Professor Paul Montgomery

Professor Paul Montgomery

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Professor of Social Intervention
Director of Postgraduate Research
Cross Whitehall Trials Panel Advisor and Affiliate Professor at the Department of Family Studies, University of Malta

Contact details

School of Social Policy
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Paul arrived at Birmingham University in 2017 to take up his current post after twenty years at Oxford University where he was Professor of Psycho-social Intervention. His work is methodologically based in three main areas: Systematic Reviews, Trials (many of them RCTs) and Methods Advances in Complex Intereventions. Topically, his work is wide ranging and includes Sleep where he originally did his doctorate, Education Interventions for Children, Empowerment Interventions for Women in LMICs, as well as broader policy advice for policymakers. 

Feedback and office hours

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays 11am-1pm


  • DPhil Brief treatment for child sleep disorders (University of Oxford 2001)
  • MSc Applied Social Studies (University of Oxford 1998)
  • DipSW Social Work (University of Oxford, 1998)
  • BA(Hons) Economics and Geography with Education (University of Keele 1984)


Paul's current academic work can be considered in two broad categories: (1) Methodology of Psycho-Social Intervention, (2) Studies and trials related to Behavioural Interventions.


Paul's methodological work is having a considerable impact on the ways that randomised trials and systematic reviews are conducted and reported in the rapidly growing field of social intervention. He has recently spearheaded the development of CONSORT-SPI, a reporting guideline for randomised trials of complex psychological and social interventions. He also led the development of the Oxford Implementation Index, and has researched the significance and utility of so-called 'empty reviews' (i.e., systematic reviews which find no studies eligible for inclusion). Currently he is leading the GRADE Extension for Complex Interventions funded by ESRC.

Behavioural Interventions

Paul's study of behavioural interventions began with his doctoral work evaluating Brief Interventions for sleep problems, and has evolved into a large, successful programme of systematic reviews and (mostly) randomised trials. Of note, recently he developed and piloted an evidence-based training manual to support democratic policing in Israel. As well, following promising results in a recent pilot study in Ghana, Paul (with colleagues at the Saïd Business School) is conducting a large trial of puberty education and sanitary pad provision for girls' empowerment, this time in Uganda. 

Please see Paul's publications for a more exhaustive list of his work on behavioural interventions.


Paul currently teaches on the MA in Social Research and the MA in Social Work

Postgraduate supervision

Paul has supervised more than a dozen doctoral students to completion and currently would be willing to consider applications for doctoral students in these three areas of research:

  • Methodological Issues Related to Complex Social Interventions
  • Nutritional Approaches to Behaviour, Learning and Mood
  • Brief Psycho-Social Interventions for Mental Health Problems (in particular sleep problems)

Doctoral research

PhD title
Brief treatment for child sleep disorders (University of Oxford, 2001)


Other activities

  • Member, Cross-Whitehall Trial Advice Panel, Cabinet Office, Government of the United Kingdom
  • Affiliate Professor, Department of Family Studies, University of Malta
  • Member, Advisory Panel, What Works Centre for Wellbeing, London
  • NIHR Doctoral Panel Member
  • Associate Editor – Systematic Literature Reviews, International Journal of Social Welfare
  • Editor, Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems Group (DPLPG) of the Cochrane Collaboration
  • Consulting Editor, Information for Practice, New York University (NYU)


Most recent publications

Trials and Studies

Montgomery, P., Grant, S., Mayo-Wilson, E., Macdonald, G. Michie, S., Hopewell, S. and
Moher, D. on behalf of the CONSORT-SPI Group (2018) Reporting randomised trials of social and psychological interventions: the CONSORT-SPI 2018 Extension.

Grant, S. , Mayo-Wilson, E., Montgomery, P., Macdonald, G., Michie, S., Hopewell, S. and
Moher, D. on behalf of the CONSORT-SPI Group (2018). CONSORT-SPI 2018 Explanation and Elaboration: guidance for reporting social and psychological intervention trials.

Montgomery, P., Spreckelsen, T. F., Burton, A., Burton, J.R., Richardson, A.J. (2018). Docosahexaenoic acid for reading, working memory and behavior in UK children aged 7-9: A randomized controlled trial for replication (the DOLAB II study). Plos One. 

Hennegan, J., Dolan, C., Steinfeld, L., & Montgomery, P. (2017). A qualitative understanding of the effects of reusable sanitary pads and puberty education: implications for future research and practice. Reproductive Health  DOI: 10.1186/s12978-017-0339-9. 

Ballard, M., Tran, J., Hersch, F. & Montgomery, P. (2017). Supporting better evidence generation and use within social innovation in health in low- and middle-income countries: a qualitative study. PLOS ONE.

Montgomery, P., Hennegan, J., Dolan, C., Wu, M. & Scott, L. (2016). Menstruation and the cycle of poverty: a cluster quasi-randomised control trial of sanitary pad and puberty education provision in Uganda. PLOS ONE.

Hennegan, J., Dolan, C., Wu, M., Scott, L., & Montgomery, P. (2016). Measuring the prevalence and impact of poor menstrual hygiene management: a quantitative survey of schoolgirls in rural Uganda. BMJ Open.

Hennegan, J., Dolan, C., Wu, M., Scott, L., & Montgomery, P. (2016). Schoolgirls' experience and appraisal of menstrual absorbents in rural Uganda: a cross-sectional evaluation of reusable sanitary pads. Reproductive Health 13:143. DOI: 10.1186/s12978-016-0260-7

Systematic Reviews

Bach-Mortensen, A., Lange, B. and Montgomery, P. (2018). Barriers and facilitators to implementing evidence-based interventions among third sector organisations: a systematic review. Implementation Science, 13:103.

John, A., Glendenning, A.C., Marchant, A., Montgomery, P., Stewart, A.,  Wood, S., Lloyd, K., Hawton, K. (2018). Self-Harm, Suicidal Behaviours, and Cyberbullying in Children and Young People: Systematic Review. J Med Internet Res. 20(4): e129. DOI: 10.2196/jmir.9044. 

Movsisyan, A., Dennis, J., Rehfuess, E., Grant, S., Montgomery, P. (2018). Rating the quality of a body of evidence on the effectiveness of health and social interventions: A systematic review and mapping of evidence domains, Research Synthesis Methods. 1–19.

Bach-Mortensen, A. M. and Montgomery, P. (2018). What are the barriers and facilitators for third sector organisations (non-profits) to evaluate their services? A systematic review. Systematic Reviews, 7:13. p.p. 1-15.

Alcade., M., et al. (2018). International technical guidance in sexuality education. An evidence-informed approach. UNESCO. Available at:

Uttley, L. & Montgomery, P. (2017). The influence of the team in conducting a systematic review. Systematic Reviews. 6, 149. Available at: 

Ballard, M. & Montgomery, P. (2017). Systematic review of interventions for improving the performance of community health workers in low-income and middle-income countries, BMJ Open DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014216. 

Bach-Mortensen A., Lange, B., & Montgomery, P. (2017). What barriers and facilitators do third sector organisations experience when implementing evidence-based interventions? A systematic review, Prospero. Available at:

Marchant A. Hawton K., Stewart A., Montgomery P., Singaravelu, V., Lloyd, K., Purdy N., Daine, K. & John, A. (2017). A systematic review of the relationship between internet use, self-harm and suicidal behaviour in young people: the good, the bad and the unknown. PLOS ONE.13(3) e0193937. Available at: Correction published 1 March 2018. Available at:

Krebs, G., Pile, V., Grant, S., Degli Esposti, M., Montgomery, P. & Lau, J. Y.F. (2017). Research Review: cognitive bias modification of interpretations in youth and its effect on anxiety: a meta-analysis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Available at:  

Glavin, C.E.Y., & Montgomery, P. (2017).  Creative bibliotherapy for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD): a systematic review. Journal of Poetry Studies. 30 (2):95-107. Available at:

Gardner, F.E.M., Knerr, W. & Montgomery, P. (2016). Transporting evidence-based parenting programs for child problem behavior (age 3–10) between countries: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 45: 749-762.  DOI: 10.1080/15374416.2015.1015134

Verboom, B., Montgomery, P. & Bennett, S. (2016). What factors affect evidence-informed policymaking in public health? Protocol for a systematic review of qualitative evidence using thematic synthesis. Systematic reviews, 5(1), 1-12. DOI: 10.1186/s13643-016-0240-6

Litmanovitz, Y., & Montgomery, P. (2016).  Protocol for a systematic review of police training interventions to improve the democratic policing of protests. Campbell Systematic Reviews. Available at:

Hennegan, J. & Montgomery, P. (2016). Do menstrual hygiene management interventions improve education and psychosocial outcomes for women and girls in low and middle income countries? A systematic review. PLoS ONE, 11(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146985.

Methodological Work

Mayo Wilson, E., Grant, S. & Montgomery, P. (2017). A framework to describe intervention implementation (design, delivery, uptake, and context) in systematic reviews. Rapid response to: Hoffmann, T.C., et al. (2017). Enhancing the usability of systematic reviews by improving the consideration and description of interventions. 358. [9 August 2017]. Available at:

Ballard, M. & Montgomery, P. (2017). Risk of bias in overviews of reviews: a scoping review of methodological guidance and four-item checklist. Res. Syn. Meth., 8: 92-108. DOI: 10.1002/jrsm.1229 

Movsisyan, A., Melendez-Torres, G.J. & Montgomery, P. (2016). A harmonised guidance is needed on how to “properly” frame review questions to make the best use of all available evidence in the assessment of effectiveness of complex interventions. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 77:139-141. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2016.04.003

Movsisyan, A., Melendez-Torres, G.J. & Montgomery, P. (2016). Outcomes in systematic reviews of complex interventions never reached "high" GRADE ratings when compared to those of simple interventions. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 78: 22-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2016.03.014

Movsisyan, A., Melendez-Torres, G.J. & Montgomery, P. (2016) Users identified challenges in applying GRADE to complex interventions and suggested an extension to GRADE. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 70: 191-199. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2015.09.010

Grant, S., Mayo-Wilson, E. & Montgomery, P. (2016). Implementing quality improvement for psychosocial interventions. JAMA, 315(9): 43. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2015.17855

Bantry White, E. & Montgomery, P. (2016). Supporting people with dementia to walkabout safely outdoors: development of a structured model of assessment. Health and Social Care in the Community, 24(4): 473-484. DOI: 10.1111/hsc.12226.

Book Chapters

Deriving from Trials and Studies

Montgomery, P. & Shepard, L.D. (2012). Sleep Apnoea and sleep disorders. In: Sinclair, A., Morley, J.E. & Vellas, B. (Eds.) Principles and Practice of Geriatric Medicine 5th Edition. Chichester: J. Wiley and Sons. 

Montgomery, P. & Dunne, D. (2006). Treatment of insomnia in the elderly: Clinical Evidence. London: BMJ Books. 

Montgomery, P. & Dunne, D. (2006). Treatment of sleep problems in children: Clinical Evidence. London: BMJ Books. 

Montgomery, P. (2005). Sleep disorders in elderly people. In: Sinclair, A. & Morley, J.E. (Eds.) Principles and Practice of Geriatric Medicine 4th Edition. Chichester: J. Wiley and Sons. 

Montgomery, P. & Cook, C. (2001) Perspectives on parent education. In: Warren-Adamson, C. (Ed.) Family Centres and their part in Social Action. London: Ashgate.

Deriving from Methodological Work

Morton, M. & Montgomery, P. (2011). Oxford Online Bibliography: Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Montgomery, P. & Morton, M. (2011). Oxford Online Bibliography: Meta-Analysis. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Montgomery, P. (2011). Oxford Online Bibliography: Systematic Reviews. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Montgomery, P. (2011). Oxford Online Bibliography: Non-randomised trials. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Montgomery, P. & Mayo-Wilson, E. (2008). Randomized Controlled Trials and Evidence Based Practice. In: Roberts, A.E. (Ed.) Social Workers' Desk Reference (pp. 1142-1148).  Oxford: Oxford University Press.