Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Research Associate



+44 (0)7812 682 273r.thompson19 Website




160Medical SchoolSt Mary's Campus





Publication Type

11 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, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Vol: 26, ISSN: 1438-8871

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

Lawrance E, Thompson R, Roberts L, Grailey K, Ashrafian H, Maheswaran H, Toledano M, Darzi Aet al., 2023, Ambient temperature and mental health: a systematic review and meta analysis, The Lancet Planetary Health, Vol: 7, Pages: e580-e589, ISSN: 2542-5196

BackgroundIncreasing evidence indicates that ambient outdoor temperature could affect mental health, which is especially concerning in the context of climate change. We aimed to comprehensively analyse the current evidence regarding the associations between ambient temperature and mental health outcomes.MethodsWe did a systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence regarding associations between ambient outdoor temperature and changes in mental health outcomes. We searched WebOfScience, Embase, PsychINFO, and PubMed for articles published from database origin up to April 7, 2022. Eligible articles were epidemiological, observational studies in humans of all ages, which evaluated real-world responses to ambient outdoor temperature, and had mental health as a documented outcome; studies of manipulated or controlled temperature or those with only physical health outcomes were excluded. All eligible studies were synthesised qualitatively. If three or more studies reported the same or equivalent effect statistics and if they had equivalent exposure, outcome, and metrics, the studies were pooled in a random-effects meta-analysis. The risk of bias for individual studies was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. The quality of evidence across studies was assessed using the Office of Health Assessment and Translation (OHAT) approach.Findings114 studies were included in the systematic review, of which 19 were suitable for meta-analysis. Three meta-analyses were conducted for suicide outcomes: a 1°C increase in mean monthly temperature was associated with an increase in incidence of 1·5% (95% CI 0·8–2·2, p<0·001; n=1 563 109, seven effects pooled from three studies); a 1°C increase in mean daily temperature was associated with an increase in incidence of 1·7% (0·3–3·0, p=0·014; n=113 523, five effects pooled from five studies); and a 1°C increase in mean monthly temperature was associa

Journal article

Thompson R, Smith RB, Bou Karim Y, Shen C, Drummond K, Teng C, Toledano MBet al., 2023, Air pollution and human cognition: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Science of the Total Environment, Vol: 859, ISSN: 0048-9697

Background:This systematic review summarises and evaluates the literature investigating associations between exposure to air pollution and general population cognition, which has important implications for health, social and economic inequalities, and human productivity.Methods:The engines MEDLINE, Embase Classic+Embase, APA PsycInfo, and SCOPUS were searched up to May 2022. Our inclusion criteria focus on the following pollutants: particulate matter, NOx, and ozone. The cognitive abilities of interest are: general/global cognition, executive function, attention, working memory, learning, memory, intelligence and IQ, reasoning, reaction times, and processing speed. The collective evidence was assessed using the NTP-OHAT framework and random-effects meta-analyses.Results:Eighty-six studies were identified, the results of which were generally supportive of associations between exposures and worsened cognition, but the literature was varied and sometimes contradictory. There was moderate certainty support for detrimental associations between PM2.5 and general cognition in adults 40+, and PM2.5, NOx, and PM10 and executive function (especially working memory) in children. There was moderate certainty evidence against associations between ozone and general cognition in adults age 40+, and NOx and reasoning/IQ in children. Some associations were also supported by meta-analysis (N = 14 studies, all in adults aged 40+). A 1 μg/m3 increase in NO2 was associated with reduced performance on general cognitive batteries (β = −0.02, p < 0.05) as was a 1 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 exposure (β = −0.02, p < 0.05). A 1μgm3 increase in PM2.5 was significantly associated with lower verbal fluency by −0.05 words (p = 0.01) and a decrease in executive function task performance of −0.02 points (p < 0.001).Discussion:Evidence was found in support of some exposure-outcome associations, however more good quality research is required, particula

Journal article

Vu TV, Stewart GB, Kitwiroon N, Lim S, Barratt B, Kelly FJ, Thompson R, Smith RB, Toledano MB, Beevers SDet al., 2022, Assessing the contributions of outdoor and indoor sources to air quality in London homes of the SCAMP cohort, Building and Environment, Vol: 222, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 0360-1323

Given that many people typically spend the majority of their time at home, accurate measurement and modelling of the home environment is critical in estimating their exposure to air pollution. This study investigates the fate and impact on human exposure of outdoor and indoor pollutants in London homes, using a combination of sensor measurements, outdoor air pollution estimated from the CMAQ-urban model and indoor mass balance models. Averaged indoor concentrations of PM2.5, PM10 and NO2 were 14.6, 24.7 and 14.2 μg m−3 while the outdoor concentrations were 14.4, 22.6 and 21.4 μg m−3, respectively. Mean infiltration factors of particles (0.6–0.7) were higher than those of NO2 (0.4). In contrast, higher loss rates were found for NO2 (0.5–0.8 h−1) compared to those for particles (0.1–0.3 h−1). The average concentrations of PM2.5, PM10 and NO2 in kitchen environments were 22.0, 33.7 and 20.8 μg m−3, with highest hourly concentrations (437, 644 and 136 μg m−3, respectively) during cooking times (6–7 pm). Indoor sources increased the indoor concentrations of particles and NO2 by an average of 26–37% in comparison to the indoor background level without indoor sources. Outdoor and indoor air exchange plays an important role in reducing air pollution indoors by 65–86% for particles and 42–65% for NO2.

Journal article

Lawrance E, Jennings N, Kioupi V, Thompson R, Diffey J, Vercammen Aet al., 2022, Young person's psychological responses, mental health, and sense of agency for the dual challenges of climate change and a global pandemic in the UK: an online survey study, The Lancet Planetary Health, ISSN: 2542-5196

Journal article

Lawrance EL, Thompson R, Newberry Le Vay J, Page L, Jennings Net al., 2022, The Impact of Climate Change on Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing: A Narrative Review of Current Evidence, and its Implications, INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF PSYCHIATRY, Vol: 34, Pages: 443-498, ISSN: 0954-0261

Journal article

Thompson R, Toledano M, Dewa L, Fisher HL, Kabba Z, Hussain Tet al., 2022, Adolescents’ thoughts and feelings about the local and global environment: a qualitative interview study, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Vol: 27, Pages: 4-13, ISSN: 1475-357X

BackgroundDespite a recent increase in engagement with environmental issues among young people, their impact upon adolescent mental health and wellbeing is not yet fully understood. Therefore, this study aimed to explore adolescents' thoughts and feelings about current environmental issues.MethodsSemi-structured interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 15 UK-based adolescents aged 14–18 years (66.7% female). Transcripts were inductively thematically analysed by the interviewing researcher and two adolescent co-researchers, with priority given to the co-researchers' impressions to strengthen interpretations of the personal experiences of the interviewees.ResultsSix themes were identified: the local environment, efficacy, challenging emotions, information, hindrances and perceptions of the future. The local environment was found to affect adolescents positively and negatively. Factors including greenspace and fresh air had a positive impact, and factors including noise and litter had a negative impact. Most participants reported feeling disempowered to personally influence environmental problems but were engaged with them and felt that trying to make a difference was beneficial for their wellbeing. Adolescents largely reported negative expectations about the environment’s future.ConclusionThe UK adolescents interviewed appeared to be very engaged and emotionally affected by a perceived lack of care towards the environment, locally and globally. It is therefore imperative to amplify young people’s voices and involve them in influencing environmental policy, for the benefit of young people and the planet. Further research should quantify the extent to which environmental issues affect young people's mental health and identify factors that could prevent or alleviate distress.

Journal article

Thompson R, Smith RB, Bou Karim Y, Shen C, Drummond K, Teng C, Toledano MBet al., 2022, Noise pollution and human cognition: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis of recent evidence, Environment International, Vol: 158, Pages: 1-27, ISSN: 0160-4120

BackgroundThis systematic review provides a comprehensive synthesis of recent epidemiological evidence that environmental noise negatively impacts human cognition.MethodsWe update a prior review with recent publications (PROSPERO CRD42019151923). The strength of evidence for associations was assessed using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations) framework. We also conducted random-effects meta-analyses where suitable.Results16 studies were identified and reviewed in tandem with 32 studies previously reviewed by Clark & Paunovic (2018). A meta-analysis from 3 studies found that reading comprehension scores in quiet classrooms were 0.80 (95% confidence interval: 0.40; 1.20) points higher than children in noisier classrooms. Meta-analysis of the impact of 1 dB (dB) increase in environmental noise on reading and language abilities gave a pooled beta coefficient of −0.11(95% confidence interval: −0.32; 0.10). A meta-analysis of Odds Ratios (OR) from 3 studies found higher odds of cognitive impairment in people aged 45 + with higher residential noise exposure (OR 1.40, 95% CI: 1.18;1.61). After qualitative synthesis of remaining studies, there was high quality evidence for an association between environmental noise and cognitive impairment in middle-to-older adults, moderate quality evidence for an association between aircraft noise and reading and language in children, and moderate quality evidence against an association between aircraft noise and executive functioning in children. Generally the literature was supportive for other cognitive outcomes, but with low or very low-quality evidence.DiscussionThe evidence so far suggests that noise exposure is associated with cognition, but more good quality research using standardised methodology is required to corroborate these results and to allow for precise risk estimation by larger meta-analyses. There is also a need for more research with older teenagers and young-to

Journal article

Roca-Barcelo A, Gaines AM, Sheehan A, Thompson R, Chamberlain RC, Bos B, Belcher RNet al., 2021, Making academia environmentally sustainable: a student perspective, The Lancet Planetary Health, Vol: 5, Pages: E576-E577, ISSN: 2542-5196

Journal article

Thompson R, Hallas L, Moseley P, Alderson-Day Bet al., 2021, Cognitive and phenomenological characteristics of hallucination-proneness across the lifespan, Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, Vol: 26, Pages: 18-34, ISSN: 1354-6805

IntroductionThe impact of age on hallucination-proneness within healthy adult cohorts and its relation to underlying cognitive mechanisms is underexplored. Based on previously researched trends in relation to cognitive ageing, we hypothesised that older and younger adults, when compared to a middle adult age group, would show differential relations between hallucination-proneness and cognitive performance.MethodsA mixed methods, between-groups study was conducted with 30 young adults, 26 older adults, and 27 from a “middle adulthood” group. Participants completed a source memory task, jumbled speech task, Launay-Slade hallucination scale, unusual experiences schedule, and control measures of delusion-proneness and attitudes to mental health.ResultsCompared to older age-groups, younger participants demonstrated better scores on the source memory task, and reported hearing more words in jumbled speech. Additionally, younger cohorts rated higher on hallucination-proneness and disclosed more unusual experiences on a customised schedule designed to gather further qualitative data. Jumbled speech scores positively correlated with hallucination-proneness scores, particularly for the “middle” age group. Source memory performance unexpectedly correlated positively with hallucination-proneness, although this may be the product of age differences in task performance.ConclusionsAge differences in hallucination-proneness are evident on self-report and cognitive measures. Implications are discussed for potentially non-overlapping cognitive mechanisms underlying hallucination-proneness in non-clinical groups.

Journal article

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