Dr Amanda Farley PhD, BSc (Hons), FHEA

Dr Amanda Farley

Institute of Applied Health Research
Lecturer in Public Health and Epidemiology

Contact details

Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Institute of Applied Health Research
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Amanda Farley (nee Parsons) is a lecturer in Public Health and Epidemiology working within the Chronic Disease Management team in the Institute of Applied Health Research.  She has over 10 years experience of research within the field of public health and applied health research and teaches on the Masters in Public Health (MPH), undergraduate medical sciences (BMedSc) and undergraduate medicine degree (MBChB) programmes.

Amanda’s research interests centre on the development and testing of interventions to support people to change unhealthy behaviours, quantifying the health benefits of behaviour change for patients with chronic or infectious diseases and implementation of evidence based behaviour change interventions in clinical practice.  She is interested in exploring behaviour change as a means of primary, secondary and tertiary disease prevention.  In particular, she has significant expertise in the field of tobacco addiction. She has been lead and co-applicant of funding awarded from the NIHR, MRC, NHS and CRUK for work within these fields and has published widely including in the BMJ, The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology and she has authored a number of Cochrane reviews. 

Amanda has experience of using qualitative methodologies, conducting and analysing large scale randomised controlled trials and feasibility trials, and has extensive experience of conducting systematic reviews.  She has worked at a national level with the English Department of Health and with the National Centre for Smoking Cessation Training in projects to improve integration of smoking cessation support into secondary care, and was a member of the programme development group that developed NICE guidelines PH48 “Smoking cessation in secondary care: acute, maternity and mental health services”


Lecturer in Public Health and Epidemiology:

  • Fellow of Higher Education  Academy, 2015
  • PhD in Public Health, University of Birmingham, 2013
  • MPhil in Neurosciences, Brunel University, 2001
  • BSc in Neurosciences, University of Central Lancashire, 1999


Stopping smoking linked to improved mental health

Amanda completed undergraduate and masters level study in neurosciences at the University of Central Lancashire and at Brunel University, based at Northwick Park Hospital in London.  For her research masters, she conducted a quantitative comparison of brain regions involved in heart and lung control comparing size and neurone density between infants who had died of sudden infant death syndrome with infants who had died of known non-neurological causes.

In 2003, Amanda joined the University of Birmingham as a research associate, employed on a HEFCE funded project to evaluate the national expansion of medical schools with Professor Jayne Parry and Dr Jonathan Mathers.  This included a review of admissions processes to medical schools which was published by the BMJ.

In 2005, Amanda joined the behavioural medicine team to work on a large scale randomised controlled trial which tested the effectiveness of nortriptyline in combination with nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation with Professor Paul Aveyard.  Within this team, Amanda became a UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol studies funded Research Fellow and undertook a part time PhD which investigated the supportive care needs of surgical lung cancer patients and the prognostic significance of smoking.  Along side her PhD, she has led and co-applied for funding for projects on smoking cessation, smoking reduction and weight management which have been funded by MRC, NIHR and the NHS amounting to over £1.5M.  She is also lead author of a Cochrane review of interventions for preventing weight gain after smoking cessation, and has co-author of a number of other systematic reviews evaluating interventions in the smoking cessation field and summarising health effects of quitting in clinical populations.  She was also a co-investigator on a cohort analysis using THIN data to investigate the relationship between quitting smoking and HbA1C control in patients with type II diabetes.  She has over 25 publications in these fields, including publications in the BMJ, The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology and the Cochrane Library.

In 2012, Amanda secured a permanent lectureship in public health and epidemiology and is involved in teaching at both Masters (Master in Public Health, MPH) and undergraduate (MBChB, BMedSc) level.  Her research interests centre on behaviour change interventions as a means of primary, secondary and tertiary disease prevention, and the implementation of these in clinical care.


Masters in Public Health (MPH) 

  • Module co-ordinator - Practical Epidemiology and Statistics
  • Lecturer - Epidemiology, Statistics and Research Methods module, Health Promotion module, Systematic Reviews and Evidence Synthesis module
  • Dissertation supervisor

Medicine and Surgery (MBChB

  • Evidence Based Medicine and Research Methods tutor
  • Communication skills tutor
  • Health Information Evidence Review (HIER) project supervisor

Medical Science (BMedSc

  • Project supervisor

Postgraduate supervision

Current PhD students:

Jaidev Ghag An exploration of primary care as a setting for delivering secondhand smoke harm reduction messages to parents and carers who cannot or will not stop smoking. Oct 2015-Oct 2018

Frances Mason  Efficacy of a brief public health intervention to prevent weight gain during the Christmas holiday period: RCT and qualitative study Oct 2016-Oct 2019

Amanda is interested in supervising future PhD students in the area of behaviour change for primary, secondary or tertiary disease prevention.  This may include tobacco or weight focussed interventions to reduce risk of developing disease or to improve disease outcomes in patients who have already developed disease.


Historical and ongoing areas of research include:


  1. Quantification of the effects of smoking and secondhand smoke on disease outcomes
  2. Management of cancer survivors in primary care
  3. Effectiveness of interventions to support people to quit, reduce their smoking and reduce exposure to secondhand smoke
  4. Effectiveness of interventions to prevent weight gain after smoking cessation
  5. Effectiveness of brief interventions for weight management


  1. Medical education
  2. Quantitative neuroanatomy 

Other activities

  • Member of European Respiratory Society
  • Member of UK Society of Behavioural Medicine
  • Academic consultant to English Department of Health (2009)
  • Academic consultant to National Centre for Smoking Cessation Training (2009-2011)


Farley A, Aveyard P, Kerr A, Naidu B, Dowswell G (2015) Surgical lung cancer patients' views about smoking and support to quit after diagnosis: a qualitative study Journal of Cancer Survivorship 2015 DOI 10.1007/s11764-015-0477-4

Hollands GJ, McDermott MS, Lindson-Hawley N, Vogt F, Farley A, Aveyard P (2015). Interventions to increase adherence to medications for tobacco dependence. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD009164. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009164.pub2.

Khasteganan, N., Lycett, D., Turner, A. P., Farley, A. C., Lindson‐Hawley, N., & Furze, G. (2014). Health, not weight loss, focused programmes versus conventional weight loss programmes for cardiovascular risk factors (protocol). Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 07/2014; 2014(7):CD011182.

Taylor G, McNeill A, Girling A, Farley A, Lindson-Hawley N, Aveyard P (2014) Change in mental health after smoking cessation: systematic review and meta-analysis BMJ 348:g1151

Lewis A, Jolly K, Adab P, Daley A, Farley A, Jebb S, Lycett D, Clarke S, Christian A, Jin J, Thompson B, Aveyard P (2013) A brief intervention for weight management in primary care: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial Trials 14 (1); 393

De P, Parsons A, Lindson N, Aveyard P. (2013) Systematic review and meta-analysis: influence of smoking cessation on incidence of pneumonia in HIV BMC Medicine 11 (1): 15

Aveyard P, Lycett D, Farley A (2012) Managing smoking cessation-related weight gain Polskie archiwum medycyny wewnȩtrznej; 122(10):494-8.

Farley AC, Hajek P, Lycett D, Aveyard P (2012) Interventions for preventing weight gain after smoking cessation Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 1 CD006219. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006219.pub3.

Aubin HJ, Farley A, Lycett D, Lahmek P, Aveyard P (2012) Weight gain in smokers after quitting cigarettes: meta-analysis BMJ 345: e4439

Aveyard P, Begh R, Parsons A, West R (2012) Brief opportunistic smoking cessation interventions: a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare advice to quit and offer of assistance Addiction 2012 doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03770.x

Farley AC, Hajek P, Lycett D, Aveyard P (2012) Interventions for preventing weight gain after smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD006219. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006219.pub3.

Parsons A, Lycett D, Aveyard P (2011) Response to Spring et al: What is the best method to assess the effect of combined interventions for smoking cessation and post-cessation weight gain? (commentary) Addiction, 106, 674–680

Aveyard P, Parsons A, Begh R (2010) Smoking cessation 4: antidepressants for smoking cessation – bupropion and nortryptyline Primary Care Cardiovascular journal Vol 3: 32–34

Parsons A, Daley A, Begh R, Aveyard P (2010) Influence of smoking cessation after diagnosis of early stage lung cancer on prognosis: a systematic review of observational studies with meta-analysis BMJ 340:b5569 doi:10.1136/bmj.b5569

Parsons A, Ingram J, Inglis J, Aveyard P, Johnstone E, Brown K, Franklin M, Bermudez I (2009) A proof of concept randomised placebo controlled factorial trial to examine the efficacy of St John's wort for smoking cessation and chromium to prevent weight gain on smoking cessation Drug and Alcohol Dependence Jun 1;102(1-3):116-22.

Parsons A, Lycett D, Aveyard P (2009) Behavioural interventions to prevent weight gain on smoking cessation: A response (commentary) Addiction, 2009 104, 2118–2120

Aveyard P, Parsons A, Begh R (2009) Smoking cessation 3: nicotinic partial agonists in smoking cessation – varenicline and cystine Primary Care Cardiovascular journal Vol 2

Aveyard P, Parsons A, Begh R (2009) Smoking cessation 2: nicotine replacement therapy - new tricks with old drugs Primary Care Cardiovascular Journal Vol 2; 1: 21-24

Aveyard P, Parsons A, Begh R (2009) Smoking cessation 1: choosing the right pharmacotherapy for each patient Primary Care Cardiovascular Journal Vol 2; 1: 19-20

Parsons A, Aveyard P (2009) What is Transtheoretical therapy? (commentary) Social Science and Medicine; 68; 407-409

Parsons AC, Shraim M, Inglis J, Aveyard P, Hajek P (2009) Interventions for preventing weight gain after smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 1. Art. No.: CD006219. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006219.pub2.

Aveyard P, Massey L, Parsons A, Manaseki S, Griffin C (2009) The effect of Transtheoretical Model interventions on smoking cessation. Social Science & Medicine 2009; 68; 397-403

Aveyard P, Johnson C, Fillingham S, Parsons A, Murphy M. (2008) Nortriptyline plus nicotine replacement versus placebo plus nicotine replacement for smoking cessation: pragmatic randomised controlled trial BMJ;336:1223-1227.

Parry JM, Mathers J, Stevens A, Parsons A, Lilford R, Spurgeon P, Thomas H (2006) Admissions processes for 5-year medical courses at English medical schools: a review BMJ; 332; 1005-1009

Ansari T, Sibbons PD, Parsons A, Rossi ML (2002) Quantitative neuropathological analysis of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Child: Care, Health and Development 28, Suppl.1, 3-6