Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Senior Teaching Fellow in Public Health



s.hassounah Website




Reynolds BuildingCharing Cross Campus





Publication Type

5 results found

Amati F, Hassounah S, Swaka A, 2019, The impact of Mediterranean dietary patterns during pregnancy on maternal and offspring health, Nutrients, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2072-6643

(1) Background: Pregnancy outcomes for both mother and child are affected by many environmental factors. The importance of pregnancy for 'early life programming' is well established and maternal nutrition is an important factor contributing to a favourable environment for developing offspring. We aim to assess whether following a Mediterranean Diet during pregnancy is beneficial for maternal and offspring outcomes; (2) Methods: a systematic review was performed using standardized reporting guidelines with the National Heart Lung and Blood Iinstitute quality assessment tool for selection and extraction; (3) Results: results show that being on a Mediterranean Diet during pregnancy is associated with favourable outcomes for both maternal and offspring health, particularly for gestational diabetes in mothers and congenital defects in offspring (4) Conclusions: Following a Mediterranean dietary pattern during gestation is beneficial for the health of both the mother and offspring. Pregnant women and those trying to conceive should be advised to follow a Mediterranean Diet to potentially decrease, for example, the likelihood of atopy (OR 0.55) in the offspring and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in the mother (OR 0.73).

Journal article

Banks C, Rawaf S, Hassounah S, 2017, Factors influencing the tobacco control policy process in Egypt and Iran: a scoping review, Global Health Research and Policy, Vol: 2, ISSN: 2397-0642

IntroductionTobacco control policy is essential for addressing the growing tobacco consumption seen in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the single greatest preventable contributor to the non-communicable disease epidemic. Egypt and Iran have had varied success in using policy to combat this issue. The study aims to identify and compare the factors which have influenced different stages of the policy process – evidence generation, development and implementation.MethodsA scoping review was conducted with a systematic search of 7 databases which was conducted along with searches of Google Scholar, and the World Health Organisation and Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office websites to identify influencing factors at each stage of the policy process.ResultsTwenty-seven relevant articles were identified from the literature search. Factors identified as influencing tobacco control policy in these countries were lobbying by the tobacco industry, the rise of water-pipe smoking, lack of political commitment and the lack of resources to for policy implementation. Iran was found to be leading Egypt on all three areas of the policy process. Implementation was found to be the most pivotal part of the policy process and the area in which Egypt was weakest compared to Iran.ConclusionThis study addresses a gap in knowledge concerning tobacco control in the Middle East and has identified multiple factors which are potentially slowing the process of enforcing policy to address tobacco consumption. Iran is the regional leader for tobacco control and it is important for Egypt to assess the transferability of its tactics and immediately start implementing measures to control tobacco use.

Journal article

Abou El Fadl R, Blair M, Hassounah S, 2016, Integrating maternal and children's oral health promotion into nursing and midwifery practice- a systematic review, PLoS ONE, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 1932-6203

BackgroundGlobally, oral diseases contribute to major disease problems and oral health disparities persistentlyexist amongst vulnerable population groups. Two contributory factors to these challengesare the shortage of dental practitioners and the characteristic separation betweenthe medical and dental professions. Nurses and midwives, in particular, are in a potentiallyexcellent position to assist in basic oral health services such as dental health education andintraoral screening. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of integrating promotion of oralhealth of young children and their mothers into nursing and midwifery practice.Methods and FindingsSeven electronic databases including CENTRAL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, GLOBAL HEALTH,CINHAL, Scopus, and Web of Science were systematically searched whereas conferenceproceedings and theses were retrieved via PROQUEST. Only randomized, non-randomizedtrials and observational studies on preventive oral health programs delivered by nurses ormidwives in healthcare settings or through home visits were included. Two investigatorsreviewed full-text articles independently to decide on eligibility for inclusion. Quality assessmentwas done using Cochrane tool for risk of bias for randomized trials and Downs andBlack assessment tool for all other studies. Out of 3162 retrieved records, twenty one trialson oral health interventions incorporated into standard nursing practice were reviewed.Eighteen programs reported significant positive outcomes including reduction in cariesexperience, better oral hygiene and dietary habits and increased rates of dental visitsamongst young children as reported by their caregivers.ConclusionsIncorporating oral health promotion into nursing practice is a promising initiative for reducingoral health disparities by contributing to a downward trend in caries experience andincreased access to dental care especially amongst the poor disadvantaged communities.

Journal article

Atchison CJ, Hassounah S, 2015, The UK immunisation schedule: changes to vaccine policy and practice in 2013/14., JRSM Open, Vol: 6, ISSN: 2054-2704

Vaccination programmes are implemented either as new vaccines become available or evidence about them accumulates, or in response to specific situations. In the United Kingdom, development and implementation of the national immunisation programme is centrally coordinated and funded by the Department of Health on behalf of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. A number of significant changes were made to the UK immunisation schedule for 2013/2014. Three new vaccines were introduced: intranasal influenza and oral rotavirus for children and subcutaneous shingles for older adults. To ensure protection against meningococcal C infection into adulthood, there has been a change to the schedule for meningitis C vaccination. The temporary pertussis vaccination programme for pregnant women, set up in response to an increase in the number of cases of pertussis particularly among young babies, has been extended until further notice. Furthermore, in response to large outbreaks of measles in south Wales and other parts of the UK, a national measles, mumps and rubella catch-up campaign specifically targeted at unvaccinated children aged 10-16 years was launched to ensure that all children and young people have received two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. This review describes the rationale behind these policy changes.

Journal article

Hassounah S, Rawaf S, 2014, The Right to Health: The challenge of securing good health in the Arab States, European Journal of Public Health, Vol: 24, ISSN: 1101-1262

Journal article

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