Imperial College London

MrAlexanderSpiers

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Casual - Student demonstrator - lower rate
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 9671a.spiers19

 
 
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Location

 

160Medical SchoolSt Mary's Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
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7 results found

Shen C, Smith RB, Heller J, Spiers ADV, Thompson R, Ward H, Roiser JP, Nicholls D, Toledano MBet al., 2024, Depression and Anxiety in Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Relation to the Use of Digital Technologies: Longitudinal Cohort Study., J Med Internet Res, Vol: 26

BACKGROUND: Adolescents are susceptible to mental illness and have experienced substantial disruption owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The digital environment is increasingly important in the context of a pandemic when in-person social connection is restricted. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to estimate whether depression and anxiety had worsened compared with the prepandemic period and examine potential associations with sociodemographic characteristics and behavioral factors, particularly digital behaviors. METHODS: We analyzed cross-sectional and longitudinal data from a large, representative Greater London adolescent cohort study: the Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (SCAMP). Participants completed surveys at T1 between November 2016 and July 2018 (N=4978; aged 13 to 15 years) and at T2 between July 2020 and June 2021 (N=1328; aged 16 to 18 years). Depression and anxiety were measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire and Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale, respectively. Information on the duration of total mobile phone use, social network site use, and video gaming was also collected using questionnaires. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of sociodemographic characteristics, digital technology use, and sleep duration with clinically significant depression and anxiety. RESULTS: The proportion of adolescents who had clinical depression and anxiety significantly increased at T2 (depression: 140/421, 33.3%; anxiety: 125/425, 29.4%) compared with the proportion of adolescents at T1 (depression: 57/421, 13.5%; anxiety: 58/425, 13.6%; P for 2-proportion z test <.001 for both depression and anxiety). Depression and anxiety levels were similar between the summer holiday, school opening, and school closures. Female participants had higher odds of new incident depression (odds ratio [OR] 2.5, 95% CI 1.5-4.18) and anxiety (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.23-3.61) at T2. A high level of total mobile

Journal article

Girela Serrano BM, Spiers A, Ruotong L, Gangadia S, Toledano MB, Di Simplicio Met al., 2022, Impact of mobile phones and wireless devices use on children and adolescents´ mental health: a systematic review, European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: official journal of the European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, ISSN: 1018-8827

Growing use of mobiles phones (MP) and other wireless devices (WD) has raised concerns about their possible effects on children and adolescents’ wellbeing. Understanding whether these technologies affect children and adolescents’ mental health in positive or detrimental ways has become more urgent following further increase in use since the COVID-19 outbreak. To review the empirical evidence on associations between use of MP/WD and mental health in children and adolescents. A systematic review of literature was carried out on Medline, Embase and PsycINFO for studies published prior to July 15th 2019, PROSPERO ID: CRD42019146750. 25 observational studies published between January 1st 2011 and 2019 were reviewed (ten were cohort studies, 15 were cross-sectional). Overall estimated participant mean age and proportion female were 14.6 years and 47%, respectively. Substantial between-study heterogeneity in design and measurement of MP/WD usage and mental health outcomes limited our ability to infer general conclusions. Observed effects differed depending on time and type of MP/WD usage. We found suggestive but limited evidence that greater use of MP/WD may be associated with poorer mental health in children and adolescents. Risk of bias was rated as ‘high’ for 16 studies, ‘moderate’ for five studies and ‘low’ for four studies. More high-quality longitudinal studies and mechanistic research are needed to clarify the role of sleep and of type of MP/WD use (e.g. social media) on mental health trajectories in children and adolescents.

Journal article

Girela-Serrano BM, Guerrero-Jimenez M, Spiers ADV, Gutierrez-Rojas Let al., 2022, Obesity and overweight among children and adolescents with bipolar disorder from the general population: A review of the scientific literature and a meta-analysis, Early Intervention in Psychiatry: the development, onset and treatment of emerging mental disorders, Vol: 16, Pages: 113-125, ISSN: 1751-7885

There is substantial evidence of the high prevalence of obesity (OB) and overweight (OW) and their association with increased medical and psychiatric burden among adults with bipolar disorder (BD). However, little is known regarding its prevalence among young people with BD, other than the risk from psychotropic medication, which has been the focus of research in this population. We present a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature on prevalence and correlates of OB and OW children and adolescents with BD using a different perspective than impact of medication. Four studies met inclusion criteria. The prevalence of OB in children and adolescents with BD was 15% (95% CI 11–20%). We observed a higher prevalence of OB in comparison to the general population. Different studies found significant associations between OB, OW, and BD in young populations including non-Caucasian race, physical abuse, suicide attempts, self-injurious behaviours, psychotropic medication, and psychiatric hospitalizations.

Journal article

Fernandes GS, Spiers A, Vaidya N, Zhang Y, Sharma E, Holla B, Heron J, Hickman M, Murthy P, Chakrabarti A, Basu D, Subodh BN, Singh L, Singh R, Kalyanram K, Kartik K, Kumaran K, Krishnaveni G, Kuriyan R, Kurpad S, Barker GJ, Bharath RD, Desrivieres S, Purushottam M, Orfanos DP, Toledano MB, Schumann G, Benegal Vet al., 2021, Adverse childhood experiences and substance misuse in young people in India: results from the multisite cVEDA cohort, BMC Public Health, Vol: 21, ISSN: 1471-2458

Background: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) increases vulnerability to externalising disorders such assubstance misuse. The study aims to determine the prevalence of ACEs and its association with substance misuse.Methods: Data from the Consortium on Vulnerability to Externalising Disorders and Addictions (cVEDA) in Indiawas used (n = 9010). ACEs were evaluated using the World Health Organisation (WHO) Adverse ChildhoodExperiences International Questionnaire whilst substance misuse was assessed using the WHO Alcohol, Smokingand Substance Involvement Screening Test. A random-effects, two-stage individual patient data meta-analysisexplained the associations between ACEs and substance misuse with adjustments for confounders such as sex andfamily structure.Results: 1 in 2 participants reported child maltreatment ACEs and family level ACEs. Except for sexual abuse, malesreport more of every individual childhood adversity and are more likely to report misusing substances comparedwith females (87.3% vs. 12.7%). In adolescents, family level ACEs (adj OR 4.2, 95% CI 1.5–11.7) and collective levelACEs (adj OR 6.6, 95% CI 1.4–31.1) show associations with substance misuse whilst in young adults, child level ACEssuch as maltreatment show similar strong associations (adj OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.1–3.5).Conclusion: ACEs such as abuse and domestic violence are strongly associated with substance misuse, mostcommonly tobacco, in adolescent and young adult males in India. The results suggest enhancing current ACEresilience programmes and ‘trauma-informed’ approaches to tackling longer-term impact of ACEs in India.Funding: Newton Bhabha Grant jointly funded by the Medical Research Council, UK (MR/N000390/1) and theIndian Council of Medical Research (ICMR/MRC-UK/3/M/2015-NCD-I).

Journal article

Patjamontri S, Spiers ADV, Smith RB, Shen C, Adaway J, Keevil BG, Toledano MB, Ahmed Fet al., 2021, Salivary sex steroids as markers of puberty in boys during late childhood and adolescence, European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology

Introduction: Salivary androgens represent a non-invasive marker of puberty that may have utility in population studies as well as in the clinical arena.Objectives: To establish normal reference values of salivary androgens using LC-MS/MS and demonstrate the correlations between salivary androgens and pubertal development in boys.Methods: School-based adolescent cohort study with two time points for collecting saliva samples two years apart. Five androgens (Testosterone;T, androstenedione; A4, 17-hydroxyprogesterone; 17-OHP, 11-ketotestosterone; 11-KT and 11β-hydroxyandrostenedione; 11OHA4 were analyzed in saliva samples using LC-MS/MS. In addition, self-reported assessment of puberty through the Pubertal Development Scale (PDS) was also collected at both time points. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to determine the areas under the curves (AUCs), of each androgen as a predictor of self-reported voice maturation.Results: A total of 1,166 saliva samples were available from 929 boys aged between 11-16 years at either baseline or follow up or both time points with the median age of 12.3 yrs (range 11.3-13.2) and 14.3 yrs (range 13.4-15.8) at baseline and follow up time point, respectively. Median salivary T increased from 7 pmol/l (10th,90th centile, 5, 41) in participants aged 11-12 yrs to 122 pmol/l (21.6, 267.4) in participants aged 15-16 yrs and median salivary A4 increased from 53 pmol/l (26.2, 92.0) in participants aged 11-12 yrs to 144 pmol/l (50.7, 241.2) in participants aged 15-16 yrs. In a subgroup analysis of 147 saliva samples that were collected within 90 days before or after PDS, salivary T and A4 concentrations showed the highest correspondence with self-reported voice-breaking (One-way ANOVA P < 0.005). ROC curve analysis showed that a salivary testosterone of 82.7 pmol/l and a salivary A4 of 113.4 pmol/l provided a sensitivity of 77% and 74%, respectively and a specificity of 76% and 74%, respectively. Salivary T concent

Poster

Patjamontri S, Spiers A, Smith RB, Shen C, Adaway J, Keevil BG, Toledano MB, Ahmed SFet al., 2021, Salivary sex steroids as markers of puberty in boys during late childhood and adolescence, 59th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology - 2021, Publisher: KARGER, Pages: 366-366, ISSN: 1663-2818

Conference paper

Middleton A, Spiers A, 2019, 20. Learning to Twalk, Social Media in Higher Education, Publisher: Open Book Publishers, Pages: 223-236, ISBN: 9781783746682

<jats:p>In Andrew Middleton’s chapter he explains what a ‘Twalk’ is, how to design effective Twalks, and why they create useful and rich learning environments. Drawing on his experience organising several Twalks, Andrew set out some emerging issues that should be considered by academics interested in using and developing such novel, blended social media learning spaces, especially if personal learning technologies are used.</jats:p>

Book chapter

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