Amanda Sowden's research while affiliated with CUNY Graduate Center and other places

Publications (102)

Article
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Background Lyme disease incidence is increasing in Europe, the USA, and Canada. In 2010, a comparison of surveillance systems for Lyme disease (LD) in humans in 28 European countries showed that systems highly varied, making epidemiological comparisons difficult. Details by country were not published. In 2018, one of LD clinical manifestations, neu...
Article
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Background This overview and analysis of UK datasets was commissioned by the UK government to address concerns about children’s consumption of caffeinated energy drinks and their effects on health and behaviour. Methods We searched nine databases for systematic reviews, published between 2013 and July 2021, in English, assessing caffeinated energy...
Article
High prevalence of risk behaviours may exacerbate existing poor health in disadvantaged groups. We aimed to identify and bring together systematic reviews with a focus on reducing risk behaviours in disadvantaged groups and highlight where evidence is lacking. We searched MEDLINE and Embase up to October 2020, with supplementary searching in Episte...
Conference Paper
Background Lifestyle risk behaviours are associated with an increased risk of non-communicable disease and mortality. There are socio-economic inequalities in these behaviours, with some behaviours being more prevalent in particular groups, such as prisoners, homeless people and Gyspies, Travellers and Roma. The aim of this scoping review was to id...
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Background: Conventionally, searching for eligible articles to include in systematic reviews and maps of research has relied primarily on information specialists conducting Boolean searches of multiple databases and manually processing the results, including deduplication between these multiple sources. Searching one, comprehensive source, rather t...
Article
The risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from aerosols generated by medical procedures is a cause for concern. This rapid systematic review aimed to evaluate the evidence for aerosol production and transmission of respiratory infection associated with procedures that involve airway suctioning or induce coughing/sneezing. The review was informed by PR...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life worldwide and presented unique challenges in the health evidencesynthesis space. The urgent nature of the pandemic required extreme rapidity for keeping track of research, andthis presented a unique opportunity for long-proposed automation systems to be deployed and evaluated. Wecompared the use of novel aut...
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Background Young people’s use of pornography and participation in sexting are commonly viewed as harmful behaviours. This paper reports findings from a ‘review of reviews’, which aimed to systematically identify and synthesise the evidence on pornography and sexting amongst young people. Here, we focus specifically on the evidence relating to young...
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In systematic reviews that lack data amenable to meta-analysis, alternative synthesis methods are commonly used, but these methods are rarely reported. This lack of transparency in the methods can cast doubt on the validity of the review findings. The Synthesis Without Meta-analysis (SWiM) guideline has been developed to guide clear reporting in re...
Article
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) include physical, sexual or emotional abuse; neglect; domestic violence in the home; homelessness or living in care; parental mental health problems or substance abuse; and parents who are absent through imprisonment, separation or death. We sought to understand how people affected by ACEs can best be supported...
Conference Paper
Background Risk behaviours (e.g. unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity (PA)) are associated with increased risk of chronic disease and mortality. The majority of adults in England engage in two or more risk behaviours, which tend to co-occur in individuals. There are also strong socio-economic gradients in key health behaviours. A systematic re...
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Background Low control and high demand in the places where people work has been shown to partially explain why those in lower socioeconomic positions experience poorer health than their counterparts in higher socioeconomic positions. It would seem likely then that experiences of control in the wider living environment, beyond people’s places of wor...
Article
International systematic review evidence indicates an association of caffeinated energy drink use with physical symptoms and lifestyle but is unclear about associations with mental health and behavioural outcomes. The design of studies included in the reviews and the quality of the systematic reviews themselves limits the strength of the conclusion...
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Compared to younger age groups, older people spend more time in their locality and rely more heavily on its pedestrian and public transport infrastructure. Qualitative studies provide unique insight into people's experiences. We conducted a qualitative evidence synthesis of United Kingdom-based studies of older people's experiences of travelling in...
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Older people make up a larger proportion of the rural than urban population and rely more heavily on its transport system than younger age groups. We undertook a systematic review of qualitative studies to understand more about their experiences of everyday travel. As transport patterns, including car ownership and public transport, vary between co...
Conference Paper
Background Well conducted systematic reviews provide transparent and robust evidence syntheses. They are, therefore, important for informing clinical practice and health policy. In systematic reviews where meta-analysis is not possible or appropriate, quantitative data are often synthesised narratively. However, a major concern is that narrative sy...
Article
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Objective: To assess the adequacy of reporting and conduct of narrative synthesis of quantitative data (NS) in reviews evaluating the effectiveness of public health interventions. Study design and setting: A retrospective comparison of a 20% (n=474/2372) random sample of public health systematic reviews from the McMaster Health Evidence database...
Article
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We conducted a systematic review of observational evidence on the health impacts of women's low control/ autonomy in the living environment in societies with profound gender discrimination and gender bias. Thirty observational studies of varying methodological quality were included. Overall, the evidence suggests that women's lower control or auton...
Technical Report
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Background Current NICE guidelines recommend the use of both warfarin and novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) for the prevention and treatment of stroke related to atrial fibrillation (AF), and for venous thromboembolism (VTE). This review was commissioned to assess uncertainties about the evidence on the efficacy, safety and patient/clinician experi...
Article
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We conducted a systematic review of observational evidence on the health impacts of women's low control/autonomy in the living environment in societies with profound gender discrimination and gender bias. Thirty observational studies of varying methodological quality were included. Overall, the evidence suggests that women's lower control or autono...
Article
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Introduction Reliable evidence syntheses, based on rigorous systematic reviews, provide essential support for evidence-informed clinical practice and health policy. Systematic reviews should use reproducible and transparent methods to draw conclusions from the available body of evidence. Narrative synthesis of quantitative data (NS) is a method com...
Article
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Background Most countries recommend that healthcare workers (HCWs) are vaccinated seasonally against influenza in order to protect themselves and patients. However, in many cases coverage remains low. A range of strategies have been implemented to increase uptake. Qualitative evidence can help in understanding the context of interventions, includin...
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Adults with autism spectrum disorder without intellectual impairment may benefit from a range of support services. This article presents the results of a systematic review assessing the effectiveness of supportive interventions for adults with autism spectrum disorder without intellectual impairment. A total of 32 studies were included; most focuse...
Article
CONTEXT: Multiple risk behaviors are common and associated with developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, or Type 2 diabetes. A systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression of the effectiveness of multiple risk behavior interventions was conducted. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Six electronic databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE,...
Article
Context: Systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression of the effectiveness of multiple risk behaviour interventions. Evidence acquisition: Six electronic databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO searched to August 2016. Study selection: RCTs of non-pharmacological interventions in general adult populations. Studies targeting specif...
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Context: Multiple risk behaviors are common and associated with developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, or Type 2 diabetes. A systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression of the effectiveness of multiple risk behavior interventions was conducted. Evidence acquisition: Six electronic databases including MEDLINE, EMBA...
Article
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Background HIV co-infection exacerbates hepatitis C disease, increasing the risk of cirrhosis and hepatitis C-related mortality. Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) is the current standard treatment for co-infected individuals, but the impact of cART and antiretroviral (ARV) monotherapy on liver disease in this population is unclear. We aimed...
Article
Background The value of systematic reviews for decision making is their transparency, reproducibility, and robust approach to assessing the evidence base. For reviews of public health interventions, quantitative data are often narratively synthesised. Narrative synthesis has been criticised for its lack of transparency, raising concerns about poten...
Article
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Background: Risk behaviours, such as smoking and physical inactivity account for up to two-thirds of all cardiovascular deaths, and are associated with substantial increased mortality in many conditions including cancer and diabetes. As risk behaviours are thought to co-occur in individuals we conducted a systematic review of studies addressing cl...
Article
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Objective: To assess the impact on health-related outcomes, of group microfinance schemes based on collective empowerment. Methods: We searched the databases Social Sciences Citation Index, Embase, MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process, PsycINFO, Social Policy & Practice and Conference Proceedings Citation Index for articles published between 1 January 19...
Article
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Objective To identify the main areas of uncertainty and subsequent research priorities to inform the ongoing debate around assisted dying. Design Two-round electronic modified Delphi consultation with experts and interested bodies. Setting and participants 110 groups and individuals interested in the subject of end-of-life care and/or assisted dyin...
Article
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We conducted the first synthesis of theories on causal associations and pathways connecting degree of control in the living environment to socio-economic inequalities in health-related outcomes. We identified the main theories about how differences in ‘control over destiny’ could lead to socio-economic inequalities in health, and conceptualised the...
Conference Paper
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Background: There appears to be an increasing use of 'rapid reviews' to inform policy decisions in a timely manner. However, there is relatively little consensus on rapid review methodology. Objectives: To present as a case study our experience of conducting a 'rapid review' to inform a policy decision, and to discuss the strengths and limitations...
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Modifiable lifestyle risk behaviours such as smoking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and alcohol misuse are the leading causes of major, non-communicable diseases worldwide. It is increasingly being recognised that interventions which target more than one risk behaviour may be an effective and efficient way of improving people's lifestyles. To...
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Background The grading of recommendation, assessment, development and evaluation (GRADE) approach is widely implemented in health technology assessment and guideline development organisations throughout the world. GRADE provides a transparent approach to reaching judgements about the quality of evidence on the effects of a health care intervention,...
Article
Crime and fear of crime may impact negatively on health and well-being. Interventions to reduce crime and fear of crime, particularly interventions in the physical environment, may be a promising way to improve population-level well-being. Project components (1) Mapping review of theories and pathways; (2) systematic review of effectiveness; (3) s...
Article
The adverse effects of smoking in pregnancy are minimised if the mother quits completely in early pregnancy. Smokers are therefore advised to quit abruptly; cutting down is not recommended either as a method of, or alternative to, quitting. However, most pregnant smokers do not quit and cutting down is widely reported. Evidence comes primarily from...
Article
This article outlines a research and development agenda for systematic reviews that ask complex questions about interventions varying in degree and type of complexity. Consensus development by key authors of articles on methodological challenges in systematic reviews of complex interventions, based on a 2-day workshop in Montebello, Canada, January...
Article
OBJECTIVES Although there is increasing interest in the evaluation of complex interventions, there is little guidance on how evidence from complex interventions may be reviewed and synthesized, and the relevance of the plethora of evidence synthesis methods to complexity is unclear. This article aims to explore how different meta-analytical approac...
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Background The fear of crime may have negative consequences for health and wellbeing. It is influenced by factors in the physical and social environment. This study aimed to review and synthesize qualitative evidence from the UK on fear of crime and the environment. Methods Eighteen databases were searched, including crime, health and social scien...
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Background Fear of crime is associated with negative health and wellbeing outcomes, and may mediate some impacts of the built environment on public health. A range of environmental interventions have been hypothesized to reduce the fear of crime. Methods This review aimed to synthesize the literature on the effectiveness of interventions in the bu...
Article
Issues Research evidence indicates a high prevalence of substance abuse among patients presenting in general hospital settings. Such misuse of alcohol and illicit drugs has a major impact on population health and on costs to health services and to society at large. This review aimed to identify the interventions for alcohol or illicit drug misuse p...
Article
To provide evidence on how women's circumstances and experiences influence their smoking behaviour in pregnancy, including their attempts to quit. Women in disadvantaged circumstances are more likely to smoke prior to pregnancy; they are also less likely to quit in pregnancy and, among those who quit, more likely to resume smoking after birth. Alth...
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Housing and neighbourhood conditions are widely acknowledged to be important social determinants of health, through three main pathways: (1) internal housing conditions, (2) area characteristics and (3) housing tenure. We conducted a systematic overview of systematic reviews of intervention studies to provide an overview of the evidence on the impa...
Article
Objectives: To determine whether randomised controlled trials (RCTs) lead to the same effect size and variance as non-randomised studies (NRSs) of similar policy interventions, and whether these findings can be explained by other factors associated with the interventions or their evaluation. Data sources: Two RCTs were resampled to compare rando...
Article
Increasing attention is being given to the evaluation of public health interventions. Methods for the economic evaluation of clinical interventions are well established. In contrast, the economic evaluation of public health interventions raises additional methodological challenges. The paper identifies these challenges and provides suggestions for...
Article
To map the health effects of interventions which aim to alter the psychosocial work environment, with a particular focus on differential impacts by socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, or age. A systematic approach was used to identify, appraise and summarise existing systematic reviews (umbrella review) that examined the health effects of cha...
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To examine the impact of a system of presumed consent for organ donation on donation rates and to review data on attitudes towards presumed consent. Systematic review. Studies retrieved by online searches to January 2008 of Medline, Medline In-Process, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, HMIC, PAIS International, and OpenSIGLE. Studies reviewed Five studies...
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Promoting the mental health of people bereaved through suicide is a key aim of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy. To evaluate the effects of interventions to support people bereaved through suicide. We conducted a systematic review of data from controlled studies of interventions for people bereaved through suicide. Studies were identified u...
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The objective was to assess the impact of new guidance on the conduct of narrative synthesis in systematic reviews of effectiveness, by means of a blinded comparison of guidance-led narrative synthesis against a meta-analysis of the same study data.The conclusions of the two syntheses were broadly similar. However, differences between the approache...
Article
Approximately one fifth of workers are engaged in some kind of shift work. The harmful effects of shift work on the health and work-life balance of employees are well known. A range of organizational interventions has been suggested to address these negative effects. This study undertook the systematic review (following Quality Of Reporting Of Meta...
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To assess the effects of population tobacco control interventions on social inequalities in smoking. Medical, nursing, psychological, social science and grey literature databases, bibliographies, hand-searches and contact with authors. Studies were included (n = 84) if they reported the effects of any population-level tobacco control intervention o...