Dr Lesley Smith

Reader Maternal and Women's Public Health

Personal Profile

Lesley's research is concerned with developing and testing new measures for assessing health risk behaviours such as drinking alcohol, dietary habits and activity levels of women of childbearing age, and developing novel behavioural interventions to improve their health and well-being. A particular focus is research that seeks to understand how to improve health risk behaviours during pregnancy and how to engage under-represented women. She leads the Oxford Brookes University Maternal and Women's Public Health (OxBUMP) group which undertakes research to understand factors that help people live longer in good health by reducing preventable disease, and inform guidelines for best practice in labour and childbirth.

Postgraduate teaching

  • MSc Public Health - Epidemiology and Statistics
  • Applied Health Research Methods workshops and courses

Research interests

  • Health risk behaviours in young women and during pregnancy
  • Identification and brief advice (IBA) for risk drinking amongst pregnant women
  • Research methods including systematic reviews and meta-analysis

Current research grants

  • Assessment of young people’s exposure to alcohol promotion on digital media (Funded by The European Foundation for Alcohol Research - ERAB)
  • Evaluation of “Stay With Your Midwife” a lifestyle and weight management programme for pregnant women funded by NHS England
  • Exploratory study assessing physical activity levels during pregnancy and childbirth outcomes (Funded by OBU and Santander student bursaries)
  • Update of Trends in Alcohol Use in the UK (funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation)

Research students

Sarah Howcutt - Engaging under-represented young women in studies that explore health risk behaviours

Jane Henderson - Women's experiences of maternity care and influences on childbirth outcomes

Victoria Coathup - Exploration of dietary intake and alcohol consumption during pregnancy: a mixed methods study

Sarah Hennelly - Developing and testing a mindfulness-based intervention to decrease unhealthy behaviours during pregnancy


Statistical Editor Cochrane Gynaecological Cancer Review Group


Foxcroft DR, Moreira MT, Almeida Santimano NM, Smith LA. (2015) Social norms information for alcohol misuse in university and college students. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jan 26;1:CD006748. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006748.pub3.

Taylor, D, Cornelius, V, Smith, L, Young, A. Comparative efficacy and acceptability of drug treatments for bipolar depression: a multiple-treatments meta-analysis. (2014) Acta Psychiatr Scand. 130(6):452-69. doi: 10.1111/acps.12343. Epub 2014 Oct 6.

Foxcroft, D. R., Smith, L. A., Thomas, H., & Howcutt, S. (2014). Accuracy of Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test for detecting problem drinking in 18-35 year-olds in England: Method comparison study. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 50, 244–250. doi:10.1093/alcalc/agu095

Smith, LA, Savory, J, Couves, Jackie, Burns, E (2014) Alcohol consumption during pregnancy: cross-sectional survey. Midwifery available online 18th April http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0266613814000990

Henderson J, Burns EE, Regalia ALCasarico G, Boulton MG, Smith LA. (2014) Labouring women who used a birthing pool in obstetric units in Italy: prospective observational study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. Jan 14;14:17. doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-14-17.

Smith LA (2013). Screening for alcohol use disorders. In Mistral, W. (ed) Emerging perspectives on substance misuse. (Wiley Blackwell).

Smith LA, Price N, Simonite V, Burns EE  (2013) Incidence of and risk factors for perineal trauma: a prospective observational study BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (7 March 2013)http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2393-13-59.pdf

Rizzuto I, Behrens RF, Smith LA. (2013) Risk of ovarian cancer in women treated with ovarian stimulating drugs for infertility. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Aug 13;8:CD008215. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008215.pub2.

Peinemann, F, Smith, L, Kromp, M, Bartel, C, Kröger, N, Kulig, M (2013) Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation following high-dose chemotherapy for non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcomas Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Aug 7;8:CD008216. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008216.pub4. Review


Burns, E, Cornelius V, Cluett, E, Boulton, M and Smith, L. UK Birthing pool use in the hospital, alongside midwifery unit and community care setting: a prospective study. Birth 2012 39(3) 175-271

Taylor DM, Smith L, Gee SH and Nielsen J . Augmentation of clozapine with a second antipsychotic - a meta-analysis.  Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2012 Jan;125(1):15-24

Frank Peinemann, Lesley A Smith, Mandy Kromp, Carmen Bartel, Nicolaus Kröger, Michael Kulig. Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation following high-dose chemotherapy for non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcomas. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011

Al-Yahya E, Dawes H, Smith L, Dennis A, Howells K, Cockburn J. Cognitive motor interference while walking: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2011 35: 715-728

Dangour AD, Whitehouse PJ, Rafferty K, Mitchell SA, Smith L, Hawkesworth S, Vellas B. B-vitamins and fatty acids in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and dementia: a systematic review. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010; 22(1): 205-24.

Ullman R, Smith LA, Burns, E, Mori R, Dowswell,T. Parenteral opioids for maternal pain relief in labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Sep 8;(9):CD007396.

Smith LA, Cornelius VR, Plummer CJ, Levitt G, Verrill M, Canney P, Jones A. Cardiotoxicity of anthracycline agents for the treatment of cancer: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMC Cancer. 2010 Jun 29;10(1):337. [Epub ahead of print]

Burns E, Gray R, Smith L. Brief screening questionnaires to identify problem drinking during pregnancy: a systematic review. Addiction 2010 105 601-614


Smith LA, Cornelius VR, Azorin JM, Perugi G, Vieta E, Young AH, Bowden CL. Valproate for the treatment of acute bipolar depression: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Addictive Disorders 2010 122 1-9

Cornelius VR, Perrio MJ, Shakir SA, Smith LA Systematic reviews of adverse effects of drug interventions: a survey of their conduct and reporting quality. Pharmacoepidemiology Drug Safety. 2009 Sep 15.

Moreira MT, Smith LA, Foxcroft D. Social norms interventions to reduce alcohol misuse in university or college students. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Jul 8;(3):CD006748. Review.

David Taylor and Lesley Smith. Augmentation of clozapine with a second antipsychotic - a meta-analysis of randomised, placebo-controlled studies. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2009 Jun;119(6):419-25. Epub 2009 Feb 25.

Smith LA and Foxcroft D (2009). Drinking in the UK: an exploration of trends. Joseph Rowntree Foundation. York, UK

Lesley Smith and David Foxcroft. The effect of alcohol advertising and marketing on drinking behaviour in young people: systematic review. BMC Public Health (2009) Feb 6;9:51 

George DR, Dangour AD, Smith LA, Ruddick J, Vellas B, Whitehouse PJ. The role of nutrients in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease: methodology for a systematic review. European Journal of Neurology 2009 16 (suppl. 1): 8-11

Foxcroft DR, Smith L. We need to guard against bias. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2008 Jul;27(4):346-8

Gates S, Smith LA, Lamb S. Systematic review of screening instruments to predict fallers among community living older people. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. 2008; 45(8) 1105-1116

Dolan G, Smith LA, Colins S, Plumb JM. Effect of setting, monitoring intensity and patient experience on anticoagulation control: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 May;24(5):1459-72.

Lesley Smith, Marion Watson, Simon Gates, David Ball, David Foxcroft. (2007) Meta-analysis of the Association of the Taq1A Polymorphism with the Risk of Alcohol Dependency: A HuGE Gene-Disease Association Review. Am. J. Epidemiol. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwm281

Julian P. T. Higgins, Julian Little, John P. A. Ioannidis, Molly S. Bray, Teri A. Manolio, Liam Smeeth, Jonathan A. Sterne, Betsy Anagnostelis, Adam S. Butterworth, John Danesh, Carol Dezateux, John E. Gallacher, Marta Gwinn, Sarah J. Lewis, Cosetta Minelli, Paul D. Pharoah, Georgia Salanti, Simon Sanderson, Lesley A. Smith, Emanuela Taioli, John R. Thompson, Simon G. Thompson, Neil Walker, Ron L. Zimmern, and Muin J. Khoury.(2007) Turning the Pump Handle: Evolving Methods for Integrating the Evidence on Gene-Disease Association. Am. J. Epidemiol. 166: 863-866.

Lesley A Smith, Victoria Cornelius, Adrian Warnock, Angus Bell, Allan H Young. (2007) Effectiveness of mood stabilizers and antipsychotics in the maintenance phase of bipolar disorder: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Bipolar Disorders. 9:1-19.

Lesley A Smith, Victoria Cornelius, Adrian Warnock, Mary Jane Tacchi, David Taylor. (2007) Acute bipolar mania: a systematic review and meta-analysis of placebo controlled trials. Bipolar Disorders. 9

Lesley Smith, Victoria Cornelius, Adrian Warnock, Mary Jane Tacchi, David Taylor. (2007) Acute bipolar mania: a systematic review and meta-analysis of co-therapy vs. monotherapy. Acta Psychiatr. Scand. Jan;115(1):12-20.

Smith LA, Gates S, Foxcroft D. (2006) Therapeutic communities for substance related disorder.Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 1.

Gates S, McCambridge J, Smith LA, Foxcroft DR. (2006) Interventions for prevention of drug use by young people delivered in non-school settings. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 1.

Gates S, Smith LA, Foxcroft DR. (2006) Auricular acupuncture for cocaine dependence. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 1.

Anna van der Gaag, Lesley Smith, Stephanie Davis, Becky Moss, Victoria Cornelius, Chris Mowles. (2005) Connect therapy and support services for people with long term stroke and aphasia and their relatives: a six month follow up study. Clin Rehabil. Jun;19 (4):372-80.

Deeks JJ, Smith LA, Bradley MD. (2002) Efficacy, tolerability, and upper gastrointestinal safety of celecoxib for treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: systematic review of randomised controlled trials. BMJ ;325: 619.

Kalso E, Smith L, McQuay HJ, Andrew MR. (2002) No pain, no gain: clinical excellence and scientific rigour--lessons learned from IA morphine. Pain; 98: 269-75.

Oldman AD, Smith LA, McQuay HJ, Moore RA. (2002) Pharmacological treatments for acute migraine: quantitative systematic review. Pain; 97: 247-57.

Smith LA, Moore RA, McQuay HJ, Gavaghan D. (2001) Using evidence from different sources: an example using paracetamol 1000 mg plus codeine 60 mg. BMC Med. Res. Methodol. 1: 1

Collins SL, Edwards J, Moore RA, Smith LA, McQuay HJ. (2001) Seeking a simple measure of analgesia for mega-trials: is a single global assessment good enough? Pain; 91:189-94.

Moore OA, Smith LA, Campbell F, Seers K, McQuay HJ, Moore RA. (2001) Systematic review of the use of honey as a wound dressing. BMC.Complement . Altern. Med. ;1:2.

Smith LA, Oldman AD, McQuay HJ, Moore RA.(2000) Teasing apart quality and validity in systematic reviews: an example from acupuncture trials in chronic neck and back pain. Pain; 86:119-32.

Smith LA, Carroll D, Edwards JE, Moore RA, McQuay HJ. (2000) Single-dose ketorolac and pethidine in acute postoperative pain: systematic review with meta-analysis. Br.J.Anaesth.; 84:48-58.

Edwards JE, Oldman A, Smith L, McQuay HJ, Moore RA. (2000) Women's knowledge of, and attitudes to, contraceptive effectiveness and adverse health effects. Br. J. Fam. Plann.; 26:73-80.

Edwards JE, Oldman A, Smith L, Collins SL, Carroll D, Wiffen PJ et al.(2000) Single dose oral aspirin for acute pain. Cochrane Database Syst. Rev.; Issue 2

Edwards JE, Oldman AD, Smith LA, Carroll D, Wiffen PJ, McQuay HJ et al. (1999) Oral aspirin in postoperative pain: a quantitative systematic review. Pain; 81: 289-97.

Moore RA, McQuay HJ, Oldman AD, Smith LA.(2000) BMA approves acupuncture. BMA report is wrong. BMJ ; 321:1220-1.

Book chapters

Smith LA and Dixon L. (2008) Systematic reviews. In Neale, J. (ed.) Research Methods for Health and Social Care (London: Palgrave).

Smith LA and Ryan T.(2008) Randomised Controlled Trials. In Neale, J. (ed.) Research Methods for Health and Social Care (London: Palgrave).

Smith LA (2008)Techniques of meta-analysis and systematic reviews in pain research. In Rice Warfield, Justins and Eccleston, Ed. Textbook of Clinical Pain Management 2nd Edition, (London: Hodder: Arnold).

Smith LA (2003) TENS and acupuncture for chronic pain: where's the evidence? In Louis Gifford, ed. Topical Issues in Pain 3, pp 215-24. Falmouth: CNS Press.

Lesley Smith


+44 (0)1865 482670