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.

Friday, 23 June 2017

New Projects: Efficiency, cost and quality of mental healthcare provision

ScHARR is working with the Universities of Birmingham and York on a research project that will use a quality of life framework to assess cost-effectiveness of mental health trusts and how they vary on cost and quality. It will assess organisational factors which drive improvements in cost and quality of mental healthcare and analyse how mental health trusts can reallocate resources in order to improve their efficiency and cost- effectiveness. The project is funded by the Health Foundation, an independent health care charity, as part of its £1.5 million Efficiency Research Programme. 

Image of Scrabble Tiles spelling the words mental health
CC BY 2.0 Kevin Simmons http://bit.ly/2rBHr7V
Mental illness has a significant impact on individuals, society and the economy. The mental healthcare sector is under huge financial pressure and providers are undertaking large-scale cost reduction programmes. Service reconfigurations are impacting negatively on quality of care for patients and there is little understanding of how providers can reallocate resources to increase efficiency. This Efficiency Research project led by the University of York will look at the efficiency, cost and quality of current mental healthcare provision, and how changes can be made to drive efficiency improvements. The work package led by ScHARR will assess which quality indicators are valued by service users, clinicians, and the general population, for example improvements in outcomes, better and more equitable access to care, and distance to provider. We will derive QALY (quality-adjusted life year) weightings for these different aspects in order to assess efficiency, using a QALY framework. 

ScHARR will also estimate mapping functions that use HONOS data to predict utility values for Recovering Quality of Life (ReQoL), a Patient Reported Outcome Measure developed to assess the quality of life of people with different mental health conditions. The project team will then be able to produce a cost-effectiveness plane for mental health trusts to identify high-quality, low-cost providers and further examine organisational factors that are associated with cost-effectiveness. The project team hope to then estimate how resources can be reallocated to activities where they are more cost-effective, and what input-mix (e.g. capital, labour) might be associated with improved cost-effectiveness.

Health Foundation press release 

University of York press release

Further information about ReQoL

Thursday, 22 June 2017

New Projects: Appraising the effect of local Minimum Unit Pricing in the North West of England

ScHARR have been awarded funding to carry out research for several Local Authorities in the North West of England who are interested in understanding the effect of introducing minimum unit pricing for alcohol. This is with the aim to help tackle high levels of alcohol consumption and associated problems. 

Minimum unit pricing involves a 'floor price' for alcohol based on the number of units sold and would mostly affect the price of very cheap alcohol sold in the off-trade. The research team, led by Professor Alan Brennan, includes members of the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group from the HEDS and Public Health sections.

Image of pints of beer
CC BY 2.0 Czarina Alegre http://bit.ly/2sDB9bM
The National Institute for Health Research have funded the team to undertake this work with the project due to finish in September 2018.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

HTA and Valuing Health MOOCs running again…

 …in July.  These highly successful courses are meant as introductions to these key topics, but can be used as quick reminders about the issues.  The HTA MOOC is desiged to take just 2 hours per week for 4 weeks, whilst the Valuing Health MOOC takes 2 hours per week for 3 weeks.  Both are free.

Measuring and Valuing Health starts on 3rd July, 2017.  Further details and registration can be found here.

Health Technology Assessment starts on 24th July, 2017.  Further details and registration can be found here.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

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 in April 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.
  • Adeloye D, Ige JO, Aderemi AV, Adeleye N, Amoo EO, Auta A, et al. Estimating the prevalence, hospitalisation and mortality from type 2 diabetes mellitus in Nigeria: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ open. 2017;7(5):e015424.
  • Duarte TA, Nery JS, Boechat N, Pereira SM, Simonsen V, Oliveira M, et al. A systematic review of East African-Indian family of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Brazil. The Brazilian journal of infectious diseases : an official publication of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases. 2017;21(3):317-24.
  • Kuate Defo B, Mbanya JC, Tardif JC, Ekundayo O, Perreault S, Potvin L, et al. Diagnosis, Prevalence, Awareness, Treatment, Prevention, and Control of Hypertension in Cameroon: Protocol for a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinic-Based and Community-Based Studies. JMIR research protocols. 2017;6(5):e102.
  • Shafie AA, Yeo HY, Coudeville L, Steinberg L, Gill BS, Jahis R, et al. The Potential Cost Effectiveness of Different Dengue Vaccination Programmes in Malaysia: A Value-Based Pricing Assessment Using Dynamic Transmission Mathematical Modelling. PharmacoEconomics. 2017;35(5):575-89.

Monday, 19 June 2017

May’s CEAs.....

Our quick search for CEA’s published in May uncovered 45 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.
  • Antillon M, Bilcke J, Paltiel AD, Pitzer VE. Cost-effectiveness analysis of typhoid conjugate vaccines in five endemic low- and middle-income settings. Vaccine. 2017;35(27):3506-14.
  • Bansback N, Phibbs CS, Sun H, O'Dell JR, Brophy M, Keystone EC, et al. Triple Therapy Versus Biologic Therapy for Active Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. Annals of internal medicine. 2017.
  • Sjostrom M, Lindholm L, Samuelsson E. Mobile App for Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. Journal of medical Internet research. 2017;19(5):e154.
  • van der Meulen MP, Kapidzic A, van Leerdam ME, van der Steen A, Kuipers EJ, Spaander MC, et al. Do men and women need to be screened differently with faecal immunochemical testing? A cost-effectiveness analysis. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. 2017.
Image:  45 by russell davies

Friday, 16 June 2017

Adaption of HEDS osteoporosis model to use as a case-study

A new project that adapts Sarah Davis' osteoporosis model is being led by Professor Bruce Guthrie at The University of Dundee with the economic component being led by Professor Katherine Payne at The University Manchester. Davis is also included as a co investigator on the project.

Image of bones
CC BY 2.O Ozzy Delaney http://bit.ly/2r9Z3I0

The osteoporosis model was developed by Davis to inform the NICE Multiple Technology Appraisal of Bisphosphonates (https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-tag462). The adaptation is being carried out by a team of health economists at the University of Manchester, as part of a NIHR funded research project. This is to improve the evidence generated from risk prediction and economic models to better inform decision-making for selecting medicines in people with multimorbidity. This will involve developing new risk prediction tools which account for the competing risks of cardiovascular events, fractures and mortality in patients with multimorbidity. The research project will also examine the impact of incorporating into the cost-effectiveness analysis, a direct utility burden associated with taking a long-term medication which may outweigh the relatively small benefit of preventative medicines.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

NICE to work with ScHARR on developing new ways to measure quality of life across health and social care

NICE is taking part in a project that will examine how quality of life measures used to evaluate healthcare treatments such as drugs can be extended into areas of social care and public health. NICE to work with partners on developing new ways to measure quality of life across health and social care

The research, called the ‘Extending the QALY’ project, is being led by the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield, with collaborators from the University of Kent, the Office of Health Economics and the EuroQol Research Foundation.

The project is being co-funded by a grant from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the EuroQol Research Foundation. 

When NICE looks at the cost effectiveness of a healthcare intervention such as a new drug or diagnostic, the benefit of the intervention is measured in terms of how many quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) it provides. The ‘quality’ adjustment is based on a measurement of health-related aspects of quality of life.

However, some people feel that the existing measures of health-related quality of life might not capture important benefits of treatments beyond health-related quality of life, such as independence or improved relationships with friends, family and carers.

At the same time, different measures are used in healthcare, social care and public health, making it difficult to compare across these sectors, which is important when thinking about the wider health and social care budget.

The ‘Extending the QALY’ project will explore these issues and look at the importance of other aspects, such as social and emotional wellbeing, as well as physical and mental health. 

Image of scrabble words spelling the word Research
CC BY 2.0 Thomas Haynie http://bit.ly/2t28VES

Nick Crabb (Programme Director, Scientific Affairs) at NICE said: “NICE relies on an accurate assessment of quality of life when making decisions about interventions across health and social care. Research is needed  to develop new tools to assess quality of life that are equally relevant across these sectors and capture the key things – not just health – that are important to people. We look forward to working with our partners on this important project which aims to develop a new broad generic measure of quality of life that is relevant across health and social care. Depending on the research results, NICE will consider whether and how to include any new quality of life measure in its work.”

The project began in May 2017 and will last two and a half years. During this time the team will conduct interviews and surveys with patients, social care users, carers and the general public to explore what aspects of quality of life are important and identify the best questions to ask to measure quality of life. 

The original news story appears on the NICE website

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

New Projects: Mathematical modelling framework for tuberculosis burden estimate and economic evaluation of pharmaeutical interventions

Dr Pete Dodd has won a 5 year MRC career development fellowship on tuberculosis (TB) burden estimation, the epidemiology of drug-resistant TB, and the cost-effectiveness of new treatments for TB. 

Image of medicine tablets
CC BY 2.0 Jamie http://bit.ly/2racLKN

Dr Dodd said: "It centres around the use transmission models calibrated to multiple data sources for burden estimation, geospatial approaches to drug-resistance, and the application of these models of epidemiology to projecting the impact and cost-effectiveness new regimens."

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

New Projects: Estimating the health impact of a sugar sweetened drinks tax in local leisure facilities in Sheffield

Penny Breeze is carrying out research that aims to estimate the health impact of a sugar sweetened drinks tax in local leisure facilities in Sheffield. Breeze said: "In July 2016 SIV launched the SIV Health Fund - a 20p levy on all beverages containing 5mg of sugar per 100ml or more sold in leisure centres. The scheme was designed with multiple nudges in order to influence customer purchasing behaviour towards low and non-sugar options."

Image of sugar cubes
CC BY 2.0 Coralle Ferreira http://bit.ly/2racszq

This project will analyse and evaluate the impact of this, specifically on improving health outcomes of the people of Sheffield (SIV customers). Breeze added: "We expect to deliver recommendations on the effectiveness of this scheme as a potential public health policy." The project will run up until the end of September 2017 and is funded by the MRC.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Two additional posts in HEDS….

These are from the modelling post highlighted on this blog on 23rd May.  The first of these is for a Senior Research Fellow in Health Economics, with the second being a Research Associate in Public Health Policy Modelling.

Details can be found in the links above.  Closing dates for both are 21st June, 2017.

Image: Work. by Anthony Auston