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Personal profile

Research interests


I completed my PhD at the University of Bristol in 2016, which investigated the decision-making processes of mothers with young babies from deprived backgrounds, in relation to the risk factors for SIDS. Following this I worked on the OASIS Study, a case control study designed to investigate whether any feature of the routinely collected newborn hearing screen, either alone or in combination with other risk factors, can be used to identify infants at increased risk of unexpected death in infancy. I am now working on two new projects: developing an intervention to improve infant safety and well-being and the CVI Project.

Developing an Intervention to Improve Infant Safety and Well-being

This work will investigate potential interventions related to improving infant safe sleep uptake among families at higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Using a coproductive approach, the project will work with key stakeholders to develop an intervention that can be tested under trial conditions. Our work with families, health professionals and commissioners will explore interventions that aim to improve uptake of safe sleep advice while supporting families with sleep related advice. Inspiration from international approaches including Finnish baby boxes, PepipodTM and Wahakura from New Zealand will help to develop an intervention with broad appeal but targeted effects for those babies most at risk. This project is being undertaken as part of a Launching Fellowship awarded to Dr Anna Pease, with supervision from Professor Peter Blair, Dr Jenny Ingram and Professor Peter Fleming. 

The CVI Project

Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) refers to impairment of vision due to malfunction of the brain, rather than the eyes. CVI is a feature of many neurodevelopmental conditions, affects an estimated 1% of children and results in learning, co-ordination and communication difficulties.

Descriptive studies report that simplifying visual input improves performance in children with CVI but robust data are lacking. CVI is often unrecognised as many affected children have good visual acuity and appear to “see” normally. 

The program of work involves refining and evaluating a complex intervention, involving school and hospital components, for children with CVI. 

The OASIS Study

The Oto Acoustic Signals Investigation Study (OASIS) is an innovative new study which could lead to identifying babies and young children at risk of sudden, unexpected deaths, by examining data from the newborn hearing screen.

If the results of this initial study prove conclusive, this could have potentially ground-breaking implications for the prevention of SIDS and unexpected deaths of older children in the future.

The study will investigate whether any feature of the routinely collected newborn hearing screen, either alone or in combination with other risk factors, can be used to identify infants at increased risk of unexpected death in infancy.

The design also means that the proposed study will be the first case-control study of unexpected infants deaths in England since the end of SWISS study in 2007, and will provide important information about the current risk factors for SIDS. The study is now complete and publications are in press. 

Personal details

I am originally from the North East of England, but grew up in Scotland. I have an MA in Applied Psychology and an MSc in Health Psychology as well as a PhD. I have previously worked in New Zealand on national strategies to reduce the incidence of unexpected infant deaths. I have also worked in Southampton developing the Healthy Conversation Skills training (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of brief motivational interventions on mothers diet and physical activity. 

I am married to Joshua and we have two children. I have worked, travelled and lived in quite a few other countries, including Brazil, The United States, New Zealand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

PhD Research

Factors Influencing Infant Care Practices in the Sleep Environment amongst Families at High Risk of SIDS

To advise parents (especially those at higher risk of SIDS) on whether and in what conditions they should or should not sleep with their infants we need to understand some of the factors that influence their decision-making process on how they sleep, feed and care for their infant. The purpose of this research was to begin to understand these processes and the relationship between breastfeeding and co-sleeping. This understanding will provide a basis for advice that aims to keep infants safe while they sleep without undermining the parents’ ability to breastfeed. The research also investigated other risk factors associated with SIDS, in particular swaddling, dummy use, sleeping position and how the bedclothes are arranged and looked at how these practices are affected when there is a change in the normal routine.   

This research hopes to advance our knowledge of how parental decisions and associated behaviours can contribute to the safety of sleeping babies.

The work was funded by The Lullaby Trust, a charity that promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep and provides special support for anyone bereaved through Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

PHD Publications

Pease, A. S., Fleming, P. J., Hauck, F. R., Moon, R. Y., Horne, R. S., L’Hoir, M. P., ... & Blair, P. S. (2016). Swaddling and the risk of sudden infant death syndrome: a meta-analysis. Pediatrics137(6), e20153275.

Pease, Anna S., et al. "Mothers’ knowledge and attitudes to sudden infant death syndrome risk reduction messages: results from a UK survey." Archives of disease in childhood103.1 (2018): 33-38.


Pease AIngram JBlair PS, et al. Factors influencing maternal decision-making for the infant sleep environment in families at higher risk of SIDS: a qualitative study. 


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