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.

Monday, 28 September 2020

New HEDS Discussion Paper - Mapping the Health of Nation Outcomes Scale (HoNOS) onto the Recovering Quality of Life Utility Index (ReQoL-UI)

Anju Keetharuth and Donna Rowen


Picture of Dr Anju Devianee Keetharuth
Dr Anju Devianee Keetharuth

Aim: The aim of this project is to develop and assess a mapping function to predict ReQoL-UI (a patient-reported mental health-specific preference-based measure) scores from HoNOS scores (clinician-reported measure, Health of Nation Outcomes Score).

Methods: Participants were recruited from 14 secondary mental health services in England, UK, and their clinician completed HoNoS. Mapping models were estimated using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) on individual level and mean level data and different model specifications were explored. Model performance was assessed using mean absolute error (MAE), root mean square error (RMSE), percentage of observations with absolute errors greater than 0.1, and plots of the observed and predicted ReQoL-UI utilities and errors.

Results: Matched ReQoL-UI and HoNOS scores were collected for 649 participants. The sample comprised 56% inpatients, with overall mean ReQoL-UI utility of 0.683 and range from 1 to -0.195. Correlations between ReQoL-UI (items and utility) and HoNOS scores were moderate (0.2<r<0.4) or small (<0.2). The best model was OLS estimated using mean level data, with lowest MAE (0.046) and RMSE (0.056).

Discussion: There is little conceptual overlap between ReQoL-UI and HoNOS. They measure different concepts and, arguably, service users and clinicians, who complete the measures respectively, have different perspectives. Under these circumstances, caution is recommended when applying these estimates.        

Download the Discussion Paper here.     
Picture of Donna Rowen
Dr Donna Rowen


Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Join us for our webinar - The everyday things that shape our actions: The influence of the environment on health behaviour - Dr Emma Hock - 8th October, 1pm

The everyday things that shape our actions: The influence of the environment on health behaviour

Presenter Dr Emma Hock

The environments in which we live have changed to make our lives easier. An increase in labour-saving devices and easy access to high energy-dense food has negatively impacted on population health, however, and individual behaviours cannot fully address this. There has been recent interest in ‘nudging’ (changes in the immediate environment that relate to health-related behaviour). In this webinar, we will examine how such changes to the environment in which we live and work can impact on people’s health-related behaviours. We will explore lab-based research research on nudges and examine how these techniques can be applied in the real world.

Dr Emma Hock is a Senior Research Fellow in ScHARR. She has a background in health behaviour change and teaches on health psychology and health behaviour change approaches and techniques on two Masters courses run by ScHARR. Emma has a track record of research in preventative health behaviour, with a specific research interest in smoking cessation and physical activity, multiple health behaviour change and physical activity and mental health. Emma completed a PhD in physical activity and smoking abstinence in young smokers in 2007, and also worked on a two-year MRC-funded research project that investigated walking as an aid to cessation: a feasibility study within the NHS stop smoking service (Walk-2-Quit).

Join the live session by clicking the link below... 

The live session takes place in a Collaborate webinar - headphones are advisable and easy to set up. You can join with a computer, tablet or smartphone, Chrome and Firefox offer the best browser experience. You can also use a phone to handle audio while in the session by dialling +44 2033 189610 and entering the PIN: 398 583 2702.
We look forward to seeing you online. 

Friday, 4 September 2020

Latest Publications from HEDS in August


Once again we explore what new publications have been produced by HEDS in collaboration with colleagues in ScHARR and further afield. 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 view them and many others here.

BMJ Journal Open

Aber, A., Phillips, P., Lumley, E., Radley, S., Thomas, S.M., Nawaz, S., Jones, G. and Michaels, J., 2020. Mixed methods study to develop the content validity and the conceptual framework of the electronic patient-reported outcome measure for vascular conditions. BMJ Open, 10(8). http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-034154

Cooper, K., Tappenden, P., Cantrell, A. and Ennis, K., 2020. A systematic review of meta-analyses assessing the validity of tumour response endpoints as surrogates for progression-free or overall survival in cancer. British Journal of Cancer. Available at: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/164684/

Pilbery, R., Young, T. and Hodge, A., 2020. The effect of a specialist paramedic primary care rotation on appropriate non-conveyance decisions: a controlled interrupted time series analysis. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.08.06.20169334

Powell, P., Carlton, J., Woods, H. and Mazzone, P., 2020. Measuring quality of life in Duchenne muscular dystrophy : a systematic review of the content and structural validity of commonly used instruments. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 18(263). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12955-020-01511-z

Salway, S., Booth, A., Such, E., Hamilton, J., Powell, K., Preston, L., Victor, C. and Raghavan, R., 2020. How can loneliness and social isolation be reduced among migrant and minority ethnic people? Systematic, participatory review of programme theories, system processes and outcomes. [online] National Institute for Health Research. Available at: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/164681/

Si, L., Willis, M.S., Asseburg, C., Nilsson, A., Tew, M., Clarke, P.M., Lamotte, M., Ramos, M., Shao, H., Shi, L., Zhang, P., McEwan, P., Ye, W., Herman, W.H., Kuo, S., Isaman, D.J., Schramm, W., Sailer, F., Brennan, A., Pollard, D., Smolen, H.J., Leal, J., Gray, A., Patel, R., Feenstra, T. and Palmer, A.J., 2020. Evaluating the ability of economic models of diabetes to simulate new cardiovascular outcomes trials : a report on the Ninth Mount Hood Diabetes Challenge. Value in Health. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jval.2020.04.1832   

Value in Health Journal

Srivastava, T., Strong, M., Stevenson, M.D. and Dodd, P.J., 2020. Improving Cycle Corrections in Discrete Time Markov Models: A Gaussian Quadrature Approach. Available at: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/164871/

Tong, T., Aber, A., Chilcott, J., Thokala, P., Walters, S.J., Maheswaran, R., Nawaz, S., Thomas, S. and Michaels, J., 2020. Volume–outcome relationships in open and endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm: administrative data 2006–2018. British Journal of Surgery. https://doi.org/10.1002/bjs.11919


Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Website of the month for August - Altmetric Bookmarklet for Researchers

Not so much a website this month but a snazzy little plug in for researchers and librarians among other research professionals that helps you find out how much attention a research publication has received. This little tool has been around for quite a while and is simple to use and can provide insights on whether your paper has been mentioned in the media, in Wikipedia or across social media platforms like Twitter.

You can obtain the web extension for Chrome, Firefox and Safari here 


More information from Altmetric.com

  • The Bookmarklet only works on PubMed, arXiv or pages containing a DOI with Google Scholar friendly citation metadata
  • Twitter mentions are only available for articles published since July 2011
  • You can request support for a particular journal by asking @altmetric for it on Twitter
  • Are you a publisher? Don’t use this bookmarklet! We have much better tools for you, just get in touch.

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Still time to register for a place on our Online International Health Technology Assessment and Reimbursement programme

There's still time to build your understanding of health technology assessment with the only online course offering the full range of skills needed by those developing health technologies for market.

Course description

This is the only online course offering the full range of skills needed by those developing health technologies for markets across the globe.

The course is taught by experts who work directly with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on health technology appraisals.

You’ll gain an understanding of the entire HTA process alongside practical insights into the markets, pricing and customers needed for new product development in the healthcare industry. If you’re already working or aspire to work in the field of health technology assessment, health economics or market access, this course will give you the training you need to progress in your career or gain a post as a health technology evaluator or commissioner.

The course is suited to those working in the pharmaceutical, medical devices or diagnostics industries worldwide, or within health technology policy formulation, management and evidence-based commissioning and purchasing. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the processes and contexts of markets, pricing and customers needed for new product development in multiple jurisdictions.

Online chat

If you'd like to find out more about studying with us, join us for an online chat on Monday 24th August. You'll have the chance to ask course tutors your questions during question and answer sessions.

Register your interest for an online chat
Continuing Professional Development

All modules on this course can be studied as standalone CPD modules. It is possible to complete standalone modules and then apply to transfer to an MSc/PGDip/PGCert qualification. Any time spent on the CPD route counts toward the time-limit a student has to complete their chosen qualification.

Explore core and optional modules


Our teaching combines three key elements:
Authentic learning: we use real-world, real-life, up-to-date case studies, examples and scenarios. You can immediately see how your learning is "authentic" and applicable to your own working life
Social learning: We learn from each other as much as from purely independent study. This course uses multiple tools to deliver content and facilitate interaction with and between tutors and students
Flexibility: The majority of the online reading materials are heavily supplemented with videos, screencasts, internet-based materials, and the use of interactive online tools. Materials are provided in blocks or "sessions" of usually 2-3 weeks duration.

Assessment is by coursework and project work.

MSc or PG Diploma: 2-5 years, part-time

PG Certificate: 1-2 years, part-time

Your career

Our graduates typically work for Large and small, national and international pharmaceutical and devices companies Health economics consultancies (including being self-employed in this capacity) Health care providers and hospital organisations Government departments, ministries and agencies HTA agencies Universities

Our students live and work all over the world. They are seeking to develop key skills to enhance their careers within HTA, market access, trial design and other aspects of health technology assessment in the private or public sector.
Entry requirements

2:1 honours degree in a related subject.

Entry requirements for international students
English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Other English language qualifications we accept

Fees and funding

Home/EU (2020 annual fee) : £5,750 in Year 1, £5,750 in Year 2
Overseas (2020 annual fee) : £5,750 in Year 1, £5,750 in Year 2

If you're studying part-time or for an alternative qualification then the fee could be different. Due to inflation, the fee for Home/EU students could also increase after your first year of study. Contact the Student Fees team to check.

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Latest Publications from HEDS in July 2020

Here are the latest publications from July, including those 'In Press' by HEDS colleagues and their collaborators.

Medical Decision Making journal cover
Aburto, J.M., Kashyap, R., Scholey, J., Angus, C., Ermisch, J., Mills,  M. an Dowd, J.B., 2020. Estimating the burden of COVID-19 on  mortality, life expectancy and lifespan inequality in England and  Wales: A population-level study.  https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.16.20155077

Burt, R.K., Tappenden, P., Han, X., Quigley, K., Arnautovic, I., Sharrack, B., Snowden, J.A. and Hartung, D., 2020. Health economics and patient outcomes of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation versus disease-modifying therapies for relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis in the United States of America. Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, 45(102404), p.102404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102404

Chambers, D., Cantrell, A., Baxter, S.K., Turner, J. and Booth, A., 2020. Effects of increased distance to urgent and emergency care facilities resulting from health services reconfiguration: a systematic review. Health Services and Delivery Research, 8(31), pp.1–86. Doi: 10.3310/hsdr08310

Chambers, D., Cantrell, A. and Booth, A., 2020. Recognition of risk and prevention in safeguarding of children and young people: a mapping review and component analysis of interventions aimed at health and social care professionals. [online] Southampton. Available at: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/163227/

Davillas, A. and Pudney, S., 2020. Using biomarkers to predict healthcare costs: Evidence from a UK household panel. Journal of Health Economics, (102356), p.102356. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2020.102356

Fuller, G., Keating, S., Goodacre, S., Herbert, E., Perkins, G., Rosser, A., Gunson, I., Miller, J., Ward, M., Bradburn, M., Thokala, P., Harris, T., Marsh, M., Scott, A. and Cooper, C., 2020. Is a definitive trial of prehospital continuous positive airway pressure versus standard oxygen therapy for acute respiratory failure indicated? The ACUTE pilot randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 10(7). http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-035915

Hern├índez Alava, M., Wailoo, A., Pudney, S., Gray, L. and Manca, A., 2020. Mapping clinical outcomes to generic preference-based outcome measures: development and comparison of methods. Health Technology Assessment, 24(34), pp.1–68. Doi: 10.3310/hta24340 

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health cover

Holmes, J., Beard, E., Brown, J., Brennan, A., Meier, P.S., Michie, S., Stevely, A.K., Webster, L. and Buykx, P.F., 2020. Effects on alcohol consumption of announcing and implementing revised UK low-risk drinking guidelines: findings from an interrupted time series analysis. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech-2020-213820

Jin, H., Tappenden, P., Robinson, S., Achilla, E., Aceituno, D. and Byford, S., 2020. Systematic review of the methods of health economic models assessing antipsychotic medication for schizophrenia. PLOS ONE, 15(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0234996

Jones, M., Bell, F., Benger, J., Black, S., Buykx, P., Dixon, S., Driscoll, T., Evans, B., Edwards, A., Fuller, G., Goodacre, S., Hoskins, R., Hughes, J., John, A., Jones, J., Moore, C., Sampson, F., Watkins, A. and Snooks, H., 2020. Protocol for Take-home naloxone In Multicentre Emergency (TIME) settings: feasibility study. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-020-00626-w

Powell, P., Roberts, J., Gabbay, M. and Consedine, N., 2020. Care starts at home: emotional state and appeals to altruism may reduce demand for overused health services in the UK. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Available at: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/163183/

Sousa, S., Robinson, L., Franklin, M. and Watson, S., 2020. Patient-reported and clinician-rated outcome measures: complementary evidence from two different perspectives. Journal of Affective Disorders. Doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.07.104

Srivastava, T., Strong, M., Stevenson, M.D. and Dodd, P.J., 2020. Improving Cycle Corrections in Discrete Time Markov Models: A Gaussian Quadrature Approach. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.27.20162651

Thomas, C., Brennan, A., Squires, H., Brenner, G., Bagguley, D., Woods, H., Gillett, M., Leaviss, J., Clowes, M., Heathcote, L., Cooper, K. and Breeze, P., 2020. What are the cost-savings and health benefits of improving detection and management for six high cardiovascular risk conditions in England? An economic evaluation. BMJ Open. Available at: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/162116/

Journal of Affective Disorders cover
 Vilaca, T., Salam, S., Schini, M., Harnan, S., Sutton, A., Poku, E.,   Allen, I.E., Cummings, S.R. and Eastell, R., 2020. Risks of hip and     nonvertebral fractures in patients with CKD G3a-G5D: a systematic   review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Kidney Diseases.    https://doi.org/10.1053/j.ajkd.2020.02.450

Yang, F., Angus, C., Duarte, A., Gillespie, D., Walker, S. and Griffin, S., 2020. Impact of socioeconomic differences on distributional cost-effectiveness analysis. Medical Decision Making. Available at: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/161361/1/PHRC_1_accepted_version.pdf


Tuesday, 11 August 2020

ScHARR Mini Master Class in Health Research #3 - Dr Andrew Lee - Public health in action: Pandemic response to Covid-19 - 11th September, 1pm

Join us online for a monthly online masterclass by one of our health research experts based in The School of Health and Related Research.

Register your place here

Image of Andrew Lee, and health webinar poster

About this Event

Public health in action: Pandemic response to Covid-19

Dr Andrew Lee


Infectious diseases are an age-old threat to human populations with the power to disrupt societies and cause considerable death and disability. With a focus on the current COVID19 pandemic, we will look at the public health approaches to tackling outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics. We will reflect on some of the emerging lessons learned, explore both the short- and longer-term impacts of this pandemic for the UK, and consider how the pandemic is likely to unfold in the coming years.

Andrew is a Reader of Global Public Health in ScHARR. Following paediatric and tropical medicine training, he worked overseas running primary health care and tuberculosis control programmes in Afghanistan, as well as in disaster response (e.g. Asian tsunami disaster, 2009 post-cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe, 2013 Typhoon Haiyan). He is dual trained in general practice and public health in the UK, and previously worked for many years with Public Health England as a consultant in communicable disease control. He is currently a director of primary care and population health, and has been heavily involved in the health sector response to COVID19.




Join the live session by clicking the link below.


The live session takes place in a Collaborate webinar - headphones are advisable and easy to set up. You can join with a computer, tablet or smartphone, Chrome and Firefox offer the best browser experience. You can also use a phone to handle audio while in the session by dialling +44 2033 189610 and entering the PIN: 398 583 2702.

We look forward to seeing you online.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Job vacancy at ScHARR - Research Associate in Health Economics (Quantitative) for the SIPHER Consortium

We have a vacancy to join us at ScHARR, details are below.

Job Title: Research Associate in Health Economics (Quantitative) for the SIPHER Consortium 
Reference Number: UOS026028   
Salary: Grade 7: £31,866 - £33,797 per annum 
Details: This post is full time and fixed-term for a period of 24 months

Image of Regent Court - ScHARR
Regent Court - ScHARR

We have an exciting opportunity in the Health Economics and Decision Science (HEDS) section of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) for someone looking to use their skills in quantitative data analysis. As a quantitative Research Associate you will join the SIPHER (Systems science in Public Health and Health Economics Research) consortium. 

Preventing ill health related to the “social determinants of health” requires well-coordinated policies across many sectors. SIPHER will deliver novel evidence of the costs and benefits of the complex, interlinked and long-term consequences of policy decisions. For further details of SIPHER, see https://sipher.ac.uk/

You will have a PhD (or be close to completion) in a social science subject using quantitative methods (or have equivalent experience). Your role will include: designing stated preference studies, preparing research ethics applications, assisting in the hosting of discussion group sessions, statistical analysis of stated preference data, econometric analysis of self-reported outcomes data, helping to disseminate research findings and helping to prepare funding applications. 

You will be part of Workstrand 6 (WS6) of the SIPHER consortium. This workstrand concerns social valuations of cross-sectoral outcomes and equity implications, to provide insight into how people value different policy outcomes (e.g. increased income versus improved health) and different distributions of outcomes (increased total income versus increased income inequality). 

We are committed to exploring flexible working opportunities which benefit the individual and University. 

We’re one of the best not-for-profit organisations to work for in the UK. The University’s Total Reward Package includes a competitive salary, a generous Pension Scheme and annual leave entitlement, as well as access to a range of learning and development courses to support your personal and professional development. 

We build teams of people from different heritages and lifestyles from across the world, whose talent and contributions complement each other to greatest effect. We believe diversity in all its forms delivers greater impact through research, teaching and student experience. 

To find out what makes the University of Sheffield a remarkable place to work, watch this short film: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LblLk18zmo, and follow @sheffielduni and @ShefUniJobs on Twitter for more information.

 The link to apply for the vacancy can be found here: https://bit.ly/32WtB5v 

Monday, 3 August 2020

New project - Modelling strategies for minimising health inequalities in bowel cancer screening

Picture of Dr Sophie Whyte
Dr Sophie Whyte
HEDS are leading on this Cancer Research UK funded project. Sophie Whyte, Chloe Thomas and Olena Mandrik developed the research proposal.

Research aims:
 • Quantify the impact of the current screening programme on health inequalities (compared to no screening). 

• Model the potential cost-effectiveness and impact on inequalities of annual re-invitation of  FIT non-attenders, targeting a) the whole population, b) specifically those from the most socioeconomically deprived groups. 

• Carry out a systematic review to identify interventions with significant and measurable impacts in improving uptake of screening or follow-up investigations and model the potential cost-effectiveness and impact on inequalities of these when targeted at either a) the whole population, b) specifically those from the most socioeconomically deprived groups.

Why is this important? Who will benefit?
In the English Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP), uptake of both screening and follow-up procedures is lower for low socioeconomic status (SES) groups. It is therefore likely that the pre-existing socioeconomic heath inequalities in Colorectal Cancer (CRC) have been exacerbated by CRC screening. The introduction of Faecal Immunochemical Test - FIT screening in England from 2019 is expected to reduce but not eliminate these disparities in screening uptake. Strategies to rebalance socioeconomic differences in CRC health outcomes are therefore required. 

Please click here for the HEDS Discussion Paper:
Development of the Microsimulation Model in Cancer of the Bowel (MiMiC-Bowel), an Individual Patient Simulation Model for Investigation of the Cost-effectiveness of Personalised Screening and Surveillance Strategies Techical Document

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Meet Our PhD Student Jennifer Boyd - Understanding Inequitable Alcohol-Related Harm Outcomes Between Socioeconomic Groups

Image of Jennifer Boyd
Every few months we like to highlight one of our many talented PhD students in ScHARR and share the work they are undertaking as part of their Thesis and this month it's Jennifer Boyd.

"I am going into the third year of the Wellcome Trust DTC programme in ScHARR, which falls under HEDS and Public Health. Before starting the programme, I graduated with a MSc in Health Psychology from the University of St Andrews. My PhD aims to use computer
simulation techniques, specifically agent-based modelling to understand inequitable alcohol-related harm outcomes between socioeconomic groups. The modelling work will attempt to incorporate macroeconomic factors at the structural level and individual level processes to understand the causal mechanisms of this complex phenomenon. This follows on from the recent and ongoing work in the CASCADE project https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/cascade.

My supervisors are Professor Robin Purshouse (ACSE) and Professor John Holmes (ScHARR). A real advantage of being part of the Wellcome programme is the opportunity to work across disciplines, bringing together knowledge and methods from different subject areas to create novel research projects. I thoroughly enjoyed taking modules from the HEDM masters in the training year of the programme. These modules, specifically Advanced Simulation, have provided me with the confidence and skills to continue learning how to develop more complex models. I have been fortunate enough to be part of the Wellcome network and the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group (SARG) which has provided me with great opportunities for collaboration and disseminating my own research.