Dr Val Curtis BSc MSc PhD


Reader in Hygiene



+44 (0) 207 927 2628
+44 (0) 207 636 7843
Room 402
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Keppel Street
London WC1E 7HT

Background


Val is Director of the Hygiene Centre, a multidisciplinary group dedicated to improving hygiene, sanitation and water in households and schools through enhancing knowledge. She is trained in engineering, epidemiology and anthropology and has a particular interest in human behaviour, especially from an evolutionary perspective.


Teaching & Research

Val organises the Study Module on the Design of Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries. She teaches on the Tropical Environmental Health Study Module and gives an annual public health lecture on hygiene and sanitation.

After coordinating a major study of diarrhoeal disease and a trial of the effectiveness of hygiene promotion in Burkina Faso she studied hygiene behaviour in developing countries for many years. She is currently researching the health impacts of handwashing, the effectiveness of different approaches, including consumer marketing, in changing hygiene behaviour, sanitation marketing, and Darwinian approaches to Health Promotion.

The evolution and function of disgust and its relationship to hygiene is a particular area of interest. She helped found and is one of the leaders of the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap and is director of the Hygiene Centre at the LSHTM.

Research Areas

  • Behaviour change
  • Hygiene
  • Sanitation
  • Water

Publications

Disgust as an adaptive system for disease avoidance behaviour.
Curtis, V.; de Barra, M.; Aunger, R.;
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 2011; 366(1563):389-401

Hygiene: new hopes, new horizons.
Curtis, V. ; Schmidt, W. ; Luby, S. ; Florez, R. ; Touré, O. ; Biran, A. ;
Lancet Infect Dis, 2011; 11(4):312-21

Planned, motivated and habitual hygiene behaviour: an eleven country review.
Curtis, V.A.; Danquah, L.O.; Aunger, R.V.;
Health Educ Res, 2009; 24(4):655-73

Experimental pretesting of hand-washing interventions in a natural setting.
Judah, G.; Aunger, R.; Schmidt, W.P.; Michie, S.; Granger, S.; Curtis, V.;
Am J Public Health, 2009; 99 Suppl 2:S405-11

Kinds of behaviour
Aunger, R.; Curtis, V.
Biology & Philosophy, 2008; 23(3):317-345

Masters of Marketing: Bringing Private Sector Skills to Public Health Partnerships.
Curtis, V.A.; Garbrah-Aidoo, N.; Scott, B.;
Am J Public Health, 2007; 97(4):634-41

Evidence that disgust evolved to protect from risk of disease.
Curtis, V.; Aunger, R.; Rabie, T.;
Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci , 2004; 271 Suppl 4 :S131-3

Effect of washing hands with soap on diarrhoea risk in the community: a systematic review
Curtis, V.; Cairncross, S.
Lancet Infect Dis, 2003; 3(5):275-81

→ View all Dr Val Curtis's publications

John Snow's legacy: epidemiology without borders.

Fine, P. ; Victora, C.G. ; Rothman, K.J. ; Moore, P.S. ; Chang, Y. ; Curtis, V. ; Heymann, D.L. ; Slutkin, G. ; May, R.M. ; Patel, V. ; Roberts, I. ; Wortley, R. ; Torgerson, C. ; Deaton, A. ;
Lancet, 2013; 381(9874):1302-11
DOI· PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 30.758


Hygiene intervention reduces contamination of weaning food in Bangladesh

Islam, M. S.; Mahmud, Z. H.; Gope, P. S.; Zaman, R. U.; Hossain, Z.; Mondal, D.; Sharker, M. A.; Islam, K.; Jahan, H.; Bhuiya, A.; Endtz, H. P.; Cravioto, A.; Curtis, V.; Toure, O.; Cairncross, S.
Tropical Medicine & International Health, 2013; 18(3):250-258
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.328


Behaviour change for better health: nutrition, hygiene and sustainability

Newson, R. S.; Lion, R.; Crawford, R. J.; Curtis, V.; Elmadfa, I.; Feunekes, G. I. J.; Hicks, C.; van Liere, M.; Lowe, C. F.; Meijer, G. W.; Pradeep, B. V.; Reddy, K. S.; Sidibe, M.; Uauy, R.
Bmc Public Health, 2013; 13
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.223


Are the pathogens of out-groups really more dangerous?

de Barra, M. ; Curtis, V. ;
Behav Brain Sci, 2012; :25-26
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Update from Pubmed · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 19.045


The effect of handwashing with water or soap on bacterial contamination of hands.

Burton, M. ; Cobb, E. ; Donachie, P. ; Judah, G. ; Curtis, V. ; Schmidt, W.P. ;
Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2011; 8(1):97-104
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009):


Why disgust matters.

Curtis, V. ;
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 2011; 366(1583):3478-90
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 5.117


Hygiene: new hopes, new horizons.

Curtis, V. ; Schmidt, W. ; Luby, S. ; Florez, R. ; Touré, O. ; Biran, A. ;
Lancet Infect Dis, 2011; 11(4):312-21
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 15.583


Disgust as an adaptive system for disease avoidance behaviour.

Curtis, V.; de Barra, M.; Aunger, R.;
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 2011; 366(1563):389-401
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 5.117


Male commuters in north and south England: risk factors for the presence of faecal bacteria on hands.

Dodrill, L.; Schmidt, W.P.; Cobb, E.; Donachie, P.; Curtis, V.; de Barra, M.;
BMC Public Health, 2011; 11:31
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.223


Sensor recorded changes in rates of hand washing with soap in response to the media reports of the H1N1 pandemic in Britain.

Fleischman, D.S. ; Webster, G.D. ; Judah, G. ; de Barra, M. ; Aunger, R. ; Curtis, V.A. ;
BMJ Open, 2011; 1(2):e000127
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009):


Water, sanitation and hygiene for the prevention of diarrhoea.

Cairncross, S.; Hunt, C.; Boisson, S.; Bostoen, K.; Curtis, V.; Fung, I.C.; Schmidt, W.P.;
Int J Epidemiol, 2010; 39 Suppl 1:i193-205
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 5.262


Three kinds of psychological determinants for hand-washing behaviour in Kenya.

Aunger, R.; Schmidt, W.P.; Ranpura, A.; Coombes, Y.; Maina, P.M.; Matiko, C.N.; Curtis, V.;
Soc Sci Med, 2009; 70(3):383-91
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.71


The effect of a soap promotion and hygiene education campaign on handwashing behaviour in rural India: a cluster randomised trial.

Biran, A.; Schmidt, W.P.; Wright, R.; Jones, T.; Seshadri, M.; Isaac, P.; Nathan, N.A.; Hall, P.; McKenna, J.; Granger, S.; Bidinger, P.; Curtis, V.;
Trop Med Int Health, 2009; 14(10):1303-14
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.328


Planned, motivated and habitual hygiene behaviour: an eleven country review.

Curtis, V.A.; Danquah, L.O.; Aunger, R.V.;
Health Educ Res, 2009; 24(4):655-73
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.146


Experimental pretesting of hand-washing interventions in a natural setting.

Judah, G.; Aunger, R.; Schmidt, W.P.; Michie, S.; Granger, S.; Curtis, V.;
Am J Public Health, 2009; 99 Suppl 2:S405-11
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 4.371


Dirty hands: bacteria of faecal origin on commuters' hands.

Judah, G.; Donachie, P.; Cobb, E.; Schmidt, W.; Holland, M.; Curtis, V.;
Epidemiol Infect, 2009; 138(3):409-14
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.365


Determinants of handwashing practices in Kenya: the role of media exposure, poverty and infrastructure

Schmidt, W.P.; Aunger, R.; Coombes, Y.; Maina, P.M.; Matiko, C.N.; Biran, A.; Curtis, V.;
Tropical Medicine and International Health, 2009; 14(12):1534-41
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.328


Formative research on the feasibility of hygiene interventions for influenza control in UK primary schools.

Schmidt, W.P.; Wloch, C.; Biran, A.; Curtis, V.; Mangtani, P.;
BMC Public Health, 2009; 9:390
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.223


Kinds of behaviour

Aunger, R.; Curtis, V.
Biology & Philosophy, 2008; 23(3):317-345
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 1.211


Comparing the performance of indicators of hand-washing practices in rural Indian households.

Biran, A.; Rabie, T.; Schmidt, W.; Juvekar, S.; Hirve, S.; Curtis, V.;
Trop Med Int Health, 2008; 13(2):278-85
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.328


A natural history of hygiene

Curtis, V.
Canadian Journal of Infectious Disease and Medical Microbiology, 2007; 18(1):11-14
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research


Dirt, disgust and disease: a natural history of hygiene.

Curtis, V.A.;
J Epidemiol Community Health, 2007; 61(8):660-4
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 3.043


A natural history of hygiene.

Curtis, V.A.;
Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol, 2007; 18(1):11-4
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Update from Pubmed · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 0.755


Masters of Marketing: Bringing Private Sector Skills to Public Health Partnerships.

Curtis, V.A.; Garbrah-Aidoo, N.; Scott, B.;
Am J Public Health, 2007; 97(4):634-41
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 4.371


Serotonin - A link between disgust and immunity?

Rubio-Godoy, M.; Aunger, R.; Curtis, V.
Medical Hypotheses, 2007; 68(1):61-6
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 1.393


Health in our hands, but not in our heads: understanding hygiene motivation in Ghana.

Scott, B.; Curtis, V.; Rabie, T.; Garbrah-Aidoo, N.;
Health Policy Plan, 2007; 22(4):225-33
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.477


Hard to handle: understanding mothers' handwashing behaviour in Ghana.

Scott, B.E.; Lawson, D.W.; Curtis, V.;
Health Policy Plan, 2007; 22(4):216-24
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.477


Handwashing and risk of respiratory infections: a quantitative systematic review.

Rabie, T.; Curtis, V.;
Trop Med Int Health, 2006; 11(3):258-67
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.328


Achieving the 'good life': Why some people want latrines in rural Benin

Jenkins, M. W.; Curtis, V.
Social Science & Medicine, 2005; 61(11):2446-2459
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.71


Evidence that disgust evolved to protect from risk of disease.

Curtis, V.; Aunger, R.; Rabie, T.;
Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci , 2004; 271 Suppl 4 :S131-3
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 4.857


Talking dirty: how to save a million lives

Curtis, V.
Int J Environ Health Res, 2003; 13 Suppl 1:S73-9
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 1.066


Hygiene in the home: relating bugs and behaviour

Curtis, V.; Biran, A.; Deverell, K.; Hughes, C.; Bellamy, K.; Drasar, B.
Social Science and Medicine, 2003; 57(4):657-72
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.71


Effect of washing hands with soap on diarrhoea risk in the community: a systematic review

Curtis, V.; Cairncross, S.
Lancet Infect Dis, 2003; 3(5):275-81
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 15.583


Protecting Children from Diarrohoea and Acute Respiratory Infections: The Role of Hand Washing Promotion in Water and Sanitation Programmes

Scott, B. ; Curtis, V. ; Rabie, T.
Regional Health Forum ? WHO South-East Asia Region, 2003; 7(1):42-47
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research


Is hygiene promotion cost-effective? A case study in Burkina Faso

Borghi, J.; Guinness, L.; Ouedraogo, J.; Curtis, V.
Tropical Medicine and International Health, 2002; 7(11):960-9
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Update from Pubmed · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 2.328


Hygiene: how myths, monsters, and mothers-in-law can promote behaviour change

Curtis, V.
Journal of Infection, 2001; 43(1):75-9
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 3.06


Dirt, disgust, and disease. Is hygiene in our genes?

Curtis, V.; Biran, A.
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 2001; 44(1):17-31
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 1.084


Evidence of behaviour change following a hygiene promotion programme in Burkina Faso

Curtis, V.; Kanki, B.; Cousens, S.; Diallo, I.; Kpozehouen, A.; Sangare, M.; Nikiema, M.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2001; 79(6):518-27
DOI · PubMed · WoS · Abstract · WWW · Full Record · Update from Pubmed · Research Online·Journal Article - Original Research · IF(2009): 5.302



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