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Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine (WIPM)

Professor Stephen Stansfeld


Emeritus Professor Centre for Psychiatry



I am an Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and I also work as an honorary consultant psychiatrist in psychiatric rehabilitation for the East London Foundation NHS Trust.

I qualified in Medicine from St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College in 1975. After medical and neurosurgery posts I pursued psychiatric training at the Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospitals (1978-82). I held a Wellcome Trust Training fellowship in the General Practice Research Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry (1982-5) carrying out epidemiological and psychophysiological doctoral research into noise sensitivity and depression.

I returned to Bethlem Royal Hospital and the Hammersmith Hospital in 1985 to complete my Senior Registrar training in Psychiatry. I became a Lecturer in the Department of Community Medicine at University College London in 1987 continuing my research on health inequalities in the Whitehall II Study of London based Civil Servants.

I became a Senior Lecturer in Social and Community Psychiatry at University College in 1988 with clinical work at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, managing the day hospital and developing community services.

Between 1994 and 1999 I was first Senior Lecturer and then Reader in Social and Environmental Psychiatry at University College London and co-Director of the Whitehall II Study.

In 2002, with Michael Marmot I published Stress and the heart: psychosocial pathways to coronary heart disease. 

During this time my clinical work involved rehabilitation psychiatry at an innovative unit at St Luke's Hospital, Muswell Hill, London. With Professor Hugh Freeman I published The impact of the environment on psychiatric disorder in 2008. 

My current research includes studies of work and mental health, environmental noise and health and longitudinal studies of childhood antecedents of adult mental ill-health.


My research interests include the effects of the physical and social environment on mental health, especially the effects of noise on health, the impact of the psychosocial work environment on common mental disorders and sickness absence, inequalities in mental health and childhood predictors of adult mental health.

I worked extensively on the 1958 Birth Cohort and led the mental health component of the MRC-funded Biomedical follow up of the 1958 Birth Cohort.

I directed

  • the RANCH Study (a European 5th Framework project on aircraft and road traffic noise and children's cognition and health in four countries);
  • the RELACHS Study (a longitudinal cohort study of risk and protective factors for adolescent mental health in East London);
  • the European Network on Noise and Health (ENNAH) which examined the priorities for new research on environmental noise and health in Europe.

I am currently working on;

  • I am leading on the GEM Study (Guided e-learning for Managers). We have a three month extension and are writing the final report and two papers.
  • Analysis is proceeding on the ORiEL Study with, all being well, new papers to come out of it fairly soon.
  • I’m working with Jenny Head from UCL on an ESRC/MRC funded project (Research on Extending Working Lives RENEWL). This is an analysis of cohort studies to see what workplace, individual, family and living environment factors promotes working beyond the age of 50.
  • Working with Jess Deighton and Miranda Wolpert and Elian Fink on the CLARHC study on the adaptation and evaluation of IncludeME! Portal for young people with chronic physical/mental health issues. We have recently recruited a new PhD student Ann-Marie Brady to this project.
  • Collaborating with Gunnel Hensing and colleagues in Gothenburg on Analyses of the Women and Alcohol Gothenburg Study.
  • In 2015 I am anticipating we will have some data from APMS for analysis, particularly on Work and Mental Health.
  • With Lucas Lacasa from the Maths Department and Pietro Panzarasa from the Business School I’m supervising a PhD student based in Maths, Ryan Flanagan, who is carrying out a study of Social Networks and Wellbeing using data from the ORiEL Study.
  • We have also recruited a new PhD student Noura Alomair under the Life Sciences Initiative who will also collect and analyse data on Social Networks and Wellbeing in Young People starting in January 2015.


Noise and Health
Psychosocial work environment and mental health
Social inequalities in mental health
Lifecourse predictors of adult common mental disorders
Social support and health
Risk and Protective factors for adolescent mental health