Reader in Public Health (Evidence Synthesis)
areas of expertise
Lisa Jones is a Reader in Public Health and leads the Public Health Institute’s programme of work in Evidence Synthesis.
She has over a decade of research experience, primarily in systematic review and other methods of evidence synthesis. She has been involved in the production of more than 20 systematic reviews in the field of drug and alcohol prevention and treatment, and other related public health topics. She has recently led the production of evidence synthesis projects to support the development of guidance and guidelines by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the UK Chief Medical Officers and for the World Health Organisation.
A review of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of needle and syringe programmes for injecting drug users
A systematic review of qualitative research on the views, perspectives and experiences of hepatitis B and C testing among practitioners and people at greatest risk of infection
A systematic review of the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of interventions aimed at raising awareness and engaging with groups who are at an increased risk of hepatitis B and C infection
Holidays, celebrations, and commiserations: measuring drinking during feasting and fasting to improve national and individual estimates of alcohol consumption
BMC Medicine, 13:113, 2015.
Abstract: Background: Accurate measures of alcohol consumption are critical in assessing health harms caused by alcohol. In many countries, there are large discrepancies between survey-based measures of consumption and those based on alcohol sales. In England, surveys measuring typical alcohol consumption account for only around 60% of alcohol sold. Here, using a national survey, we measure both typical drinking and atypical/special occasion drinking (i.e., feasting and fasting) in order to develop more complete measures of alcohol consumption. Methods: A national random probability telephone survey was implemented (May 2013 to April 2014). Inclusion criteria were resident in England and aged 16 years or over. Respondents (n = 6,085) provided information on typical drinking (amounts per day, drinking frequency) and changes in consumption associated with routine atypical days (e.g., Friday nights) and special dinking periods (e.g., holidays) and events (e.g., weddings). Generalized linear modelling was used to identify additional alcohol consumption associated with atypical/special occasion drinking by age, sex, and typical drinking level. Results: Accounting for atypical/special occasion drinking added more than 120 million UK units of alcohol/week (~12 million bottles of wine) to population alcohol consumption in England. The greatest impact was seen among 25- to 34-year-olds with the highest typical consumption, where atypical/special occasions added approximately 18 units/week (144 g) for both sexes. Those reporting the lowest typical consumption (≤1 unit/week) showed large relative increases in consumption (209.3%) with most drinking associated with special occasions. In some demographics, adjusting for special occasions resulted in overall reductions in annual consumption (e.g., females, 65 to 74 years in the highest typical drinking category). Conclusions: Typical drinking alone can be a poor proxy for actual alcohol consumption. Accounting for atypical/special occasion drinking fills 41.6% of the gap between surveyed consumption and national sales in England. These additional units are inevitably linked to increases in lifetime risk of alcohol-related disease and injury, particularly as special occasions often constitute heavy drinking episodes. Better population measures of celebratory, festival, and holiday drinking are required in national surveys in order to adequately measure both alcohol consumption and the health harms associated with special occasion drinking.
International Journal of Drug Policy 21 (2010), 335, 2010.
Abstract: The introduction of needle and syringe programmes (NSPs) during the 1980s is credited with averting an HIV epidemic in the United Kingdom and Australia, but hepatitis C (HCV) incidence continues to rise among injecting drug users (IDUs). NSPs incorporating additional harm reduction strategies have been highlighted as an approach that may impact on HCV incidence. This systematic review sought to determine which approaches to the organisation and delivery of NSPs are effective. Fifteen databases were searched for studies published since 1990. Two reviewers screened all titles and abstracts, and data extraction and quality assessment of individual studies were undertaken independently by one reviewer and checked for accuracy by a second. Sixteen studies met the criteria for inclusion. Based on 11 studies there was no evidence of an impact of different NSP settings or syringe dispensation policies on drug injecting behaviours, but mobile van sites and vending machines appeared to attract younger IDUs and IDUs with higher risk profiles. Two studies of interventions aimed at encouraging IDUs to enter drug treatment reported limited effects, but one study found that the combination of methadone treatment and full participation in NSPs was associated with a lower incidence of HIV and HCV. In addition, one study indicated that hospital-based programmes may improve access to health care services among IDUs. Currently, it is difficult to draw conclusions on 'what works best' within the range of harm reduction services available to IDUs. Further studies are required which have a stated aim of evaluating how different approaches to the organisation and delivery NSPs impact on effectiveness.
Prevalence and risk of violence against children with disabilities: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies
Lancet, 380, 899-907, 2012.
Abstract: Background: Globally, at least 93 million children have moderate or severe disability. Children with disabilities are thought to have a substantially greater risk of being victims of violence than are their non-disabled peers. Establishment of reliable estimates of the scale of the problem is an essential first step in the development of effective prevention programmes. We therefore undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis to synthesise evidence for the prevalence and risk of violence against children with disabilities. Methods: For this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched 12 electronic databases to identify cross-sectional, case-control, or cohort studies reported between Jan 1, 1990, and Aug 17, 2010, with estimates of prevalence of violence against children (aged ≤18 years) with disabilities or their risk of being victims of violence compared with children without disabilities. Findings: 17 studies were selected from 10 663 references. Reports of 16 studies provided data suitable for meta-analysis of prevalence and 11 for risk. Pooled prevalence estimates were 26·7% (95% CI 13·8—42·1) for combined violence measures, 20·4% (13·4—28·5) for physical violence, and 13·7% (9·2—18·9) for sexual violence. Odds ratios for pooled risk estimates were 3·68 (2·56—5·29) for combined violence measures, 3·56 (2·80—4·52) for physical violence, and 2·88 (2·24—3·69) for sexual violence. Huge heterogeneity was identified across most estimates (I2>75%). Variations were not consistently explained with meta-regression analysis of the characteristics of the studies. Interpretation: The results of this systematic review confirm that children with disabilities are more likely to be victims of violence than are their peers who are not disabled. However, the continued scarcity of robust evidence, due to a lack of well designed research studies, poor standards of measurement of disability and violence, and insufficient assessment of whether violence precedes the development of disability, leaves gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed. Funding: WHO Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability.
Relationship between alcohol-attributable disease and socioeconomic status, and the role of alcohol consumption in this relationship: a systematic review and meta-analysis
BMC Public Health, 15:400, 2015.
Abstract: Background: Studies show that alcohol consumption appears to have a disproportionate impact on people of low socioeconomic status. Further exploration of the relationship between alcohol consumption, socioeconomic status and the development of chronic alcohol-attributable diseases is therefore important to inform the development of effective public health programmes. Methods: We used systematic review methodology to identify published studies of the association between socioeconomic factors and mortality and morbidity for alcohol-attributable conditions. To attempt to quantify differences in the impact of alcohol consumption for each condition, stratified by SES, we (i) investigated the relationship between SES and risk of mortality or morbidity for each alcohol-attributable condition, and (ii) where, feasible explored alcohol consumption as a mediating or interacting variable in this relationship. Results: We identified differing relationships between a range of alcohol-attributable conditions and socioeconomic indicators. Pooled analyses showed that low, relative to high socioeconomic status, was associated with an increased risk of head and neck cancer and stroke, and in individual studies, with hypertension and liver disease. Conversely, risk of female breast cancer tended to be associated with higher socioeconomic status. These findings were attenuated but held when adjusted for a number of known risk factors and other potential confounding factors. A key finding was the lack of studies that have explored the interaction between alcohol-attributable disease, socioeconomic status and alcohol use. Conclusions: Despite some limitations to our review, we have described relationships between socioeconomic status and a range of alcohol-attributable conditions, and explored the mediating and interacting effects of alcohol consumption where feasible. However, further research is needed to better characterise the relationship between socioeconomic status alcohol consumption and alcohol-attributable disease risk so as to gain a greater understanding of the mechanisms and pathways that influence the differential risk in harm between people of low and high socioeconomic status.