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Moira Smith, Department of Public Health

photo of Moira-Smith public health dept

BDS PhD PGDipSci DPH

Senior Research Fellow; Co-Director HePPRU
Teaching and Supervision Portfolio Lead; Department of Public Health

Contact details  

Tel +64 4 385 5541 ext 4879
Fax +64 4 389 5319
Email moira.smith@otago.ac.nz

Research interests and activities  

Dr Moira Smith is a Senior Research Fellow, Co-Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit, and Teaching and Supervision Portfolio Leader of the wider Department of Public Health. Prior to becoming a member of the Department of Public Health in 2010, Moira had over 20 years’ experience in clinical dentistry, in New Zealand and the UK. Moira's doctoral study was conducted during the tenure of a Health Research Council Clinical Research Training Fellowship.

Moira’s research focuses on the broad determinants of health, gathering evidence to inform policy and (in turn) create supportive environments. Key areas of research interest include children's health, especially addressing harm from unhealthy food environments, alcohol and gambling, and oral health, particularly older people’s oral health and addressing inequities in oral health in Aotearoa. Her research uses qualitative research methods, policy research and mixed method designs.

Moira was a named investigator on Kids’Cam, an innovative research project that used wearable cameras to study the world children live in, and is currently co-leading Kids Online Aotearoa, which studies children’s online worlds, their engagement with it and its impact on their health and wellbeing. Moira leads a team investigating the feasibility of incorporating oral health care in aged care and is a named investigator in AWESSoM: Ageing Well through Eating, Sleeping, Socialising and Mobility, funded by the Ageing Well National Science Challenge.

Moira is an associate member of the Sir John Walsh Research Institute, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, Chair of the NZ Oral Health Clinical Advisory Network and Associate Editor of Gerodontology. She has supervised seven MPH and three doctoral students to completion, and is currently involved in the supervision of two MPH and five doctoral students.

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Publications

McKerchar, C., Gage, R., Smith, M., Lacey, C., Abel, G., Ni Mhurchu, C., & Signal, L. (2022). Children’s community nutrition environment, food and drink purchases and consumption on journeys between home and school: A wearable camera study. Nutrients, 14, 1995. doi: 10.3390/nu14101995

Bakri, N. N., Smith, M. B., Broadbent, J. M., & Thomson, W. M. (2022). Oral health promotion activities in the workplace: A scoping review. Health Promotion International. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/heapro/daac039

Lord, S., Teh, R., Gibson, R., Smith, M., Wrapson, W., Thomson, M., … McBain, L., … Abey-Nesbit, R., and on behalf of the AWESSoM Project Team, including Jamieson, H. (2022). Optimising function and well-being in older adults: Protocol for an integrated research programme in Aotearoa/New Zealand. BMC Geriatrics, 22, 215. doi: 10.1186/s12877-022-02845-7

Park, H., Liu, W., Gage, R., Chambers, T., Smith, M., Barr, M., … Signal, L., & Pearson, A. L. (2022). Do bans on harmful marketing protect children equally?: A geospatial analysis of harmful product marketing in public outdoor spaces. Proceedings of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting. Retrieved from https://aag-annualmeeting.secure-platform.com

Watkins, L., Gage, R., Smith, M., McKerchar, C., Aitken, R., & Signal, L. (2022). An objective assessment of children's exposure to brand marketing in New Zealand (Kids'Cam): A cross-sectional study. Lancet Planetary Health. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/S2542-5196(21)00290-4

Smith, M. B. (2009). Increasing physical activity voucher programme: A Karori Primary Health Organisation and Wellington City Council health promotion initiative. In L. Signal, R. Egan & L. Cook (Eds.), Reviews of health promotion practice in Aotearoa New Zealand 2007-2008. (pp. 89-103). Auckland, New Zealand: Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand & Health Promotion and Policy Unit, University of Otago.

Chapter in Book - Research

McKerchar, C., Gage, R., Smith, M., Lacey, C., Abel, G., Ni Mhurchu, C., & Signal, L. (2022). Children’s community nutrition environment, food and drink purchases and consumption on journeys between home and school: A wearable camera study. Nutrients, 14, 1995. doi: 10.3390/nu14101995

Journal - Research Article

Watkins, L., Gage, R., Smith, M., McKerchar, C., Aitken, R., & Signal, L. (2022). An objective assessment of children's exposure to brand marketing in New Zealand (Kids'Cam): A cross-sectional study. Lancet Planetary Health. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/S2542-5196(21)00290-4

Journal - Research Article

Freeman, N., Gage, R., Chambers, T., Blaschke, P., Cook, H., Stanley, J., Pearson, A., Smith, M., Barr, M., & Signal, L. (2021). Where do the children play? An objective analysis of children's use of green space. Health Promotion International, 36, 846-853. doi: 10.1093/heapro/daaa106

Journal - Research Article

Gage, R., Girling-Butcher, M., Joe, E., Smith, M., Ni Mhurchu, C., McKerchar, C., Puloka, V., McLean, R., & Signal, L. (2021). The frequency and context of snacking among children: An objective analysis using wearable cameras. Nutrients, 13, 103. doi: 10.3390/nu13010103

Journal - Research Article

Hyland, N. F., Smith, M. B., & Thomson, M. W. (2021). The residual dentition among home-based older New Zealanders receiving living support. Gerodontology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/ger.12558

Journal - Research Article

Smith, L., Smith, M., & Thomson, W. M. (2021). Recommendations for improving dental care for dentate home-based older people: A qualitative New Zealand study. Gerodontology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/ger.12553

Journal - Research Article

Smith, M., Stroud, C., Low, M., Gibson, C., Ferguson, C. A., & Broadbent, J. (2021). Non-traumatic dental presentations at emergency departments in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal, 134(1544), 99-112. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Journal - Research Article

Thomson, W. M., Smith, M. B., Ferguson, C. M., & Moses, G. (2021). The challenge of medication-induced dry mouth in residential aged care. Pharmacy, 9(4), 162. doi: 10.3390/pharmacy9040162

Journal - Research Article

van Kuijk, M., Smith, M. B., Ferguson, C. A., Kerse, N. M., Teh, R., Gribben, B., & Thomson, W. M. (2021). Dentition and nutritional status of aged New Zealanders living in aged residential care. Oral Diseases, 27, 370-377. doi: 10.1111/odi.13536

Journal - Research Article

Ferguson, C. A., Thomson, W. M., Smith, M. B., Kerse, N., Peri, K., & Gribben, B. (2020). Medication taking in a national sample of dependent older people. Research in Social & Administrative Pharmacy, 16, 299-307. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2019.05.010

Journal - Research Article

Liu, W., Barr, M., Pearson, A. L., Chambers, T., Pfeiffer, K. A., Smith, M., & Signal, L. (2020). Space-time analysis of unhealthy food advertising: New Zealand children's exposure and health policy options. Health Promotion International, 35, 812-820. doi: 10.1093/heapro/daz083

Journal - Research Article

Lundbeck, H. J., Smith, M. B., & Thomson, W. M. (2020). Clinical validity of self-rated oral health among New Zealand nursing home residents. Gerodontology, 37, 253-257. doi: 10.1111/ger.12458

Journal - Research Article

McKerchar, C., Smith, M., Gage, R., Williman, J., Abel, G., Lacey, C., Ni Mhurchu, C., & Signal, L. (2020). Kids in a candy store: An objective analysis of children's interactions with food in convenience stores. Nutrients, 12(7), 2143. doi: 10.3390/nu12072143

Journal - Research Article

McKerchar, C., Smith, M., Stanley, J., Barr, M., Chambers, T., Abel, G., Lacey, C., Gage, R., … Signal, L. (2020). Food store environment examination: FoodSee: A new method to study the food store environment using wearable cameras. Global Health Promotion, 27(3), 73-81. doi: 10.1177/1757975919859575

Journal - Research Article

Smith, L. A., Smith, M., & Thomson, W. M. (2020). Barriers and enablers for dental care among dentate home-based older New Zealanders who receive living support. Gerodontology, 37, 244-252. doi: 10.1111/ger.12464

Journal - Research Article

Smith, M., Chambers, T., Abbott, M., & Signal, L. (2020). High stakes: Children’s exposure to gambling and gambling marketing using wearable cameras. International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction, 18, 1025-1047. doi: 10.1007/s11469-019-00103-3

Journal - Research Article

Vaipuna, T., Allison, L., Bhasin, A., Choi, K., Chu, A., Grice, K., Hay, A., Huang, S., Jarvis, E.-M., Laing, B., Lewis, A., Moriarty, R. H., … Rajendra, P., Simpson, J., Tay, A., Yang, A., Smith, M., Gage, R., … Signal, L. (2020). An objective methodology capturing online commodity marketing and other harms. Health Promotion International, 35, 1312-1319. doi: 10.1093/heapro/daz131

Journal - Research Article

Chambers, T., Stanley, J., Pearson, A. L., Smith, M., Barr, M., Ni Mhurchu, C., & Signal, L. (2019). Quantifying children's non-supermarket exposure to alcohol marketing via product packaging using wearable cameras. Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs, 80(2), 158-166. doi: 10.15288/jsad.2019.80.158

Journal - Research Article

Gage, R., Leung, W., Stanley, J., Reeder, A., Mackay, C., Chambers, T., Smith, M., Barr, M., & Signal, L. (2019). Studying third-parties and environments: New Zealand sun-safety research. Health Promotion International, 34(3), 440-446. doi: 10.1093/heapro/dax094

Journal - Research Article

Hyland, N., Smith, M. B., Gribben, B., & Thomson, W. M. (2019). The residual dentition among New Zealanders in aged residential care. Gerodontology, 36, 216-222. doi: 10.1111/ger.12414

Journal - Research Article

Signal, L. N., Jenkin, G. L. S., Barr, M., Smith, M., Chambers, T. J., Hoek, J., & Ni Mhurchu, C. (2019). Prime Minister for a day: Children's views on junk food marketing and what to do about it. New Zealand Medical Journal, 132(1492), 36-45. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Journal - Research Article

Veatupu, L., Puloka, V., Smith, M., McKerchar, C., & Signal, L. (2019). Me'akai in Tonga: Exploring the nature and context of the food Tongan children eat in Ha'apai using wearable cameras. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 16(10), 1681. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16101681

Journal - Research Article

Barazanchi, A., Al Nabhani, A., Chen, A., Smith, M., & Broadbent, J. M. (2018). Oral health care needs among former refugees of the war in Syria. New Zealand Dental Journal, 114(3), 117-123.

Journal - Research Article

Chambers, T., Pearson, A. L., Kawachi, I., Stanley, J., Smith, M., Barr, M., … Signal, L. (2018). Children's home and school neighbourhood exposure to alcohol marketing: Using wearable camera and GPS data to directly examine the link between retailer availability and visual exposure to marketing. Health & Place, 54, 102-109. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2018.09.012

Journal - Research Article

Chambers, T., Stanley, J., Signal, L., Pearson, A. L., Smith, M., Barr, M., & Ni Mhurchu, C. (2018). Quantifying the nature and extent of children's real-time exposure to alcohol marketing in their everyday lives using wearable cameras: Children's exposure via a range of media in a range of key places. Alcohol & Alcoholism, 53(5), 626-633. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agy053

Journal - Research Article

Gage, R., Barr, M., Stanley, J., Reeder, A., Mackay, C., Smith, M., Chambers, T., Leung, W., & Signal, L. (2018). Sun protection and shade availability in New Zealand's outdoor recreation spaces. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131(1484), 30-37. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Journal - Research Article

Gage, R., Leung, W., Stanley, J., Reeder, A., Mackay, C., Smith, M., Barr, M., Chambers, T., & Signal, L. (2018). Sun protection among New Zealand primary school children. Health Education & Behavior, 45(5), 800-807. doi: 10.1177/1090198117741943

Journal - Research Article

Smith, M., Stanley, J., Signal, L., Barr, M., Chambers, T., Balina, A., … Wilson, N. (2018). Children's healthy and unhealthy beverage availability, purchase and consumption: A wearable camera study. Appetite, 133, 240-251. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.11.004

Journal - Research Article

Thomson, W. M., Smith, M. B., Ferguson, C. A., Kerse, N. M., Peri, K., & Gribben, B. (2018). Oral status, cognitive function and dependency among New Zealand nursing home residents. Gerodontology, 35(3), 185-191. doi: 10.1111/ger.12337

Journal - Research Article

Chambers, T., Pearson, A. L., Kawachi, I., Rzotkiewicz, Z., Stanley, J., Smith, M., Barr, M., … Signal, L. (2017). Kids in space: Measuring children’s residential neighborhoods and other destinations using activity space GPS and wearable camera data. Social Science & Medicine, 193, 41-50. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.09.046

Journal - Research Article

Chambers, T., Pearson, A. L., Stanley, J., Smith, M., Barr, M., Ni Mhurchu, C., & Signal, L. (2017). Children's exposure to alcohol marketing within supermarkets: An objective analysis using GPS technology and wearable cameras. Health & Place, 46, 274-280. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2017.06.003

Journal - Research Article

Gage, R., Leung, W., Stanley, J., Reeder, A., Barr, M., Chambers, T., Smith, M., & Signal, L. (2017). Clothing protection from ultraviolet radiation: A new method for assessment. Photochemistry & Photobiology, 93(6), 1513-1518. doi: 10.1111/php.12803

Journal - Research Article

Pearson, A. L., Bottomley, R., Chambers, T., Thornton, L., Stanley, J., Smith, M., Barr, M., & Signal, L. (2017). Measuring blue space visibility and ‘blue recreation’ in the everyday lives of children in a capital city. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 14(6), 563. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14060563

Journal - Research Article

Robinson, A., Hulme-Moir, S., Puloka, V., Smith, M., Stanley, J., & Signal, L. (2017). Housing as a determinant of Tongan children's health: Innovative methodology using wearable cameras. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 14(10), 1170. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14101170

Journal - Research Article

Signal, L. N., Smith, M. B., Barr, M., Stanley, J., Chambers, T. J., Zhou, J., … Jenkin, G. L. S., Pearson, A. L., … Hoek, J., & Ni Mhurchu, C. (2017). Kids'Cam: An objective methodology to study the world in which children live. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 53(3), e89-e95. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.02.016

Journal - Research Article

Signal, L. N., Stanley, J., Smith, M., Barr, M. L., Chambers, T. J., Zhou, J., … McKerchar, C., Pearson, A. L., Hoek, J., Jenkin, G. L. S., & Ni Mhurchu, C. (2017). Children's everyday exposure to food marketing: An objective analysis using wearable cameras. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity, 14, 137. doi: 10.1186/s12966-017-0570-3

Journal - Research Article

Smith, M. B., & Thomson, W. M. (2017). ‘Not on the radar’: Dentists' perspectives on the oral health care of dependent older people. Gerodontology, 34(1), 90-100. doi: 10.1111/ger.12227

Journal - Research Article

Smith, M., Signal, L., Edwards, R., & Hoek, J. (2017). Children's and parents' opinions on the sport-related food environment: A systematic review. Obesity Reviews, 18(9), 1018-1039. doi: 10.1111/obr.12558

Journal - Research Article

Barr, M., Signal, L., Jenkin, G., & Smith, M. (2015). Capturing exposures: Using automated cameras to document environmental determinants of obesity. Health Promotion International, 30(1), 56-63. doi: 10.1093/heapro/dau089

Journal - Research Article

Børsting, T., Stanley, J., & Smith, M. (2015). Factors influencing the use of oral health services among adolescents in New Zealand. New Zealand Dental Journal, 111(2), 49-57.

Journal - Research Article

Pearson, A. L., de Latour, P., Kemp, G., Findlay, N., Halim, A., Atkinson, N., Chong, M., Cameron, R., Brown, C., Kim, G., Campbell, P., Hills, T., Jayawant, A., Chae, M., Bhagavan, C., French, C., Jenkin, G., Smith, M., & Signal, L. (2014). Understanding differences in access to water fountains and sugar-sweetened beverages in children. Health & Place, 30, 94-97. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.08.013

Journal - Research Article

Smith, M., Jenkin, G., Signal, L., & McLean, R. (2014). Consuming calories and creating cavities: Beverages NZ children associate with sport. Appetite, 81, 209-217. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.06.015

Journal - Research Article

Smith, M. B. (2010). Oral health and well-being of older adults in residential aged-care facilities: Issues for public health policy. New Zealand Dental Journal, 106(2), 67-73.

Journal - Research Article

Smith, M. B., & Signal, L. (2009). Global influences on milk purchasing in New Zealand: Implications for health and inequalities. Globalization & Health, 5. doi: 10.1186/1744-8603-5-1

Journal - Research Article

Smith, M. B., & Parnell, W. (2008). Teeth for life? Aspects of oral health status influencing the nutrition of older adults. Nutrition & Dietetics, 65(3), 211-215. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-0080.2008.00272.x

Journal - Research Article

Bakri, N. N., Smith, M. B., Broadbent, J. M., & Thomson, W. M. (2022). Oral health promotion activities in the workplace: A scoping review. Health Promotion International. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/heapro/daac039

Journal - Research Other

Lord, S., Teh, R., Gibson, R., Smith, M., Wrapson, W., Thomson, M., … McBain, L., … Abey-Nesbit, R., and on behalf of the AWESSoM Project Team, including Jamieson, H. (2022). Optimising function and well-being in older adults: Protocol for an integrated research programme in Aotearoa/New Zealand. BMC Geriatrics, 22, 215. doi: 10.1186/s12877-022-02845-7

Journal - Research Other

Thomson, W. M., Ferguson, C. A., Janssens, B. E., Kerse, N. M., Ting, G. S., & Smith, M. B. (2021). Xerostomia and polypharmacy among dependent older New Zealanders: A national survey [Short report]. Age & Ageing, 50, 248-251. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afaa099

Journal - Research Other

Smith, M. (2020). Let's call in the promises and get moving (again) on oral health. New Zealand Dental Journal, 116(4), 112-113. [Editorial].

Journal - Research Other

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