Professor Lesley Smith

Professor Lesley Smith

Professor of Women's Public Health

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Department of Nursing

Summary

Lesley joined the University of Hull in 2018. She has published extensively on alcohol research including alcohol and pregnancy, maternal health, midwifery-led intrapartum care and more recently adolescent sexual and reproductive health sub-Saharan Africa. She has a background in quantitative research methods, Currently she is an Academic Adviser Panel member for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK. In 2020, with Professor Monica Magadi, she set up the Hull Global Health Research Network.

From 2013 to April 2018 she led the Oxford Brookes University Maternal and Women’s Public Health research group (OXBUMP). In 2012, Lesley and Dr Ethel Burns, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery set up Zumba 4 Bump, a community-based antenatal exercise, education and support group for pregnant women in Oxford. This is now an established social enterprise, and has received support from The Big Lottery ‘Awards For All’. Before joining the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University in 2003 she held post-doctoral research posts at the Centre for Statistics in Medicine and the Pain Research Unit at the University of Oxford. Before this Lesley had a background in nursing.

Recent outputs

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Journal Article

Perspectives of Adolescents, Parents, Service Providers, and Teachers on Mobile Phone Use for Sexual Reproductive Health Education

Ochieng, B. M., Smith, L., Orton, B., Hayter, M., Kaseje, M., Wafula, C. O., …Kaseje, D. C. O. (2022). Perspectives of Adolescents, Parents, Service Providers, and Teachers on Mobile Phone Use for Sexual Reproductive Health Education. Social Sciences, 11(5), Article 196. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11050196

Visualizing community networks to recruit South Asian participants for interviews about bowel cancer screening

Howcutt, S. J., Saini, P., Henshall, C., Brett, J., Watson, E., & Smith, L. A. (2022). Visualizing community networks to recruit South Asian participants for interviews about bowel cancer screening. Journal of Cancer Policy, 32, Article 100333. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcpo.2022.100333

Adolescents' sexual and reproductive health education: perspectives from secondary school teachers in Northern Nigeria

Emenike, N., Onukwugha, F. I., Sarki, A., & Smith, L. (in press). Adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health education: perspectives from secondary school teachers in Northern Nigeria. Sex Education, https://doi.org/10.1080/14681811.2022.2028613

The effectiveness and characteristics of mHealth interventions to increase adolescent's use of Sexual and Reproductive Health services in Sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review

Onukwugha, F. I., Smith, L., Kaseje, D., Wafula, C., Kaseje, M., Orton, B., …Magadi, M. (2022). The effectiveness and characteristics of mHealth interventions to increase adolescent's use of Sexual and Reproductive Health services in Sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review. PLoS ONE, 17(1), Article e0261973. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0261973

Factors Associated With Normal Physiologic Birth for Women Who Labor In Water: A Secondary Analysis of A Prospective Observational Study

Carpenter, J., Burns, E., & Smith, L. (2022). Factors Associated With Normal Physiologic Birth for Women Who Labor In Water: A Secondary Analysis of A Prospective Observational Study. Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health, 67(1), 13-20. https://doi.org/10.1111/jmwh.13315

Research interests

My research takes a prevention and behavioural science approach to improving reproductive health of women with a particular focus on preconception and pregnancy.

I am interested in carrying out research to understand the factors that influence health, and using participatory approaches to develop interventions and strategies to change behaviours to improve health and wellbeing of women, family and community health.

I am particularly interested in understanding how to reduce the harm from alcohol exposure before and during pregnancy through development of behaviour change interventions.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome enquiries from motivated students from anywhere in the world who have a passion and commitment to making a difference through population health research.

Applications from students with an interest in research aiming to improving reproductive health and wellbeing of women, and research taking prevention/behavioural science approaches are particularly welcome. Especially students with an interest in preconception health and reducing harm from alcohol before and during pregnancy.

Current PhD students:

2020

Amena Dilmohamed, HIV/AIDS and sexual related violence in armed conflict in DRC (part-time) (co-supervisor)

2019

Lady Gwendoline Akwa, Alcohol and physical activity amongst women University Cluster Scholarship (Alcohol) 2020, (Director of Studies)

Saphsa Codling, Alcohol and physical activity. amongst adolescents University Cluster Scholarship (Alcohol) 2020, (Director of Studies)

Past PhD students

Dr Sarah Howcutt (2021); Dr Sarah Hennelly (2018); Dr Jane Henderson (2017); Dr Victoria Coathup (2016); Dr Ethel Burns (2013)