,
  • the effectiveness and quality of virtual cancer multi-disciplinary team meetings.


Please follow through for a complete list of Samantha's publications.

Quaife SL, Waller J, Dickson JL, Brain KE, Kurtidu C, McCabe J, Hackshaw A, Duffy SW, Janes SM. Psychological targets for lung cancer screening uptake: a prospective longitudinal cohort study. Journal of Thoracic Oncology 2021; Epub ahead of print.

Quaife SL, Ruparel M, Dickson JL, Beeken RJ, McEwen A, Baldwin DR, Bhowmik A, Navani N, Sennett K, Duffy SW, Wardle J, Waller J, Janes SM. Lung Screen Uptake Trial (LSUT): Randomised controlled trial testing targeted invitation materials. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2020; 201: 965-975. 


Panos Alexandris, Barts Charity, Risk assessment of screen-detected lung nodules, Start date: September 2021

Stefanie Bonfield, Barts Charity, Understanding public preferences for cancer detection test modalities to improve equitable participation, Start date: January 2022

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