Elena Ratschen
Senior Lecturer in Health Services Research



Elena is a Senior Lecturer in Health Services Research, specialising in applied health research using mixed methods, with a particular interest in developing and testing complex interventions.

Much of Elena’s research to date has focused on tobacco smoking and mental health, with a particular focus on smokefree policy implementation in mental health inpatient settings. Elena was centrally involved in the development of NICE guidance and a joint Royal College of Physicians & Royal College of Psychiatrists report in this area and is an active member of expert advisory groups and national partnerships related to smoking and mental health. She leads the Tobacco and Mental Health research theme and chairs the University’s interdisciplinary Tobacco Research Group.

Elena is also developing a research portfolio in the area of Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) research and is the theme lead for this topic.

Before joining the Mental Health and Addictions Research Group in York in 2016, Elena obtained her PhD and held a lectureship at the University of Nottingham (UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies).


  • PhD (2010), University of Nottingham
  • MPH (2007), University of Nottingham
  • BA(hons) & MA (2004), University of Passau (Germany)



Elena is an applied health researcher with expertise in employing mixed methods and a particular interest in the development and evaluation of complex interventions. Much of her research has been focussed on tobacco smoking and severe mental illness (especially inpatient settings), but she has also been involved in research related to smoking in other vulnerable groups, such as the homeless, prisoners, and looked-after children in residential care. Elena has also led a large NIHR-funded RCT on the effectiveness of a complex intervention to reduce children’s exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in the home in deprived communities. Other interests related to tobacco research include electronic cigarettes, harm reduction and relapse prevention; holistic approaches towards treating multiple addictions and towards addressing poor physical health in people with mental disorder; and strategies to address health inequalities in vulnerable groups.

Elena has been active in developing a research portfolio related to Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) and health in a variety of populations across the human life span and is collaborating with a wide variety of academic and non-academic organisations in this context.

Research group(s)


Elena will be very happy to discuss potential for supervision in any area related to her research interests. 


Full publications list


Contact details

Dr Elena Ratschen
Senior Lecturer in Health Services Research

Tel: 01904 32(1678)