Elena Ratschen
Senior Lecturer in Health Services Research



Elena is a Senior Lecturer in Health Services Research, specialising in applied health research related to tobacco smoking and mental health, with a particular focus on smokefree policy implementation in mental health inpatient settings. She was centrally involved in the development of NICE guidance and a joint Royal College of Physicians & Royal College of Psychiatrists in this area and is an active member of expert advisory groups and national partnerships related to smoking and mental health. Elena is also developing a portfolio of research in the area of animal-assisted intervention (AAI) research in health and social care.  

Before joining the Mental Health and Addictions Research Group in York in 2016, she 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. While the main focus of her work lies on tobacco smoking and mental illness (both from a public health and clinical perspective), she has been involved in research related to smoking in other vulnerable groups, such as the homeless, prisoners, and looked-after children in residential care. She has also led a large randomised controlled trial 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 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 also been active in developing a research portfolio related to investigating the impact of animal-assisted interventions (AAI) in health and social care settings in a variety of populations across the human life span.

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)