HEDS is part of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield. We undertake research, teaching, training and consultancy on all aspects of health related decision science, with a particular emphasis on health economics, HTA and evidence synthesis.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

YCR CONNECTS – Cancer Research Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship opportunity

YCR CONNECTS – Cancer Research Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship

Health Economics, Mathematical Modelling, Medical Statistics, Medical Physics.University of Sheffield, School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)Supported by Yorkshire Cancer Research

Job Reference Number: UOS019299

Contract Type: Fixed-term for 5 years
Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship, Grade 8/9 £39,992 to £56,950 per annum

Image of ScHARR - Regent Court
ScHARR - Regent Court

Closing Date: 02 July 2018

Summary: An exciting opportunity to become one of tomorrow's Cancer Research Leaders. We wish to attract up to 10 high quality candidates to take up senior non-clinical research fellowships (working in linked areas of applied clinical science e.g. health economics, mathematical modelling, medical statistics) to create a strong clinical research base that can deliver tangible improvements in cancer outcomes for patients in South Yorkshire and beyond.

Appointees should focus on clinical and translational aspects of cancer research within the following priority themes that align closely with the Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR) research strategy:
  • Early diagnosis and access to treatment
  • Improving clinical outcomes in common malignancies
  • Improved health and wellbeing with and beyond cancer
  • Lung cancer
These new appointments will link with the University of Sheffield (UoS) Research Centres, thereby providing a connected research infrastructure with the dual aims of reducing cancer mortality and improving the experience of living with or after a cancer diagnosis.

Each appointee will receive a generous start-up package to enable rapid initiation of internationally competitive research. You can view details of how to apply at https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BKA859/ycr-connects-senior-non-clinical-fellowship/

For an informal discussion about the posts, please contact Professor Jim Chilcott (j.b.chilcott@sheffield.ac.uk) or Dr Paul Tappenden (p.tappenden@sheffield.ac.uk) at ScHARR.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

HEDS Short Course - Advanced Simulation Methods - 2nd-4th October

Within healthcare decision making, cohort Markov models and decision trees are frequently used. However, in some situations these are not the most appropriate modelling methods. This course provides an in-depth review of individual-level simulation rationale, techniques and methodologies with a particular focus on discrete event simulation and its practical application to inform healthcare decision making. From the fundamentals of a basic model the course will progress to modelling complex systems, verification and interpreting output, as well as exploring alternative software options.
3 day course: Tuesday, 2nd - Thursday, 4th October 2018
£999 - Early Bird Rate, for confirmed bookings received on or before Thursday, 2nd August 2018.
£1099 - Standard Rate, for confirmed bookings received on or after Friday, 3rd August 2018, up until bookings close or the course reaches full capacity, whichever is soonest.
Image of Halifax Hall, Sheffield
Workshop Location - Halifax Hall
This course aims to provide participants with the skills required to be able to undertake simulation projects to a professional level. It will be both theoretically-based and practically-based, with the use of the Simul8 software package. It will cover the use of discrete-event simulation to assess the impact of alternative options within a local system with resource constraints and the use of patient-level simulation for health economic modelling.
This course is primarily for health economic modellers who want to broaden their skill base, as well as healthcare decision makers who would like to understand more about patient-level simulation and when it might be useful.
Participants must have a basic level of knowledge of health economic modelling in order to follow the course.
The course will consist of a mixture of presentations and practical use of Simul8, both following the lecturer and within individual exercises.
Course Materials will be provided via a Delegate Course Website approximately 2 weeks prior to the course start date. Hard copies of exercises will be provided throughout the course. Hard copies of powerpoint presentations will not be provided, but these can be printed by delegates before the start of the course via the Delegate Course Website.
Instructions for downloading the course software, Simul8, will be provided prior to the start of the course.
Participants are asked to provide their own laptop for the duration of the course.
Hazel Squires is the course leader for this 3 day short course.

Monday, 18 June 2018

May’s CEAs.....

Our quick search for CEA’s published in April uncovered 44 articles.   In the right-hand column of this blog is a CEA Archive, which includes our CEA search results by month.  Below are those in our areas of interest.
  • Oral anticoagulants for prevention of stroke in atrial fibrillation: systematic review, network meta-analysis, and cost effectiveness analysis. BMJ (Clinical research ed). 2018;361:k2295.
  • Boujaoude MA, Mirelman AJ, Dalziel K, Carvalho N. Accounting for equity considerations in cost-effectiveness analysis: a systematic review of rotavirus vaccine in low- and middle-income countries. Cost effectiveness and resource allocation : C/E. 2018;16:18.
  • Conget I, Martin-Vaquero P, Roze S, Elias I, Pineda C, Alvarez M, et al. Cost-effectiveness analysis of sensor-augmented pump therapy with low glucose-suspend in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and high risk of hypoglycemia in Spain. Endocrinologia, diabetes y nutricion. 2018.
  • Klijn SL, van den Reek J, van de Wetering G, van der Kolk A, de Jong E, Kievit W. Biologic treatment sequences for plaque psoriasis: a cost-utility analysis based on 10 years of Dutch real-world evidence from BioCAPTURE. The British journal of dermatology. 2018;178(5):1181-9.
  • Leal J, Manetti S, Buchanan J. The Impact of Hospital Costing Methods on Cost-Effectiveness Analysis: A Case Study. PharmacoEconomics. 2018.
  • Thakar S, Rajagopal N, Mani S, Shyam M, Aryan S, Rao AS, et al. Comparison of telemedicine with in-person care for follow-up after elective neurosurgery: results of a cost-effectiveness analysis of 1200 patients using patient-perceived utility scores. Neurosurgical focus. 2018;44(5):E17.
  • Vilsboll AW, Mouritsen JM, Jensen LP, Bodker N, Holst AW, Pennisi CP, et al. Cell-based therapy for the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence: an early cost-effectiveness analysis. Regenerative medicine. 2018;13(3):321-30.

Friday, 15 June 2018

May’s CEAs, systematic reviews and epidemiological models in LMICs

To help us keep on top of current research in low and middle-income countries, we are running a monthly search of research that is aligned to our core research interests.  It's a simple search strategy, with those published last month that are most aligned to our interests listed below.  The full list of articles is kept in our "Searches archive" in the right-hand column.
  • Boujaoude MA, Mirelman AJ, Dalziel K, Carvalho N. Accounting for equity considerations in cost-effectiveness analysis: a systematic review of rotavirus vaccine in low- and middle-income countries. Cost effectiveness and resource allocation : C/E. 2018;16:18.
  • Power R, King C, Muhit M, Heanoy E, Galea C, Jones C, et al. Health-related quality of life of children and adolescents with cerebral palsy in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review. Developmental medicine and child neurology. 2018;60(5):469-79.
  • Sohn H, Kim HY, Lee SH. Cost-effectiveness of contact screening strategies for tuberculosis among high-school adolescents in South Korea. The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. 2018;22(5):496-503.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Website of the month - Heath Utilities Database

We haven't had to travel too far this month in selecting our website of the month with our very own  Health Utilities Database. ScHARRHUD is an innovative database aimed at improving access to health utilities evidence.

ScHARRHUD was instigated and is managed by the Information Resources Group (IRG) at ScHARR, the School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. It forms part of the work programmes of IRG and the Health Economics and Decision Science (HEDS) section at ScHARR.
ScHARRHUD is a free, searchable web-based resource. The database holds bibliographic details of studies reporting health state utility values (HSUVs). In addition ScHARRHUD is searchable by the names of health state valuation instruments used in each study. In providing this level of indexing, ScHARRHUD aims to make the retrieval of health utilities evidence both more efficient and effective. Whilst the focus of ScHARRHUD is on generic, preference-based measures, such as the EQ-5D, the database extracts and indexes the names of all instruments used in studies.
Screenshot of the ScHARR HUD website
A pilot version of the ScHARRHUD was developed using start-up funding from the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) Research Design Service Yorkshire and the Humber (R DS YH). We are now pleased to introduce the publicly accessible beta version ScHARRHUD.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Andy Tattersall to deliver Keynote at the Business Librarians Association Conference

HEDS Information Specialist Andy Tattersall is one of the three keynotes at this year's BLA Conference taking place at Swansea University. The three day conference takes place from 27th-29th June with the theme 'Making Waves'. Andy will be delivering his keynote on the 28th with a talk titled; "Staying afloat in a sea of technological change". 

The other two keynote speakers are 
Michael Draper, Associate Professor in Law, Swansea University and Professor Sally Bradley, Academic Lead in Accreditation, Award and Recognition, HEA and Professor, Sheffield Hallam University.
The conference web page and booking details can be viewed here

Friday, 8 June 2018

New Short Course - Mixed-method ApproacheS To Evidence Reviews In Europe (MASTERIE)

With increasing interest in complex social and public health interventions, attention within the systematic review community is shifting beyond “what works” to exploring “what works for whom under what circumstances”. Such questions require the integration of both qualitative and quantitative data within research projects and PhD theses. Integration can be achieved at several points in the systematic review process; for example, through the methodology itself (e.g. realist syntheses and critical interpretive syntheses), through inclusion of mixed methods studies, and through integrating separate reviews. Integration can take place when focusing the questions, when conducting searching and quality assessment and, above all, in the synthesis and presentation of findings. 
Image of Halifax Hall, Sheffield
Workshop venue - Halifax Hall, Sheffield
This course will examine practical examples of integration at all these levels and stages. The Programme Faculty will begin by taking participants through the mixed method review process (Day One) before examining specific methods and mechanisms for integrating quantitative and qualitative data (Day Two). The emphasis will be on opening up a toolbox of possible approaches rather than focusing on a single, popularised method. The course leader, Dr Andrew Booth, has recently contributed to Cochrane and WHO guidance on mixed methods reviews and synthesis while Fiona Campbell has wide-ranging experience across methods and paradigms.
Who will benefit from this course?
  • Quantitative or Qualitative Researchers who want to learn how to synthesise qualitative research
  • Systematic Reviewers who want to learn how to integrate quantitative and qualitative data
  • PhD Students in topic areas that explore complex social or health interventions
  • New researchers who want an overview of evidence synthesis/systematic review alternatives and choices
  • Quantitative and Qualitative systematic reviewers who want to update and extend their skills and knowledge
Learning outcomes
  • Describe the main approaches to integrating quantitative and qualitative data within evidence synthesis in terms of their strengths and weaknesses
  • Rehearse the stages of the systematic review process at which integration might occur
  • Articulate different mechanisms by which quantitative and qualitative data might be synthesised
  • Describe the requirements for presenting and disseminating mixed method synthesis data

2 day course: Tuesday, 3rd - Wednesday, 4th July 2018
Day 1 - Starts at 9:30am with Registration and refreshments, with a prompt course start at 10:00am.  It is scheduled to close for the day at approximately 5pm.  A course evening dinner for all delegates and staff will take place at approximately 7pm (there is no additional fee for this).
Day 2 - Starts at 9am and is scheduled to close for the day at 4pm.
£575 Early Bird Fee - For confirmed bookings received on or before midnight, Wednesday, 2nd May 2018
£675 Standard Fee - For confirmed bookings received on or after Thursday, 3rd May 2018.
Bookings will automatically close at midnight on Wednesday, 20th June 2018 or when the course reaches full capacity (whichever is soonest). 
No formal experience is required, working knowledge of standard systematic review methods and/or quantitative or qualitative synthesis methods will be an advantage but not essential.
By the end of this programme participants will be able to:
Course materials will be provided via a Course Website approximately 2 weeks prior to the course start date, plus a copy on USB during registration.  A hard copy of any handouts/exercises will be provided throughout the course as necessary.
The course will consist of a mixture of presentations, group work, discussions and individual exercises.
Participants are asked to provide their own laptop for the duration of the course.
Members of the Cochrane Qualitative Research Methods Group and Experienced ScHARR Staff.
Dr Andrew Booth, Reader in Evidence Based Information Practice and Director of Information, ScHARR, University of Sheffield and Course Leader of this and our ESQUIRE short course.
Fiona Campbell, Research Fellow, ScHARR, University of Sheffield.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

New methods paper on evidence synthesis with limited studies

Image of Dr. Shijie (Kate) Ren
Dr. Shijie (Kate) Ren 
Dr. Shijie (Kate) Ren has published a paper with colleagues from the School of Mathematics and Statistics and HEDS proposing an elicitation framework to capture external evidence about heterogeneity for use in evidence synthesis with limited studies.
Their proposed framework allows uncertainty to be represented by a genuine prior distribution, using empirical evidence and experts’ beliefs, and can avoid making misleading inferences. The method is flexible to what judgments an expert is able to provide. They have also provided R code for implementing their method.
Image of Medical Decision Making journal
© Sage Journals
Dr. Ren, who specialises in the application of Bayesian methods in health care evaluation, argues that, “Analysts often default to use a fixed effect model in evidence synthesis because there are too few studies to conduct a random effect model. The choice of which model to use should depend on the objective of the analysis and knowledge of the included studies.”
In the case where heterogeneity is expected, the proposed elicitation framework can overcome the problem of imprecise estimates of the heterogeneity parameter in the absence of sufficient sample data.
The article, published in Medical Decision Making, is available open-access and can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0272989X18759488.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Latest Research from HEDS

Our regular monthly trawl for new publications from HEDS in collaboration with colleagues in ScHARR and further afield has reaped a tremendous amount of fresh research. Many of these are currently in press, so you can find much of our work in its open access form via our institutional repository. You can see more of our research here - open access.

Image of front cover of BMC Health Services Research
© BMC/Springer Nature    
Baxter, S., Johnson, M., Chambers, D., Sutton, A., et al. (2018) The effects of integrated care: a systematic review of UK and international evidence. BMC Health Services Research. [Online] 18 (1). Available from: doi:10.1186/s12913-018-3161-3.

       Carroll, C. & Kaltenthaler, E. (2018) Nature and reporting characteristics of UK health technology assessment systematic reviews. BMC Medical Research Methodology. [Online] 18 (1). Available from: doi:10.1186/s12874-018-0498-6.

       Chambers, D., Cantrell, A., Preston, L., Peasgood, T., et al. (2018) Systematic review of the evidence on housing interventions for ‘housing-vulnerable’ adults and its relationship to wellbeing. [Online]. Available from: https://whatworkswellbeing.org/blog/housing-for-vulnerable-people-what-works/.

Image of PharmacoEconomics
© Adis
Devlin, N., Brazier, J., Simon Pickard, A. & Stolk, E. (2018) Correction to: 3L, 5L, What the L? A NICE Conundrum (PharmacoEconomics, (2018), 36, 6, (637-640), 10.1007/s40273-018-0622-9). PharmacoEconomics. [Online] 36 (6), 729. Available from: doi:10.1007/s40273-018-0659-9.

Feng, Y., Karimi, M., Hole, A., Tsuchiya, A., et al. (2018) An exploration of the non-iterative time trade off method to value health states. Health Economics. [Online] Available from: doi:10.1002/hec.3773.

Harden, A., Thomas, J., Cargo, M., Harris, J., et al. (2018) Cochrane Qualitative and Implementation Methods Group guidance paper 5: methods for integrating qualitative and implementation evidence within intervention effectiveness reviews. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. [Online] Available from: doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2017.11.029.

Hernandez-Villafuerte, K., Fischer, A. & Latimer, N.R. (n.d.) Challenges And Methodologies In Using Progression Free Survival As a Surrogate For Overall Survival In Oncology. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care.
Image of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
© Elsevier

       Noyes, J., Booth, A., Cargo, M., Flemming, K., et al. (2018) Cochrane Qualitative and Implementation Methods Group guidance series—paper 1: introduction. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. [Online] Available from: doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2017.09.025.

       Rowen, D.L., Labeit, A., Stevens, K., Elliot, J., et al. (n.d.) Estimating a preference-based single index measuring the quality of life impact of self-management for diabetes. Medical Decision Making.

       Ward, S.E., Richards, P.D., Morgan, J.L., Holmes, G.R., et al. (2018) Omission of surgery in older women with early breast cancer has an adverse impact on breast cancer-specific survival. British Journal of Surgery. [Online] Available from: doi:10.1002/bjs.10885.

Whitehurst, D.G.T., Latimer, N.R., Kagan, A., Palmer, R., et al. (n.d.) Developing accessible, pictorial versions of health-related quality of life instruments suitable for economic evaluation: a report of preliminary studies conducted in Canada and the United Kingdom. PharmacoEconomics - Open.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Latest edition of the HEDS Newsletter

Image of Mark Clowes holding the HEDS newsletter
Mark Clowes
The latest HEDS Newsletter is out and you can download it here. Our own Newsletter Editor in Chair Mark Clowes can be seen holding the latest edition. 

Below you can read about our latest news from HEDS Director, Dr Phil Shackley

“Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend
Come inside, come inside”
Image of Phil Shackley
Dr Phil Shackley

At the time of writing, a policy to implement a Minimum Unit Price for alcohol in Scotland is due to come into effect on May 1st. Work undertaken by ScHARR’s Alcohol Research Group (including several modellers from HEDS) has had a significant role in the introduction of the policy.

With our former Director, Simon Dixon, having sailed away into the sunset to the sound of Frank Sinatra (as far as China, as it happens, of which more inside), I’ve taken the opportunity to abuse my newly acquired power by allowing Emerson, Lake and Palmer to introduce the first HEDS newsletter of my tenure.
Since taking the reins last November, there has been a ton of stuff happening which we need to tell you about. 
Another highlight is the work of researchers from HEDS, in collaboration with colleagues from the Universities of York and Manchester, on the cost of avoidable medication errors in the NHS.
Elsewhere in HEDS, Dr Pete Dodd is part of large European Union-supported project investigating the impact of a combined tuberculosis and HIV intervention in high prevalence communities in South Africa and Zambia.
Other items include HEDS’ presence at the HTAi conference in Vancouver, our forthcoming MOOCs and short courses, and members of HEDS receiving awards from ISPOR and Jisc.
That’s it from me for this edition, so until the next time I’ll let The Doors have the last word:
“This is the end, beautiful friend”
Phil Shackley, Director of HEDS