Title: Dr
First Name: Katrina
Surname: Forbes-McKay
Position: Lecturer
Telephone: 01224 263211

Connect via ResearchGateAcademic Background

  • MA (Aberdeen)
  • PhD (Aberdeen)


  • Cognitive Psychology 
  • Biological Foundations of Behaviour
  • Organisational and Management Psychology
  • Course Leader on the MSc Applied Psychology

Professional Background

Katrina joined RGU in November 2002 and teaches various aspects of psychology and quantitative research methods. She is interested in various areas of cognitive, health and biological psychology but is especially interested in the application of psychology to neurological and mental well being. Katrina's previous research has involved cognitive and functional investigations of memory and language deterioration in healthy ageing and patients with dementia; with a particular interest in the early identification and prediction of dementia onset. She has also been involved in numerous studies to investigate the behavioural, cognitive and functional benefits of treatment programs among patients with dementia.   

Katrina is currently researching the factors that predict psychological wellbeing and behavioural change.

Research Interests


  1. investigating the psychological, behavioural, cognitive and functional benefits of intervention programs in patients with dementia,
  2. the application of social and cognitive theories to predict; mental wellbeing (women following miscarriage), health behaviours (alcohol use, breast feeding, medication adherence), successful engagement with behavioural change interventions (breastfeeding interventions amongst substance using mothers; follow up support for women with miscarriage) and clinical decision making (prescribing decisions amongst pharmacists, use of advance directives in dementia). The main aim of such research is to lead to a change in practice, policy or behaviour and the education and training of health and social care professionals.

Funded Projects

NHS Grampian. Enabling Integration and seamless care of patients from Marywell healthcare center for the homeless to mainstream GP practices in Aberdeen. V Paudyal, D Stewart, K MacLure, K Forbes-McKay. 2015-2016.

Medapharm. Developing and testing the feasibility of a community pharmacist led intervention to improve patient adherence to prescribes topical acne therapies. D Stewart, K Forbes-McKay, V Paudyal, K MacLure, R Tucker. 2015-2016.

NHS Endowment Fund. Home Self Administration of Intravenous Antibiotics: A Qualitative Study of the Perspectives of those Patients Attending the Grampian OPAT Clinic who Choose not to Self-Administer. A Tonna (PI), D Stewart, V Paudyal, K Forbes-McKay, R Laing, I Tonna, A MacKenzie (NHS Grampian). 2014-2015.

NHS Grampian. Use of multi-compartment compliance aids in elderly patients referred to the Medication Support Service: a case study evaluation in the north east of Scotland. D Stewart (PI), K MacLure, V Paudyal, S Cuningham, A Strath, K Forbes-McKay, R Lynch (both Applied Social Studies), J MacLeod (NHS Grampian). 2014-2015.

FASD Scoping study funded by ADP, to investigate the services and support available to carers of and individuals affected by alcohol exposed pregnancies.

Research Degree Supervision

Principal Supervisor

  • PhD Thesis title: "Psychological wellbeing following miscarriage across the life span: the moderating effects of locus of control and social support from a salutogenic perspective". Dr Anne-Marie Rennie - Completed December 2015
  • PhD Thesis title: "Maternal drinking and smoking, Its nature, prevalence and outcomes to mother and infant" Dr. Eilidh Duncan - Completed July 2011

Second Supervisor

  • PhD Thesis title: "Relaxation techniques in Childbirth". School of Nursing and Midwifery. Mo Tabib - Napier University.
  • PhD Thesis title: "Stress Eating in Obesity: What are the Psychological Stressors and their Moderators?" Annand Swayamprakasam - Robert Gordon University.
  • PhD Thesis title: "Accepting the Crisis of the Anthropocene". Rachel Young. Robert Gordon University.
  • PhD Thesis title: "A proposed model of perceived motivationally-relevant social agent influence during athlete development" Dr Bryan McCann - Completed 2019
  • PhD Thesis title: "Non-clinical factors influencing prescribing decisions among non-medical prescribers" Dr Trudi McIntosh – Completed 2018.
  • PhD Thesis title: "Reducing neonatal stay for abstinence syndrome and improving health outcomes for women and babies". Dr Sonya McIvor – Completed July 2016.



Paudyal, V, MacLure, K, Forbes?McKay, K, et al. (2019). ‘If I die, I die, I don’t care about my health’: Perspectives on self?care of people experiencing homelessness. Health Social Care Community. September 6.

Paudyal, V., Gibson Smith, K., MacLure, K. et al. (2019). Perceived roles and barriers in caring for the people who are homeless: a survey of UK community pharmacists. Int J Clin Pharm. 41(1): 215-227.

Tonna A, Anthony G, Tonna I, et al. (2019). Home self-administration of intravenous antibiotics as part of an outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy service: a qualitative study of the perspectives of patients who do not self-administer. BMJ Open .9.


Stewart, D., Gibson Smith, K., MacLeod, J. et al. (2018). The experiences and beliefs of older people in Scottish very sheltered housing about using multi-compartment compliance aids. Int J Clin Pharm 40: 394.

MacVicar S, Humphrey T, & Forbes-McKay KE. (2018). Breastfeeding and the substance-exposed mother and baby. Birth. Feb 7. doi: 10.1111/birt.12338.

Gibson-Smith KG, Paudyal V, MacLure K, Forbes-McKay K, Buchanan C, Wilson L, MacLeod J, Smith A, & Stewart D. (2018). Relocating patients from a specialist homeless healthcare centre to general practices: a multi-perspective study. British Journal of General Practice, 68 (667): e105 e113. doi:


MacVicar, S., Humphrey, T. and Forbes-McKay, K.E., (2017). Breastfeeding Support and Opiate Dependence: A Think Aloud Study. Midwifery;50:239-245. doi:10.1016/j.midw.2017.04.013.


MCINTOSH T, STEWART D; FORBES-MCKAY K, MCCAIG D, AND CUNNINGHAM S. (2016). A systematic review of the influences on prescribing decision-making among non-medical prescribers in the United Kingdom. Family Practice. doi:10.1093/fampra/cmw085.

MACLURE, K. MACLEOD, J. FORBES-MCKAY, K. PAUDYAL, V. CUNNINGHAM, S. STRATH, A. LYNCH, R. STEWART, D. A case study investigation into the use of multi-compartment compliance aids in older people resident in very sheltered housing. Patient, doi:10.1007/s40271-016-0178-8.

MACVICAR, S., KIRKPATRICK, P., HUMPHREY, T and FORBES-MCKAY, KE. (2015) Supporting Breastfeeding Establishment among Socially Disadvantaged Women: a Meta-Synthesis. Birth, 42 (4), pp. 290-298, doi:10.1111/birt.12180.

FORBES-MCKAY, KE., SHANKS, MF & VENNERI, A. (2014) Charting the decline in spontaneous writing in Alzheimer's disease: a longitudinal study. Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 26 (4), pp 246-252.

FORBES-MCKAY, KE., SHANKS, MF & VENNERI, A. (2013) Profiling spontaneous speech decline in Alzheimer's Disease: A longitudinal study. Acta Neuropsychiatrica. Available from CJO2013. doi:10.1017/neu.2013.16.

DUNCAN, EM., FORBES-MCKAY, KE & HENDERSON, SE. (2012) Alcohol use during pregnancy: an application of the theory of planned behaviour.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 42(8), 1887-1903. 

MCGEOWN, WJ., SHANKS, MF., FORBES-MCKAY, KE., WAITER, GD., ELRICK, I., VENNERI, MG and VENNERI, A. (2010) Established donepezil treatment modulates regional brain activation in early Alzheimer’s disease. Current Alzheimer Research, 7.

MCGEOWN, WJ., SHANKS, MF., FORBES-MCKAY, KE and VENNERI, A. (2009) Patterns of brain activity during a semantic task differentiate normal aging from early Alzheimer’s disease. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 173, 218–227.

SHANKS, M.F., MCGEOWN, W.J., FORBES-MCKAY, K.E., WAITER, G.D., RIES, M. and VENNERI, A., (2007) Regional brain activity after prolonged cholinergic enhancement in early Alzheimer’s disease. Magnetic Resonance Imaging 25, pp. 848–859

FORBES-MCKAY, K.E. and VENNERI, A., 2005. Detecting subtle spontaneous language decline in early Alzheimer's disease with a picture description task. Neurological Sciences, 26, pp. 243-254

FORBES-MCKAY, K.E., ELLIS, A., SHANKS, M.F and VENNERI, A., 2005. The age of acquisition of words produced in a semantic fluency task can reliably differentiate normal from pathological age related cognitive decline. Neuropsychologia, 43 (11), pp. 1625-1632

VENNERI, A., FORBES-MCKAY, K.E. and SHANKS, M.F., 2005. Impoverishment of spontaneous language and the prediction of Alzheimer's disease. Brain, 128 (4), pp. 27.

FORBES, K.E., SHANKS, M.F. and VENNERI, A., 2004. The evolution of dysgraphia in Alzheimer's Disease. Brain Research Bulletin, 63 (1), pp. 19-24

FORBES, K.E., and VENNERI, A., 2003. A case for case: Handling letter case selection in written spelling. Neuropsychologia, 41 (1), pp. 16-24

FORBES, K.E., VENNERI, A., and SHANKS, M.F., 2002. Distinct patterns of spontaneous speech deterioration: An early predictor of Alzheimer's Disease. Brain & Cognition, 48, pp. 356-361

VENNERI, A., SHANKS, M.F., STAFF, R.T., PESTELL, S.J., FORBES, K.E., GEMMEL, H.G., and MURRAY, A.D., 2002. Cerebral blood flow and cognitive responses to rivastigmine treatment in Alzheimer's disease. NeuroReport, 13 (1), pp. 83-87