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The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh | College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine |
Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences | Usher Institute

Centre for Population Health Sciences

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Photo of Scott A Murray

Professor Scott A Murray

St Columba's Hospice Chair of Primary Palliative Care, Primary Palliative Care Research Group

Tel: 0131 650 9498
Fax: (0131) 650 9119


Role is threefold:

  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Clinical General Practitioner

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Review and development of undergraduate curriculum
  • Teaching and assessment of MSc and PhD students in (area of) end-of-life care
  • Professional development for hospital specialists, all disciplines involved in palliative care
  • Teaching in international health

Research Interests

I lead the Primary Palliative Care Research Group who aim to:

  • Reach all people in need with any life-limiting illness, taking palliative care beyond cancer from which only 25% of people now die
  • Help people at all times in their illness: not just in the very terminal stage but from diagnosis of a life-threatening illness
  • Care for all aspects of the person, all dimensions - physical, psychological, social and spiritual
  • Have reliably good end-of-life care available in all settings: in the community, nursing homes and hospitals as well as in hospices
  • Make end-of-life care available for people in all nations, especially the poorer countries

Other Responsibilities/Activities

Selected grants

  • Supportive care in the community for people living with advanced liver disease: a feasibility study (Chief Scientist Office, 2014-2016) Murray SA, Kendall M, Boyd K, Kimbell B, MacGilchrist A, Weir C, Finucane A, Hayes P, O'Carroll R, Brookes-Young P, Deighan M
  • Understanding the experiences and multi-dimensional needs of people with major stroke: a mixed methods study (CSO, 2014-2016) Mead G, Murray SA, Kendall M, Cowey E, Barber M, McAlpine C, Stott D
  • Phase 2 randomised trial of early versus delayed future care planning for patients with advanced heart disease. (Marie Curie Cancer Care, 2013-2014) Denvir M, Murray S, Boyd K, Weir C
  • A feasibility study of early identification, assessment and support for informal carers in primary care (Marie Curie Cancer Care, 2012-2014) Murray SA, Finucane A and Kendall M
  • Strengthening and integrating palliative care into national health systems through a public health primary care approach in 5 African countries to contribute to meeting the targets of MDG goal 6 (THET, 2012-2015) Grant L, Murray SA, Smith P, Fallon M, Wakefield T, Mwangi-Powell F, Kiyange F, Crosby R, Leng M, Downing J & Namukwaya L
  • HELPing older people with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) towards the end of their lives: developing, piloting and refining a practical intervention (HELP-COPD) (The Dunhill Medical Trust (DMT), 2012-2013) Pinnock H, Kendall M, Murray S, Worth A, Levack P, Macnee B, Sheikh A, White P, Rabinovich R, Drost E, Stewart J, Nurmatov U
  • Improving supportive and palliative care for people with advanced heart, lung, kidney, or liver disease through structured identification, assessment and care planning before hospital discharge. (NHS Lothian Health Services Research Unit, 2011-2012) Boyd K, Murray SA, Crawford D (CI Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer)
  • Case studies of models of delivering palliative care in sub-Saharan Africa. (The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, 2010-2011) Grant L, Leng M, Namukwaya E, Murray SA
  • Improving and integrating hospital and community palliative care in Uganda. (The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, 2010-2012) Leng M, Grant L, Namukwaya E, Murray SA, Downing J, Dunn J (CI University of Makerere)
  • In-depth exploration of the impact of the new Scottish Palliative Care DES on patient care. (Scottish Government Living and Dying Well, 2009-2010) Campbell C, Weller D, Murray S.
  • The prevalence and predictors of intractable breathlessness in advanced COPD in patients following optimisation of treatment in primary care (Dunhill Medical Trust, 2009-2010) White P, Shipman C, Higginson I, Moxham J, Murray S, Pinnock H, Booth S, Seed P (CI King's College London)
  • Evaluation of the impact of the Palliative Care Initiative on individuals and their families in 3 country programmes in Malawi, Uganda and Kenya. (Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, 2009-2009) Murray S, Grant L, Leng M, Brown J.
  • What is the optimal role for primary care in the management and follow-up of patients with lung cancer? (National Cancer Research Institute, 2008-2010) Weller D, Murray S, Campbell C, Neal R, Rose P
  • Identifying professional barriers and facilitators to discussing future care and preferred place of death with patients who have advanced cancer. (Cancer Research UK, 2008-2009) Murray S, Boyd K, Chinn D, Kendall M, Barclay T, Sheikh A
  • Developing the Infrastructure for Primary Care in Malawi. (Scottish Executive: International Development Fund, 2007-2008) Weller D, Murray S, Gillies J, Logie D, Grant A
  • Optimising the palliative and end-of-life care for older people in nursing homes. (Robertson Trust, St Columba's Hospice, Edinburgh & Lothian Health Board, 2007-2008) Murray SA, Hockley J
  • Grant to appoint research fellow in palliative care. (Macmillan Cancer Relief, UK., 2006-2008) Murray SA, Barclay S
  • Pharmacist-led IT-based intervention aimed at reducing rates of clinically important errors (Patient Safety Research Programme, 2006-2010) Avery AJ, Sheikh A, Cantrill J, Murray S (CI University of Nottingham)
  • A breath of fresh air: improving care and services for patients living and dying with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and their carers. (BOFA) (Chief Scientist Office, 2006-2009) Pinnock H, Murray SA, Worth A, Porter M, Kendall M, Sheikh, A, Levack P, MacNee W, Wilkinson D
  • Medication errors in primary care: a quantitative and qualitative study. (Department of Health Patient Safety Research Programme, 2005-2007) Avery T, Cantrill J, Sheikh A, Armstrong S, Elliott R, Howard R, Kendrick D, Marshall M, Morris C, Murray SA, Prescott R (CI University of Nottingham)
  • Dying with AIDS in Africa: prospective qualitative interviews with patients and their carers. (Perry Fund, 2005-2006) Murray SA, Grant E, Kendall M
  • Understanding the experiences and needs of patients with malignant brain tumours and their carers. (Wiseman bequest, 2005-2014) Murray SA, Erridge S, Hacking B
  • Appointment as Macmillan UK Research Advisor. (Macmillan Cancer Relief, Scotland, 2005-2007) Murray SA.
  • Complex interventions in supportive and palliative care: development, evaluation and implementation (National Cancer Research Institute, 2005-2010) Sharpe M, Richardson A, Ramirez A, Higginson I, Velikova G, Murray SA, Stark D, Weller D, Sheikh A, Brown J, Fallon M
  • Longitudinal study of experiences of, and expectations for, care in advanced cancer. (Cancer Research UK, 2005-2005) Higginson I, Murray SA, Kendall M, et al (CI KCL London)
  • Developing services to meet end of life care needs of South Asian Sikh and Muslim patients and their families in Scotland (Chief Scientist Office, 2005-2007) Sheikh A, Bhopal R, Murray S, Kendall M, Worth A et al
  • An evaluation of heart failure nurses and volunteers in care of people with severe heart failure. (Chest, Heart & Stroke, 2004-2006) Denvir M, Murray SA
  • What are the best ways to seek the views of people affected by cancer about end of life issues? (Macmillan Cancer Relief, 2004-2004) Kendall M, Worth A, Murray S, Kearney N, Sheikh A, Boyd K, Brown D, Mallinson I
  • Patients', carers' and professionals' experiences of diagnosis, treatment and end-of-life care in heart failure: a prospective, qualitative, interview study. (Department of Health, 2004-2006) Murray S, Worth A, Boyd K, Kendall M, Denvir M, Pollock L
  • The attitudes of patients, carers and professionals to the diagnosis, treatment and end of life care in heart failure: a qualitative, community based interview study. (Department of Health, Research and Development, 2003-2006) Murray SA, Boyd K, Kendall M, Denvir M, Pollock L
  • Working with patients and their carers to develop an effective approach to the delivery of cancer care in primary care. (Jointly funded by the Scottish Executive, Health Department and the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, 2003-2006) Murray SA, Kendall M, Held S, Boyd K, Fife S, Grant R, Campbell C, Weller D
  • Patient perspectives on spiritual issues and needs, their impact on their health, and suggestions on how such need could be assessed and addressed by the NHS in Scotland. (Chief Scientists Office, Scottish Executive, 2002-2003) Murray SA, Boyd K, Grant E
  • The Cumulative Trivia Syndrome: a trigger to dependence for the elderly? (Queens Nursing Institute, Scotland, 2001-2001) Murray S A, Porter M, Baggely S
  • Improving out-of-hours palliative care in the community: the views of patients and their informal and professional carers. (Chief Scientists Office, Scottish Executive., 2001-2003) Murray SA, Boyd K, Heaney D, Kendall M, Tierney A, Macleod U
  • Improving care for people with advanced illness. A community-based prospective study of patients with lung cancer and end-stage cardiac failure and their families from diagnosis to bereavement. (Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Executive, 1999-2001) Murray SA, Dlugolesca M, Boyd K, Benton TF, Worth A


Link to Edinburgh Research Explorer for full publications list

Selected publications

Palliative care
  • Kendall M, Carduff E, Lloyd A, Kimbell B, Cavers D, Buckingham S, Boyd K, Grant L, Worth A, Pinnock H, Sheikh A & Murray SA. Different experiences and goals in different advanced diseases: comparing serial interviews with patients with cancer, organ failure, or frailty and their family and professional carers. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2015; 50(2):216-224. Link
  • Boyd K & Murray SA. Why is talking about dying such a challenge? BMJ, 2014;348:g3699 Link
  • Mason B, Epiphaniou E, Nanton V, Donaldson A, Shipman C, Daveson BA, Harding R, Higginson I, Barclay S, Boyd K, Dale J, Kendall M, Woth A & Murray SA. Coordination of care for individuals with advanced progressive conditions: a multi-site ethnographic and serial interview study. BJGP, 2013;63(613):e580-e8
  • Highet G, Crawford D, Murray SA & Boyd K. Development and evaluation of the Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators Tool (SPICT): a mixed-methods study. BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care 2013;0:1-6 Link
  • Boyd K & Murray SA. Using end of life care pathways for the last hours or days of life: Is safe and effective if they are used correctly. BMJ 2012;345:e7718 Link
  • Murray SA, Kendall M, Boyd K, Grant E, Highet G, Sheikh A. Archetypal trajectories of social, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing and distress in family caregivers of patients with lung cancer: secondary analysis of serial qualitative interviews. BMJ 2010;304:c2581. Link
  • Murray SA, Kendall M, Carduff E, Worth A, Harris FM, Lloyd A, Cavers D, Grant L, Sheikh A. Use of serial qualitative interviews to understand patients' evolving experiences and needs. BMJ 2009;339:b3702 Link
  • Murray SA, Kendall M, Grant E, Boyd K, Barclay S & Sheikh A. Patterns of social, psychological and spiritual decline toward the end of life in lung cancer and heart failure. Journal of Pain & Symptom Management. JPSM 2007; 34(4):393-402. DOI Link
  • Murray SA, Sheikh A. Serial interviews for patients with progressive diseases. Lancet 2006; 368:901-902. Link
  • Murray SA, Kendall M, Boyd K, Sheikh A. Illness trajectories and palliative care. Clinical Review. BMJ 2005; 330:1007-11. Link
Global Health
  • Murray SA & Osman H. Primary palliative care: the potential of primary care physicians as providers of palliative care in the community in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. EMHJ 2012;18(2):174-179. Link
  • Logie D, Grant L, Leng M and Murray SA. Mentoring palliative care staff in low-income countries has benefits for all. EJPC, 2011;18(5).
  • Grant L, Downing J, Namukwaya E, Leng M & Murray SA. Palliative care in Africa since 2005: good progress, but much further to go. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2011 Link
  • Sikasote J, Grant L, Chinn D, Macwangi M & Murray SA. Voluntary counselling and testing for HIV in a Zambian mining community : serial interviews with people testing negative. Sex Transm Infect 2011 doi:10.1136/sti2010.047738. Link
  • Grant L, Brown J, Leng M, Bettega N & Murray SA. Palliative care making a difference in rural Uganda, Kenya and Malawi: three rapid evaluation field studies. BMC Palliative Care 2011;10:8 Link
  • Grant L, Murray SA, Sheikh A. Spiritual dimensions of dying in pluralist societies. BMJ 2010;341:659-662 Link
  • Worth A, Irshad T, Bhopal R, Brown D, Lawton J, Grant E, Murray S, Kendall M, Adam J, Gardee R, Sheikh A. Vulnerability and access to care for South Asian Sikh and Muslim patients with life limiting illness in Scotland: prospective longitudinal qualitative study. BMJ 2009;338:b183. Link
  • Grant E, Logie D, Masura M, Gorman D, Murray SA. Factors facilitating and challenging access and adherence to antiretroviral therapy in a township in the Zambian Copperbelt: a qualitative study. AIDS Care 2008;20(10):1155-1160. Link
  • Murray SA, Grant E, Grant A, Kendall M. Dying from cancer in developed and developing countries: lessons from two qualitative interview studies of patients and their carers. BMJ 2003;326: 368 - 372. Link
  • Cavers D, Hacking B, Erridge SE, Morris PG, Kendall M, Murray SA. (2012) Adjustment and support needs of glioma patients and their relatives: serial interviews. Psycho-oncology, DOI: 10.1002/pon.3136 DOI Link
  • Cavers D, Hacking B, Erridge S, Kendall M, Morris PG & Murray SA. Social, psychological and existential well-being in patients with glioma and their caregivers: a qualitative study. CMAJ DOI Link
  • Gao W, Stark D, Bennett MI, Siegert RJ, Murray SA & Higginson IJ. Using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire to screen psychological distress from survivorship to end-of-life care: dimensionality and item quality. Psych-Oncology, DOI:10.1002/pon.1989 Link
  • Ziegler L, Hill K, Neilly L, Bennett MI, Higginson IJ, Murray SA & Stark D. Identifying psychological distress at key stages of the cancer illness trajectory: a systematic review of validated self-report measures. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2011;41(3):619-636. Link
  • Boyd K,Mason B,Kendall M,Barclay S,Chinn D,Thomas K,Sheikh A,Murray SA. Advance care planning for cancer patients in primary care: a feasibility study. BJGP 2010; doi:10.3399/bjgp10X544032. DOI Link Link
  • Haraldsdottir E, Clark P, Murray SA. Health-promoting palliative care arrives in Scotland. European Journal of Palliative Care 2010;17(3) Link
  • Harris FM, Kendall M, Bentley A, Maguire R, Worth A, Murray S, Boyd K, Brown D, Kearney N, Sheikh A. Researching experiences of terminal cancer: a systematic review of methodological issues and approaches. European Journal of Cancer Care 2008;17(4):377-386. Link
  • Murray SA, Boyd K, Kendall M, Worth A, Benton TF, Clausen H. Dying of lung cancer or cardiac failure: prospective qualitative interview study of patients and their carers in the community. BMJ. 2002;325: 929 - 932. Link

Last modified: Tuesday, 10-May-2016 09:53:00 BST

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