Rehfuess, Eva


Eva Annette Rehfuess, BA MA(Oxon) PhD


   Marchioninistr. 15, 81377 Munich (Germany)
   Tel: +49 89 7095-7494
   Fax: +49 89 7095-7491
   E-Mail: rehfuess@ibe.med.uni-muenchen.de

German version 



since 2015 Adjunct Professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, http://waterinstitute.unc.edu/about-us/outside-affiliates/eva-rehfuess/

since 2009 Senior scientist, Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology and Pettenkofer School of Public Health, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich

2011 - 2014 Habilitation in Epidemiology and Public Health on “Application of the Principles and Methods of Evidence-Based Public Health to the Household Air Pollution Challenge”, Faculty of Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich

2002 – 2008 Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Public Health on „Solid fuel use and child health in Africa: a causal analysis", Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Imperial College London

2002 – 2009 Establishment and coordination of a programme on household air pollution from solid fuel use in developing countries, World Health Organization, Geneva

2001 – 2007 Coordination of Global Initiative on Children's Environmental Health Indicators, World Health Organization, Geneva

1999 – 2000 Refinement of the global solar UV index and development of concepts for skin cancer prevention among children, World Health Organization, Geneva

1999 – 2000 Post-Graduate Fellowship Programme for International Affairs with the Robert Bosch Foundation, the World Health Organization, Geneva and the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Education, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

1995 – 1998 B.A. and M.A. (Oxon) in Biological Sciences, University of Oxford


Areas of research

  • Methods for evidence-based public health
  • Systematic reviews
  • Evaluation of complex interventions
  • Household air pollution from solid fuel use in developing countries
  • Child health in developing countries
  • Effectiveness and implementation of the UV Index

Selected current research projects

Other relevant activities

  • Founding member of Cochrane Public Health Europe, http://ph.cochrane.org/cochrane-public-health-europe
  • Editor of Cochrane Public Health
  • Convenor of German Network for Evidence-based Medicine, Public Health Group
  • GRADE Working Group (member)
  • Global Alliance on Clean Cookstoves, Health Working Group (member)
  • Global Burden of Disease Projects 2010, Household Air Pollution Working Group (member)
  • Associate Editor of Energy for Sustainable Development


  • Gobal Public Health module as part of Master of Public Health and MSc in Epidemiology programmes
  • Basics of evidence-based medicine and clinical epidemiology as part of medical curriculum (MeCUM)
  • Organisation and teaching as part of European Summer School in Evidence-Based Public Health (www.evidencebasedpublichealth.co.uk, www.evidencebasedpublichealth.de)



Polus S, Pieper D, Burns J, Fretheim A, Ramsay C, Higgins JPT, Mathes T, Pfadenhauer LM, Rehfuess EA. Heterogeneity in application, design and analysis characteristics was found for controlled before-after (CBA) and interrupted time series (ITS) studies included in Cochrane reviews. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, in press.

Rehfuess EA, Booth A, Brereton L, Burns J, Gerhardus A, Mozygemba K, Oortwijn W, Pfadenhauer LM, Tummers M, van der Wilt G-J, Rohwer A. Towards a taxonomy of logic models in systematic reviews and health technology assessments: a priori, staged and iterative approaches. Research Synthesis Methods, in press.

Polus S, Pfadenhauer LM, Brereton L, Leppert W, Wahlster P, Gerhardus A, Rehfuess EA. A consultation guide for assessing the applicability of health technologies - a case study. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health, in press.

Freeman MC, Garn JV, Sclar GD, Boisson S, Medlicott K, Alexander KT, Penakalapati G, Anderson D, Mahtani AG, Grimes JET, Rehfuess EA, Clasen TF. The impact of sanitation on infectious disease and nutritional status: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, in press.

Wahlster P, Brereton L, Burns J, Hofmann B, Mozygemba K, Oortwijn W, Pfadenhauer L, Polus S, Rehfuess EA, Schilling I, van der Wilt GJ, Gerhardus A. An integrated perspective on the assessment of technologies – INTEGRATE-HTA. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health, in press.

Rutter H, Savona N, Glonti K, Bibby J, Cummins S, Finegood D, Greaves F, Harper L, Hawe P, Moore L, Petticrew M, Rehfuess EA, Shiell A, Thomas J, White M. Why we need a complex systems model of evidence for public health. Lancet, Online First 13 June 2017.

Rohwer A, Pfadenhauer LM, Burns J, Brereton L, Gerhardus A, Booth A, Oortwijn W, Rehfuess EA (2017). Use of logic models in systematic reviews and health technology assessments of complex interventions. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 83:37-47.

Lewin S, Hendry M, Chandler J, Oxman AD, Michie S, Shepperd S, Reeves BC, Tugwell P, Hannes K, Rehfuess EA, Welch V, Mckenzie JE, Burford B, Petkovic J, Anderson LM, Harris J, Noyes J (2017). Assessing the complexity of interventions within systematic reviews: development, content and use of a new tool (iCAT_SR). BMC Medical Research Methodology 17:76.

Pfadenhauer LM, Gerhardus A, Mozygemba K, Bakke Lysdahl K, Booth A, Hofmann B, Wahlster P, Polus S, Burns J, Brereton L, Rehfuess EA. Making sense of complexity in context and implementation: The Context and Implementation of Complex Interventions (CICI) Framework. Implementation Science 12(1):2.

Pope D, Bruce NG, Jagoe K, Dherani M, Rehfuess EA. Real-life effectiveness of “improved” cookstoves and clean fuels in reducing PM2.5 and CO: systematic review and meta-analysis Environment International 101:7-18.

Garn JV, Sclar GD, Freeman MC, Alexander KT, Penakalapati G, Brooks P, Rehfuess EA, Clasen TF (2017). The Impact of Sanitation Interventions on Latrine Coverage and Latrine Use: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 220(2 Pt B):329-340.


Rehfuess EA, Gerhardus A, on behalf of INTEGRATE-HTA (2016). INTEGRATE-HTA – adopting and implementing an integrated perspective on complex interventions. Journal of Public Health 1;39(1):209-212.

Busert LK, Neuman M, Rehfuess EA, Dulal S, Harthan J, Chaube SS, Bhandari B, Costello H, Costello A, Manandhar DS, Saville NM (2016). Dietary diversity is positively associated with deviation from the expected height in rural Nepal. The Journal of Nutrition 146(7):1387-93.

Morgan RL, Thayer KA, Bero L, Bruce N, Falck-Ytter Y, Ghersi D, Guyatt G, Hooijmans C, Langendam M, Mandrioli D, Mustafa R, Rehfuess EA, Rooney AA, Shea B, Silbergeld EK, Sutton P, Wolfe MS, Woodruff TJ, Verbeek JH, Holloway AC, Santesso N, Schünemann HJ (2016). GRADE: Assessing the quality of evidence in environmental and occupational health. Environment International 92-93:611-6

Gerhardus A, Becher H, Mansmann U, Meyer T, Pfaff H, Puhan M, Razum O, Rehfuess EA, Sauerborn R, Wissing F, Zeeb H, Hummers-Pradier E (2016). Applying for, reviewing, and funding public health research in Germany and beyond. Health Research Policy and Systems 14(1):43.

Rehfuess EA, Durao S, Kyamanywa P, Meerpohl JJ, Young T, Rohwer A on behalf of the CEBHA+ consortium (2016). An approach for setting evidence-based and stakeholder-informed research priorities in low- and middle-income countries. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 94(4):297-305.

Pfadenhauer LM, Burns J, Rohwer A, Rehfuess EA. (2016) Effectiveness of interventions to reduce exposure to lead through consumer products and drinking water: a systematic review. Environmental Research 174:525-536.

Puzzolo E, Pope D, Stanistreet D, Rehfuess EA, Bruce NG (2016). Clean cooking fuels for poor homes: a systematic review of barriers and enablers to adoption and sustained use. Environmental Research 146(2016)218–234.


Rozanski V, Rehfuess EA, Bötzel K, Nowak D (2015). Task-specific dystonia in professional musicians: a systematic review of the importance of intensive playing as a risk factor. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 112(51-52): 871-877.

Nehring I, Kostka T, von Kries R, Rehfuess EA (2015). Impacts of in utero and early infant taste experiences on later taste acceptance: a systematic review. The Journal of Nutrition 145(6):1271-9.

Pfadenhauer LM, Mozygemba K, Gerhardus A, Hoffmann B, Booth A, Bakke Lysdahl K, Tummers M, Burns J, Rehfuess EA (2015). Implementation and context: A concept analysis towards conceptual maturity. Zeitschrift für Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen 109(2):103-14.

Pfadenhauer LM, Rehfuess EA (2015). Towards effective and socio-culturally appropriate sanitation and hygiene interventions in the Philippines: a mixed-method approach. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 12(2):1902-27.

Bruce N, Pope D, Rehfuess EA, Balakrishnan K, Adair-Rohani H, Dora C (2015). WHO Indoor air quality guidelines on household fuel combustion: Strategy implications of new evidence on interventions and exposure-risk functions. Atmospheric Environment 106:451-457.

Buchner H, Rehfuess EA (2015). Cooking and season as risk factors for acute lower respiratory infections in African children: a cross-sectional multi-country analysis. PLOS One 10(6):e0128933.

Polus S, Lerberg PM, Glenton C, Lewin S, Rehfuess EA, Gulmezoglu M (2015). Optimizing the delivery of long-term contraceptives through task shifting: systematic review of effectiveness and safety. Reproductive Health 12:27.

Shah R, Rehfuess EA, Maskey MK, Fischer R, Bhandari PB, Delius M (2015). Factors affecting institutional delivery in Chitwan district of Nepal: a community-based cross-sectional study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 15:27.

Neupane M, Basnyat B, Fischer R, Froeschl G, Wolbers M, Rehfuess EA (2015). Sustained use of biogas fuel and blood pressure among women in rural Nepal. Environmental Research 136:343–351.


Stanistreet D, Puzzolo E, Bruce NG, Pope D, Rehfuess EA. (2014) Factors influencing household uptake of improved solid fuel stoves in low- and middle-income countries: a qualitative systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 11:8228-8250.

Harder T, Takla A, Rehfuess EA, Sánchez-Vivar A, Matysiak-Klose D, Eckmanns T, Krause G, de Carvalho Gomes H, Jansen A, Ellis E, Forland F, Garner P, James R, Meerpohl J, Morgan A, Schünemann H, Zuiderent-Jerak T, Wichmann O. (2014) Towards comprehensive evidence-based decision-making in infectious diseases epidemiology, prevention and control: matching research questions to study designs and quality appraisal tools. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 14(1):69.

Smith KR, Bruce N, Balakrishnan K, Adair-Rohani H, Balmes J, Chafe Z, Dherani M, Hosgood HD, Mehta S, Pope D, Rehfuess EA and others in the HAP CRA Risk Expert Group. (2014) Millions dead: how do we know and what does it mean? Methods used in the Comparative Risk Assessment of Household Air Pollution. Annual Review of Public Health, 35:185-206.

Rehfuess EA, Puzzolo E, Stanistreet D, Pope D, Bruce NG (2014). Enablers and barriers to large-scale uptake of improved solid fuel stoves: a systematic review. Environmental Health Perspectives, 122(2):120-30.

Rehfuess EA, Bartram J (2014). Beyond direct impact: evidence synthesis towards a better understanding of effectiveness of environmental health interventions. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 217:155-159.


Paudel D, Shresta IB, Siebeck M, Rehfuess EA (2013). Neonatal health in Nepal: analysis of absolute and relative inequalities and impact of current efforts to reduce neonatal mortality. BMC Public Health 13(1):1239.

Rehfuess EA, Best N, Briggs DJ, Joffe M (2013). Diagram-based Analysis of Causal Systems (DACS): elucidating the inter-relationships between determinants of acute lower respiratory infections among children in sub-Saharan Africa. Emerging Themes in Epidemiology 10(1):13.

Fenske N, Burns J, Hothorn T, Rehfuess EA (2013). Understanding child stunting in India: A comprehensive analysis of socio-economic, nutritional and environmental determinants using additive quantile regression. PLoS ONE 8(11):e78692.

Noyes J, Gough D, Lewin S, Mayhew A, Michie S, Pantoja T, Petticrew M, Pottie K, Rehfuess EA, Shemilt I, Shepperd S, Sowden A, Tugwell P, Welch V (2013). Systematic reviews that ask complex questions about complex interventions: a research and development agenda. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 66(11):1262-70.

Anderson LM, Oliver SR, Michie S, Rehfuess EA, Noyes J, Shemilt I (2013). Using a spectrum of methods in systematic reviews of complex interventions. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 66(11):1223-9.

Burford B, Lewin S, Welch V, Rehfuess EA, Waters E (2013). Assessing applicability in systematic reviews of complex interventions. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 66(11):1251-61.

Petticrew M, Rehfuess EA*, Noyes J, Higgins J, Mayhew A, Pantoja T, Shemilt I, Sowden A (2013). Synthesising evidence on complex interventions: the contribution of meta-analytic, qualitative and mixed-method approaches. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 66(11):1230-43.

Bonjour S, Adair-Rohani H, Wolf J, Bruce NB, Mehta S, Prüss-Ustün A, Rehfuess EA, Smith KR (2013). Solid fuel use for household cooking: country and regional estimates for 1980-2010. Environmental Health Perspectives 121(7):784-90.

Turley R, Saith R, Bhan N, Rehfuess EA, Carter B. (2013) Slum upgrading strategies involving physical environment and infrastructure interventions and their effects on health and socio-economic outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1:CD010067.

Rehfuess EA, Akl EA. (2013) Current experience with applying the GRADE approach to public health interventions: an empirical study. BMC Public Health 13:9.

Voss P, Rehfuess EA (2013). Quality appraisal in systematic reviews of public health interventions: an empirical study on the impact of choice of tool on meta-analysis. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 67:98–104.

2012 and previous years

Lim SS, Vos T, Flaxman AD, Danaei G, Shibuya K, Adair-Rohani H, Amann M, Anderson HR, Andrews KG, Aryee M, Atkinson C, Bacchus LJ, Bahalim AN, Balakrishnan K, Balmes J, Barker-Collo S, Baxter A, Bell ML, Blore JD, Blyth F, Bonner C, Borges G, Bourne R, Boussinesq M, Brauer M, Brooks P, Bruce NG, Brunekreef B, Bryan-Hancock C, Chiara Bucello, Buchbinder R, Bull F, Burnett RT, Byers TE, Calabria B, Carapetis J, Carnahan E, Chafe Z, Charlson F, Chen H, Chen JS, Cheng AT, Child*´JC, Cohen A, Colson KE, Cowie*´BC, Darby S, Darling S, Davis A, Degenhardt L, Dentener F, Des Jarlais DC, Devries K, Dherani M, Ding EL, Dorsey ER, Driscoll T, Edmond K, Ali SE, Engell RE, Erwin PJ, Fahimi S, Falder G, Farzadfar F, Ferrari A, Finucane MM, Flaxman S, Fowkes FGR, Freedman G, Freeman MK, Gakidou E, Ghosh S, Giovannucci E, Gmel G, Graham K, Grainger R, Grant B, Gunnell D, Gutierrez HR, Hall W, Hoek HW, Hogan A, Hosgood HD III, Hoy D, Hu H, Hubbell BJ, Hutchings SJ, Ibeanusi SE, Jacklyn GL, Jasrasaria R, Jonas JB, Kan H, Kanis JA, Kassebaum N, Kawakami N, Khang Y-H, Khatibzadeh S, Khoo J-P, Kok C, Laden F, Lalloo R, Lan Q, Lathlean T, Leasher JL, Leigh J, Li Y, Lin JK, Lipshultz SE, London S, Lozano R, Lu Y, Mak J, Malekzadeh R, Mallinger L, Marcenes W, March L, Marks R, Martin R, McGale P, McGrath J, Mehta S, Mensah GA, Merriman TR, Micha R, Michaud C, Mishra V, Hanafi KM, Mokdad AA, Morawska L, Mozaff Arian D, Murphy T, Naghavi M, Neal B, Nelson PK, Nolla JM, Norman R, Olives C, Omer SM, Orchard J, Osborne R, Ostro B, Page A, Pandey KD, Parry CDH, Passmore E, Patra J, Pearce N, Pelizzari PM, Petzold M, Phillips MR, Pope D, Arden Pope C III, Powles J, Rao M, Razavi H, Rehfuess EA, Rehm JT, Ritz B, Rivara FP, Roberts T, Robinson C, Rodriguez-Portales JA, Romieu I, Room R, Rosenfeld LC, Roy A, Rushton L, Salomon JA, Sampson U, Sanchez-Riera L, Sanman E, Sapkota A, Seedat S, Shi P, Shield K, Shivakoti R, Singh GM, Sleet DA, Smith E, Smith KR, Stapelberg NJC, Steenland K, Stöckl H, Stovner LJ, Straif K, Straney L, Thurston GD, Tran JH, van Dingenen R, van Donkelaar A, Veerman JL, Vijayakumar L, Weintraub R, Weissman MM, White RA, Whiteford H, Wiersma ST, Wilkinson JD, Williams HC, Williams W, Wilson N, Woolf AD, Yip P, Zielinski JM, Lopez AD, Murray CJL, Ezzati M (2012). A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 380:2224–60

Burford BJ, Rehfuess EA, Schünemann HJ, Akl EA, Waters E, Armstrong R, Thomson H, Doyle J, Pettman T (2012). Assessing evidence in public health: the added value of GRADE. Journal of Public Health 24(4):631-635.

Italia N, Rehfuess EA (2012). Is the Global Solar UV Index an effective instrument for promoting sun protection? A systematic review. Health Education Research 27(2):200-213.

Malla MB, Bruce N, Bates L & Rehfuess EA (2011). Applying global cost-benefit analysis methods to indoor air pollution mitigation interventions in Nepal, Kenya and Sudan: insights and challenges. Energy Policy 39:7518-7529.

Anderson LM, Petticrew M, Rehfuess EA, Ueffing E, Armstrong E, Baker P, Francis D & Tugwell P (2011). Using logic models to capture complexity in systematic reviews. Research Synthesis Methods 2(1):33-42. Rehfuess EA, Bruce NG, Smith KR (2011) Solid fuel use: health effect. In: Nriagu JO (ed.) Encyclopedia of Environmental Health, volume 5, pp. 150–161. Burlington, Elsevier.

Bruce NG, Rehfuess EA, Smith KR (2011) Household energy solutions in developing countries. In: Nriagu JO (ed.) Encyclopedia of Environmental Health, volume 3, pp. 62–75. Burlington, Elsevier.

Rehfuess EA, Briggs DJ, Joffe M, Best N (2010). Bayesian modeling of household solid fuel use: insights towards designing effective interventions to promote fuel switching in Africa, Environmental Research 110(7):725-732.

Pope DP, Mishra V, Thompson L, Siddiqui AR, Rehfuess EA, Weber MW, Bruce NG (2010). Systematic review and meta-analyses of risk of low birth weight and stillbirth associated with indoor air pollution in developing countries. Epidemiological Reviews 32(1):70-81.

Rehfuess EA, Tzala L, Briggs DJ, Joffe M, Best N. (2009) Solid fuel use and cooking practices as a major risk factor for ALRI mortality among African children. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 63(11):887-892.

Rehfuess EA, Bruce N, Bartram J. (2009) More health for your buck: health sector functions to secure environmental health. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 87(11):805-884.

Hutton G, Rehfuess EA, Tediosi F. (2007) Evaluation of the costs and benefits of interventions to reduce indoor air pollution. Energy for Sustainable Development 11(4):34-43.

Mehta S, Gore F, Prüss-Üstün A, Rehfuess EA, Smith KR. (2006) Modelling household solid fuel use towards reporting of the millennium development goal indicator. Energy for Sustainable Development 10(3):36-45.

Rehfuess EA, Mehta S, Prüss-Üstün A. (2006) Assessing household solid fuel use – multiple implications for the millennium development goals. Environmental Health Perspectives 114(3):373–378.

Rehfuess EA, Craig S. (2006) The UV Index in practice. In: Ringborg U, Brandberg Y, Breitbart EW, Greinert R (eds). Skin cancer prevention. Marcel Dekker.

Hutton G, Rehfuess EA. (2006) Guidelines for conducting cost-benefit analysis of household energy and health interventions to improve health. Geneva, WHO.

Rehfuess EA. (2006) Fuel for life: household energy and health. Geneva, WHO. (English, French, Spanish)

Bruce N, Rehfuess EA, Mehta S, Hutton G, Smith KR. (2006) Indoor air pollution. In: Jamison DT et al. (eds). Disease control priorities in developing countries. 2nd ed. New York, Oxford University Press.

Gordon B, Mackay R, Rehfuess EA. (2004) Inheriting the world: the atlas of children's health and the environment. Geneva, WHO. (English, Japanese)

Rehfuess EA. (2002) Global solar UV index: a practical guide. A joint recommendation of World Health Organization, World Meteorological Organization, United Nations Environment Programme, International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. Geneva, WHO. (English, French, Spanish, Italian)