Lynsay Matthews

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Women's mental health
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Willing to speak to media


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr Lynsay Matthews MBChB MSc PhD PGCert LTHE FHEA

Research interest: Women’s mental health

Lynsay researches the link between ‘menstrual health and mental health’, with a particular interest in premenstrual disorders e.g., premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Lynsay is one of only several PMDD researchers in the UK, and was recently awarded funding to:

  • co-develop the UK’s first research agenda for PMDD (funded by Research England)
  • develop a programme theory for suicide prevention in women with PMDD (funded by the ESRC).

To see Lynsay’s PMDD research page, visit Here you can sign up to the PMDD research newsletter and/or join the UK's first PMDD patient insight group.

As an active stakeholder in women’s mental health policy and impact, Lynsay has membership of the following:

  • International Association for Premenstrual Disorders (IAPMD)
  • National Association for Premenstrual Syndromes
  • 4M Consortium for women’s mental health
  • University College London’s eating disorder interest group
  • Scottish Government’s Cross-Party Group for Women’s Health
  • UK Society for Behavioural Medicine

Outside of women’s mental health, Lynsay is:

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Trial Steering Committee for the CHARMER trial

MRC/NIHR Framework for Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions 

Lynsay is co-author of the new framework, funded and published by the MRC and NIHR. The framework (and its accompanying summary paper in the BMJ) provides a guide for developing and evaluating complex interventions, and is used by researchers, health practitioners, funders and journal editors to shape the future of complex intervention research.

Lynsay is co-applicant on two current NIHR grants, helping align the research with the MRC/NIHR Framework. These include:

  • Exploring the feasibility and acceptability of conducting a study comparing the effectiveness of colpocleisis with sacrospinous fixation in women with pelvic organ prolapse (the C-POP study) (funded by NIHR HTA programme).
  • UNiTY: A randomised controlled trial evaluating the clinical and cost effectiveness of IVF versus IUI for UNexplained infertiliTY (funded by NIHR HTA programme).

Handbook of Behaviour Change (Cambridge Press)

  • Lynsay worked at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow for 6 years, where she worked in the Complex Intervention workstream. This work resulted in Lynsay co-authoring, alongside Professor Sharon Simpson, the chapter on Evaluation of Behaviour Change Interventions in Cambridge’s Handbook of Behaviour Change, in addition to co-authoring the MRC/NIHR’s updated Framework for Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions.

Physiology in Childbearing (Elsevier)

  • Lynsay was editor of 12 chapters in the previous edition of Elsevier’s Physiology in Childbearing textbook, and will be editing a further 7 chapters for the upcoming 2024 edition. This is a core textbook for student midwives across numerous midwifery programmes, both nationally and internationally. 

 Postgraduate supervision

  • Master of Public Health. Disordered eating in women with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: a systematic review (completed 2022, University of Glasgow).
  • Master of Public Health. Exploring disordered eating in women with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: a qualitative study (completed 2022, University of Glasgow).
  • Master of Public Health. The impact of physical activity on gestational diabetes (completed 2020, University of Glasgow).
  • Master of Public Health. Women's mental health: suicide risk in women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (completed 2023, University of the West of Scotland).
  • Master of Public Health. The impact of premenstrual symptoms on the sleep quality of women (completed 2023, University of the West of Scotland).
  • Master of Public Health. The impact of premenstrual syndrome on adolescent mental health (completed 2023, University of the West of Scotland).
  • Master of Public Health. The effects of physical activity during peri-menopause (completed 2023, University of the West of Scotland).
  • Master of Public Health. The impact of peri-menopause on mental health (completed 2023, University of the West of Scotland).
  • Lynsay has also mentored 4 PhD students throughout their studies.


Lynsay is lecturer on the Master of Public Health programme. Outside of UWS, Lynsay teaches on complex intervention research, process evaluation, and programme theory, including:

  • College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Institute of Clinical Sciences: Mixed Methods Research Design, University of Birmingham
  • Mixed Methods Research: Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions, University of Birmingham
  • Research Methods: Master of Public Health programme, UNICAF

Public engagement and media

  • mhTV: podcast/stream, Awareness of PMDD among mental health professionals (2023)
  • LunaHub: live webinar, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (2022)
  • The Conversation: “Dixie D’Amelio has PMDD: here’s what you need to know” (180,000 reads) (2022)
  • Explorathon: “The HelpMeDoit! Study’, Glasgow Science Centre (2019, 2018)
  • ESRC Festival of Social Sciences, ‘The HelpMeDoit! Study’, IKEA, Glasgow (2018)
  • Public health engagement, ‘Best Start in Life’, in primary schools across Glasgow, North Ayrshire and East Ayrshire (2017-2023).


  • UK Society of Behavioural Medicine, 2023: conference poster prize for 'Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: a UK research agenda' (Authors: Matthews L, Riddel J)
  • Royal College of Psychiatry Eating Disorder Faculty, 2022: conference poster prize for ‘Disordered eating in women with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder’ (Authors: Matthews L, Ebesoh Nkeng R, Miranda M).
  • Diabetes UK Education and Self-Management Award, Diabetes UK (2016)
  • Quality in Care Diabetes award (2015 & 2016)

Lynsay’s broad areas of expertise include:

  • Women’s Health
  • Qualitative Research
  • Process evaluation
  • Complex intervention methods 
  • Programme theory

Lynsay is interested in hearing from potential collaborators and PhD students on any of these topics. 


Some of Lynsay's publications are still in the process of validation for this online system. In the meantime, please see this link here for a full list of Lynsay's publications (2651 citations, H-index=18, 30 peer-reviewed articles, 13 book chapters and 2 technical reports). 


£435,000 Co-applicant. NIHR Health Technology Assessment (2022): The CPOP trial - a randomised controlled trial to compare the feasibility of evaluating different surgical methods of pelvic floor repair in older women (PI Dr Laura Jones, University of Birmingham).

£1,410,000  Co-applicant. NIHR Health Technology Assessment (2022): The UNITY trial - a randomised controlled trial to compare the different methods of infertility treatment (PI Dr Jackson Kirkman-Brown, University of Birmingham).

£4000 Principal Investigator. Research England (2022): Co-development of a research agenda for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder in the UK (initiated with University of Birmingham, now ongoing with UWS).

£5000 Principal Investigator. ESRC Impact Accelerator Fund (2022): Co-development of a systems map and programme theory for suicide prevention in people with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (initiated with University of Birmingham, now ongoing with UWS). 

£95,000 Co-applicant. Medical Research Council (2017-2018): Update of the MRC and NIHR’s Framework for Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions (PI Professor Laurence Moore, University of Glasgow).

£87,500 Co-applicant. Baily Thomas Charitable Fund (2014-2018): A feasibility study to explore factors associated with the health behaviours of adolescents with learning disabilities as they transition from school to adulthood (PI Dr Fiona Mitchell, University of Glasgow).

£224,338 Co-applicant. Chief Scientist Office (2012-2014): The impact of a walking intervention on the physical activity levels and health of adults with learning disabilities (PI Professor Craig Melville, University of Glasgow).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

External positions

Honorary Research Fellow , University of Birmingham , Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK

31 Oct 2022 → …


  • RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
  • Women's health
  • Mental health


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