Dr Erica Thomas

Headshot of Erica Thomas

Public health lead MBChB Program

Three Counties Medical School


Contact Details

email: e.thomas@worc.ac.uk

Erica joined the Three Counties Medical School in 2023 as the Public Health Subject Lead and Lead for Written Assessments on the MBChB program. In this role she develops and deliver the public health curriculum to medical students and design and deliver the strategy for written assessments.

Her background is in health improvement, specialising in health behaviour research and intervention development. This involves exploring the psychological, social, and environmental determinants that impact behaviours such as eating and physical activity and then designing evidence-based interventions to create a positive change in these behaviours at the population level.


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education and professional practice (University of Wolverhampton, 2017)
  • PhD in Health Psychology (University of Worcester, 2012)
  • Post Graduate Certificate Research methods (University of Worcester, 2008)
  • BSc Psychology (University of Worcester, 2007)

Teaching Interests

Erica's teaching interests span a diverse array of subjects within the field of public health. She's taught on specific modules such as health communication, research methods, and approaches to public health. On the MBChB program, her teaching extends across the three overarching domains of public health, namely health protection, health improvement, and healthcare services delivery.

Erica is an active postgraduate research supervisor, having worked with students on a range of diverse topics, including but not limited to; experiences of maternal healthcare, alexithymia and disordered eating, and barriers to providing physical education in schools. She has overseen the progress of doctoral students on projects related to resilience and self-compassion, and culturally competent mental health communication. Erica has expertise in supervising primary and secondary research, using both qualitative and quantitative methods including systematic reviews, thematic analysis, street and online surveys. 

Research Interests

Erica's research interests lie at the intersection of public health and behavioural science. She is particularly interested in understanding and addressing the complexities of health behaviours and interventions around disordered eating (including obesity), physical activity and sedentary behaviours, the effectiveness of public health policies around food, alcohol and menu labelling, as well as more general public health communication strategies. 

Recent Publications

Guo, S., Jiao, T., Ma, J., Lewis, S.P., Ammerman, B.A., Chen, R., Thomas, E., Yu, Y and Tang, J. (2023). Associations of adverse childhood experiences with non-suicidal self-injury and suicidality in Chinese adolescents: the mediation role of depressive and anxiety symptoms. [Manuscript submitted for publication].

Li, S., Wang, R., Thomas, E., Jiang, Z., Jin, Z., Li, R., Qian, Y., Song, X., Sun, Y., Zhang, S., Chen, R. and Wan, Y. (2022). Patterns of adverse childhood experiences and depression trajectories in young adults: a longitudinal study of university students in China. Frontiers in Psychiatry,13:918092.

Chen, R., Zhou, W., Ma, Y., Wan, Y., Xia, Q., Rodney, A., Ni, J., Thomas, E., Goa, J., Spira, A., Hu, Z. and Copeland, J. (2021). Impacts of depression subcase and case on all-cause mortality in older people: the findings from the multi-centre community-based cohort study in China. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (36),12, 1931-1941.

Puig-Ribera, A., Señé-Mir, A., Taylor-Covill, G., De Lara, N., Carroll, D., Daley, A., Holder, R., Thomas, E., Milà, R. and Eves, F. (2019). Signage Interventions for Stair Climbing at Work: More than 700,000 Reasons for Caution. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, [online] 16(19), p.3782.

Fana, A. R. & Thomas, E. (2018). Client satisfaction with maternal healthcare services in Northern Nigeria. Poster presented at the International Conference on Global Health and Epidemiology, Wolverhampton.

Thomas, E. (2017). Policies and practices to deter contract cheating in Higher Education. Poster presented at Issues, Challenges and Opportunities in Higher & Professional Education Conference, Wolverhampton.

Thomas, E., Puig-Ribera, A., Senye-Mir, A. & Eves. (2016). Promoting healthy choices in workplace cafeterias; A qualitative study. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour, 48(2), 138-145.

Thomas, E., Puig-Ribera, A., Senye-Mir, A. & Eves. (2016). Health representations, perceived valence and concept associations for symbols as food cues: A mixed methods approach. Health Communication, 31(11), 1421-1425.

Thomas, E. (2015). Compulsory calorie-labelling of menu items is not a panacea for the obesity epidemic: A response to Compulsory calorie labelling of foods by Nikolaou and Lean. Public Health Nutrition, 19(12), 2192-2194.

Thomas, E. (2015). Food for thought; Obstacles to menu labelling in restaurants and cafeterias. Public Health Nutrition, 19(12), 2185-2189.

Thomas, E., Eves, F.F., Puig-Ribera, A., Senye-Mir, A. & Greenfield, S. (2015). Testing messages to promote stair climbing at work. International Journal of Workplace Health Management, 8(3), 189-205.

Thomas, E. & Upton, D. (2014). Psychometric properties of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children in the UK. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15(3), 280-287.

Thomas, E. & Upton, D. (2014). Automatic and Motivational Predictors of Children's Physical Activity: Integrating Habit, the Environment and the Theory of Planned Behavior. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 11(5), 999-1005.

Thomas, E. & Eves F. (2013). A mixed methods approach to the development of point-of-purchase prompts for food. Poster presented at the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine Annual Conference, Oxford.

Thomas, E. & Eves. F. (2012). A systematic approach to the development of a point-of-choice prompt intervention to increase stair climbing at work. Presented at the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine Annual Conference, Manchester.

Thomas, E. & Upton, D. (2009). Psychometric properties of the Physical activity questionnaire for Older children in primary school children from the UK. Poster presented at the Division of Health Psychology Annual Conference, Birmingham.

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2017 – present)

External Roles

  • External supervisor for the University of Wolverhampton
  • Peer reviewer for several academic journals, e.g., ‘American Journal of Preventive Medicine’ and ‘Appetite’.