About City
  1. Rector and President
  2. Schools and departments
  3. Governance and leadership
  4. Working at City
  5. History of City
  6. More about City
  7. Campus map
  1. Health Sciences
  2. Research
  3. Public Health, Social Diversity & Inequalities in Maternal & Child Health
About City

Public Health, Social Diversity and Inequalities in Maternal and Child Health Group

Our research focuses on population health, preventive action and health care for women and children including socially and economically marginalised groups. We aim to describe inequalities in maternal and child health outcomes to inform public health policies and improve services for women, children and their families. Research includes young teenage parenting , mothering and feeding children with neurodisability, maternal and child health in relation to HIV/AIDS, and the health of  homeless and migrant populations  We currently have 5 members of staff and 3 doctoral students working on projects ranging from locally focussed studies in East London to national studies and international comparisons of perinatal indicators using a range of methodological approaches including  quantitative and qualitative methods and linkage and secondary analysis of national and linked datasets.

We have well established links with Barts Health NHS Trust, Homerton University Hospital NHS Trust and public health departments in East London as well as with the Department of Health, Home Office and non-governmental organisations such as Maternity Action and Equality Now. Our work has informed the development of maternal and child healthcare services and policy in England and internationally.

This group belongs to both the Centre for Public Health Research and the Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research.


PhD students

  • Sarah Bekaert
  • Agatha Bula
  • Gayle Clifford


2014-2015 Births and their outcome: analysing the daily, weekly and yearly cycles and their implications for the NHS. Alison Macfarlane, Nirupa Dattani, Miranda Dodwell, Rod Gibson, Mary Newburn, Mario Cortina-Borja. NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Programme. £416,845.60.

2013 – 2014 Estimating matching variable error rates and match probabilities for linkage of large administrative data sources. Ruth Gilbert, K Harron, H Goldstein, M Cortina Borja, B Muller-Pebody, R Parslow, Nirupa Dattani. ESRC National Centre for Research Methods. £159,055

2013-2014. Updating and improving estimates of the prevalence female genital mutilation and review of current attitudes in practising communities in England and Wales. Efua Dorkenoo, Equality Now and Alison Macfarlane. Home Office and Trust for London £35,000.

2013. Initial development of a physical activity intervention for obese pregnant women. City University Research Sustainability Fund Olander, E.K. £3,370.

2012-2013. Initial evaluation of NHS Warwickshire’s maternal obesity care pathway. NHS Warwickshire. Olander, E.K. , Atkinson, L. & French, D.P £10,705.

2011 - 2014 Europeristat Action. Jennifer Zeitlin, Mika Gissler, Simone Buitendijk, Ashna Mohangoo, Sophie Alexander, Wei Hong Zhang, Katarzyna Szomultska, Alison Macfarlane. European Union, Public Health Directorate. £524,900

2011 –2013. Evaluation of Coventry’s Weight Management in Pregnancy Programme - Just4Mums. Coventry City Council Olander, E.K. , Atkinson, L, & French, D.P. £9,084

2010-2013. Investigating the feasibility of a web-based intervention, and other interventions, to address maternal obesity Birmingham East & North PCT Awarded to Atkinson, L. & Olander, E.K. . £4,144.

2012. An evidence review for research and/or effective service provision for overweight or obese children focusing on early years Bartle, N., Atkinson, L. & Olander, E.K. NHS Dudley £4,728.

2012 Influences on exclusive and partial breastfeeding rates within the Bangladeshi community in Tower Hamlets. Christine McCourt, Alison Macfarlane, Janice Christie, Juliet Rayment, Zohra Khanam. NHS North East London and the City PCT. £16,000

2011-2014 Europeristat-IV. Jennifer Zeitlin, Mika Gissler, Simone Buitendijk, Ashna Mohangoo, Sophie Alexander, WeiHong Zhang, Katarzyna Szomultska, Alison Macfarlane EU funding €607,343.

2011 – 2012. Scoping stakeholder views of routine patient data collection. Katherine Curtis Tyler, Miranda Wolpert, Russell Viner, Helen Roberts. CPRU, UCL (DH). £19,481

2011 Systematic review funding. Peter O’Hallaron, Janice Christie. R&D office, Belfast. £50,000

2011 Analysis of birth weight distribution by gestational age. Alison Macfarlane, Nirupa Dattani. Barts and the London Charity. £19,938

2010 – 2011 NICE-evidence synthesis: Tuberculosis Collaborating Centre evidence reviews" for the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence. Gill Craig, Matrix evidence/NICE. £5,800

2010 Qualitative evaluation of the maternal and early years healthy weight service. Atkinson, L, Olander, E.K. & French, D.P. NHS West Midlands Strategic Health Authority. £33,141

2009 - 2011. Linkage, analysis and dissemination of national birth and maternity data for England and Wales. Alison Macfarlane, Miranda Dodwell, Martin Ward Platt, Lisa Hilder, Kath Moser. Medical Research Council. £295,816

2008 -2009 Europeristat-III. Macfarlane, Gissler, Mohangoo, Blondel, Chalmers, Gaizauskiene, et al, EC – Public Health Executive Agency. £167,662

2006-2008 Reducing Infant Mortality – Implementing the Floor Target Action Plan. Macfarlane A & Lisa Hilder. Team Hackney. . £241,000.



Atkinson L., Olander E.K. & French D.P. (2013). Why don’t many obese pregnant and post-natal women engage with a weight management service? Journal of Infant and Reproductive Psychology 31: 245-256.

Atkinson L., Olander E.K. & Smith D.M. (2013) ‘Weight is the new challenge’: how can health psychology help maternity care professionals to support women to have a healthy weight and lifestyle in pregnancy? Health Psychology Update 22: 27-30.

Bashir S., Sparkes E., Anwar K. & Olander E.K. (2013). Postpartum women’s views of celebrity weight loss. Women and Birth 26: e97.

Beake S, Acosta L, Cooke P, McCourt, C. (2013) Caseload midwifery in a multi-ethnic community: The women’s experiences. Midwifery 29: 996–1002

Lack N, Blondel B, Mohangoo A D, Sakkeus L, Cans C, Bouvier-Colle M H, Macfarlane A, & Zeitlin J. (2013) Reporting of perinatal health indicators for international comparisons--enhancing the appearance of geographical plots. European Journal of Public Health, (2013); DOI:10.1093/eurpub/cks176

Mohangoo AD, Blondel B, Gissler M, Velebil P, Macfarlane A, et al (2013). International comparisons of fetal and neonatal mortality rates in high-income countries: should exclusion thresholds be based on birth weight or gestational age? PLoS ONE 2013 8(5): e64869. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064869

Nicholas Lack; Beatrice Blondel; Ashna D. Mohangoo; Luule Sakkeus; Christine Cans; Marie H. Bouvier-Colle; Alison Macfarlane; Jennifer Zeitlin (2013). The European Journal of Public Health 2013; doi: 10.1093/eurpub/cks176

Olander E.K. & Atkinson, L. (2013). Obese women’s reasons for not attending a weight management service during pregnancy. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica DOI: 10.1111/aogs.12195


Craig G M & Higgs P. (2012) Risk Owners & Risk Managers: Dealing with the complexity of feeding children with neurodevelopmental disability. Health Risk & Society, 14(7-8):627-637

Datta-Nemdharry P, Dattani N, Macfarlane A, Thomas G. (2012) Linking maternity data for Wales 2005-07: methods and data quality. Health Analysis, 54, 1-24

Datta-Nemdharry P, Dattani N, & Macfarlane A J. (2012) Birth outcomes for African and Caribbean babies in England and Wales: retrospective analysis of routinely collected data. British Medical Journal Open 2012;2:e001088

Dattani N, Datta-Nemdharry P, Macfarlane A (2012) Linking maternity data for England, 2007: methods and data quality. Health Statistics Quarterly, 2012; 53:4-21 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/hsq/health-analysis/linking-maternity-data-for-wales--2005-07--methods-and-data-quality/index.html

Olander E.K., Atkinson L., Edmunds J.K. & French D.P. (2012). Promoting healthy eating in pregnancy: What kind of support services do women say they want? Primary Health Care Research and Development . 13: 237-243


Brocklehurst P, Hardy P, Hollowell J, Linsell L, Macfarlane A, McCourt C, Marlow N, Miller A, Newburn M et al. Birthplace in England Collaborative Group (2011) Perinatal and maternal outcomes by planned place of birth for healthy women with low risk pregnancies: the Birthplace in England national prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal 2011;343:d7400

Dattani N, Datta-Nemdharry P, & Macfarlane A. (2011) Linking maternity data for England, 2005-06: methods and data quality. Health Statistics Quarterly, 49, 53-76

Hollowell J, Puddicombe D, Rowe R, Linsell L, Hardy P, Stewart, M, Redshaw M, Newburn M, McCourt C, Sandall J, Macfarlane A, Silverton L & Brocklehurst P, on behalf of the Birthplace in England Collaborative Group (2011) The Birthplace national prospective cohort study: perinatal and maternal outcomes by planned place of birth. Birthplace in England research programme. Final report part 4. NIHR Service Delivery and Organisation programme; 2011. 343:d7400

Jayakody A, Sinha S, Tyler K, KhaDr.SN, Clark C, Klineberg E, Booy R, Bhui K, Head JJ, Stansfeld S, Roberts H, & Viner RM. (2011) Early sexual risk among black and minority ethnicity teenagers: a mixed methods study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 48(5), 499-506

Olander E.K., Atkinson L., Edmunds J.K. & French D.P. (2011). The views of pre- and post-natal women and health professionals regarding gestational weight gain: an exploratory study. Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare 2: 43–48.

Sawyer A, Ayers S, Sidibeh S, Nyan O, Smith HE, & Dale J. (2011). Women's experience of pregnancy and birth in The Gambia: A qualitative study. British Journal of Health Psychology, 16(3), 528-541

Schmied V. Beake S, Sheehan, S, McCourt C, Dykes F. (2011). A meta-synthesis of women’s perceptions and experiences of breastfeeding support. Birth 38:49-59.Twamley K, Puthussery S, Harding S, Baron M, & Macfarlane A. (2011) UK Born ethnic minority women and their experiences of feeding their newborn baby. Midwifery, 27, 595-602


Craig GM, & O'Dell L. (2010) Mothering on the Margins. Editorial. International Journal of Radical Psychology, 9(2)

Gissler M, Mohangoo AD, Blondel B, Chalmers J, Macfarlane A, Gaizauskiene A, Gatt M, Lack N, Sakkeus L, & Zeitlin J for the EURO-PERISTAT group (2010). Perinatal health monitoring in Europe: results from the EURO-PERISTAT project. Informatics for Health and Social Care, 35(2), 64-79.

McAree T, Beake S, McCourt C. (2010) Perceptions of Group Practice Midwifery amongst Women in an Ethnically Diverse Area. Evidence-Based Midwifery. September 2010.

Puthussery S, Twamley K, Macfarlane A, Harding S, & Baron M. (2010) 'You need that tender loving care': maternity care experiences and expectations of ethnic minority women born in the United Kingdom. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 15(3), 156-62.

Urquia ML, Glazier RH, Blondel B, Zeitlin J, Gissler M, Macfarlane A, Ng E, Heaman M, Stray-Pedersen B, & Gagnon A. ROAM collaboration. (2010) International migration and adverse birth outcomes: role of ethnicity, region of origin and destination. Journal of Epidemiological Community Health, 64(3), 243-251.doi:10.1136/jech.2008.083535.


Gagnon AJ, Zimbeck M, Zeitlin J, ROAM Collaboration, Alexander S, Blondel B, Buitendijk S, Desmeules M, Di Lallo D, Gagnon A, Gissler M, Glazier R, Heaman M, Korfker D, Macfarlane A, Ng E, Roth C, Small R, Stewart D, Stray-Pederson B, Urquia M, Vangen S, Zeitlin J, Zimbeck M(2009). Migration to western industrialised countries and perinatal health: a systematic review Social Science & Medicine 2009; 69(6):934-46

Gissler M, Alexander S, Macfarlane A, Small R, Stray Pedersen B, Zeitlin J, Zimbeck M, Gagnon A (2009). For the ROAM collaboration (Reproductive Outcomes and Migration: an International Research Collaboration). Stillbirths and infant deaths among migrants in industrialised countries. Acta Obstetrica et Gynecologica 2009; 88: 134-148.

Zeitlin J. Mohangoo A. Cuttini M. EUROPERISTAT Report Writing Committee. Alexander S. Barros H. Blondel B. Bouvier-Colle MH. Buitendijk S. Cans C. Correia S. Gissler M. Macfarlane A. Novak-Antolic Z. Zeitlin J. Zhang WH. Zimbeck M (2009). The European Perinatal Health Report: comparing the health and care of pregnant women and newborn babies in Europe. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2009; 63(9):681-2.


Hashimoto N, McCourt C. (2008). From ‘to learn’ to ‘to know’: women’s embodied knowledge of breastfeeding in Japan. In: Dykes F and Hall-Moran V. Infant and Young Child Feeding. Challenges to implementing a global strategy. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Townsend JL, Craig G, Lawson M, Reilly S, & Spitz L (2008). Cost effectiveness of gastrostomy placement for children with neuro-developmental disability. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 93, 873-7.