Dr Fiona McMaster

Course Leader, MSc Public Health and Senior Lecturer

Faculty:Faculty of Medical Science

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Public health

Dr McMaster focuses her research on how practitioners and patients communicate and how this can affect behaviour change. She is particularly interested in patterns of health communication across cultures.



Following an undergraduate degree in Chinese at the University of Cambridge, Dr McMaster worked in Shenyang and Beijing, China and became interested in translating health education materials, leading to the MPHe (Population Health Evidence) from the University of Manchester. Following this, she worked in a Health Services Research Unit for a group of hospitals in Singapore, was the project director for a National Institutes of Health – funded research project to reduce Childhood Obesity. She completed a PhD in Health Behaviour and Health Education at the University of Michigan, USA, and joined Anglia Ruskin University in 2012.

Fiona is involved in projects where she trains social workers, nurses, doctors and public health practitioners in motivational interviewing, a person-centred approach to talking about change. She brings her research into the classroom in undergraduate and postgraduate modules, and teaches PhD workshops on academic writing, qualitative research and research communication.

Research interests

  • Measurement of motivational interviewing skills
  • The teaching of public health skills
  • Health literacy, communication, and behaviour change
  • Improving clinical skills in medicine, nursing, midwifery and social work

Areas of research supervision

  • Motivational interviewing for HIV Adherence
  • Counselling approaches for behaviour change interventions
  • Clinical supervision and improving practitioner competence
  • The impact of stigma on patient outcomes


MSc Public Health, BSc Public Health, CPD Motivational Interviewing


  • PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
  • MPHe, University of Manchester
  • MA, University of Cambridge
  • PG Cert Learning and Teaching, Anglia Ruskin University
  • Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults

Selected recent publications

McMaster. F, 2015 Health Promotion in: Northrop M, and Kraskewski ed. Foundation Skills for Healthcare Sciences

McMaster, F., Griva, K. (2015) Motivational Interviewing across Cultures: training notes from four continents. The European Health Psychologist

McMaster, F., Resnicow, K., (2015) Validation of the one pass measure for motivational interviewing competence Patient Educ Couns. 2015 Apr;98 (4):499-505

Resnicow, K., Bocian, A., Harris, DL., Schwartz, R, Wasserman, R., Slora, E., McMaster, F (2015) Motivational interviewing and Dietary Counseling for Obesity in Primary Care: An RCT Pediatrics 2014-1880:R2

Undrill, G., McMaster, F., (2013) Powerpoint for training Advances in Psychiatric Treatment

Resnicow, K., McMaster, F., Woolford, S., Slora, E., et. al. (2012) Study design and baseline description of the BMi2 trial: reducing paediatric obesity in primary care practices Pediatr Obes Feb;7(1): pp3-15.

Rescicow, K., McMaster, F., Rollnick, S., (2012) Action reflectinos: a client-centred technique to bridge the WHY-HOW transition in Motivational Interviewing Behav Cogn Psychother. Jul; 40(4):474-80

Resnicow, K., McMaster, F., (2012) Moving from Why to How with autonomy support Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act Mar2 pp9-19.

McMaster, F., Resnicow, K., (2011) Motivational Interviewing. In: J.M. Rippe, ed. 2011 Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine and Health: Sage

Ng, C.W.L., Lim, G.H., McMaster, F., Molina, J., Seow, E., Heng, B.H. (2009) Patient satisfaction in an observation unit: the Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems Hospital Survey Emergency Medicine Journal 2009:26 pp586-589.