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, 22 June 2018

EUnetHTA Implementation…

…or should that be lack of implementation?  EUnetHTA have just published a report on the implementation of their Third Joint Assessment (JA3) programme.  The headline results are:

“Forty-six examples of use of JA3 EUnetHTA assessments were reported…[relating to five assessments].  Twenty-eight (61%) examples described use to support or as an alternative to existing HTA procedures and 18 (39%) were examples of dissemination
practices to support awareness of HTA and EUnetHTA assessments.

So, 28 instances of it being used ‘to support’ and 18 instances of dissemination.  The 28 instances of ‘support’, upon further investigation, appear to be as an additional source of information within an unchanged process.  Is this really implementation?

28 EU nations. 5 reports. That’s 140 potential instances of implementation.  Actual cases of implementation…….

Thursday, 21 June 2018

University of Sheffield ranked in QS World University Rankings top 100

The University of Sheffield has been ranked as one of the best universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2019, strengthening its position as a leading global university for teaching and research. 

The results rank the University as the 13th best institution in the UK and 75th in the world, a rise from last year’s placing of 82nd. The results position it as the number one University in Yorkshire and Humber and among the top 7.5 per cent of all the universities in the QS World University Rankings. 

The QS global rankings, which are in their 15th year, are the world’s most-read international university rankings and provide a definitive guide to the world’s 1,000 top universities, which hail from 85 different countries. 

The expert opinion of 83,877 academics and 42,862 employers contributed to this year’s rankings. Thirteen million papers and 67 million citations were analysed to measure the impact of the research produced by the universities ranked.

The University was also named within the top 100 for the International Student Ratio, which is based on the proportion of students that are international. 
Image of University of Sheffield Student Union
University of Sheffield Student Union
The University of Sheffield has previously been recognised for providing outstanding support for international students and has shown its longstanding commitment through its global #WeAreInternational campaign, which highlights the crucial value of international students to the UK. The campaign, which is now backed by more than 150 universities and international organisations, was jointly founded by the University’s President and Vice-Chancellor and its Students’ Union.

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, said: “We are delighted to see that the University of Sheffield has continued to be recognised as a world-leading institution and within the top 100 universities in the world. “The University has a global reputation for its standard of teaching and research, as well as its pioneering industry collaborations and ability to solve real world issues, making a positive difference in people’s lives around the world. “It is particularly pleasing that, as a university with a strong international outlook and community, we have been recognised for our ethos in this area and appreciation for our international scholars and academics, who bring such benefits back to our region and to the UK.” 

The University of Sheffield has recently celebrated success in the Guardian University Guide 2019 after subjects from across the institution were ranked among the UK’s best for courses. Earlier in the year, the University of Sheffield's Students' Union was voted top nationally for the tenth consecutive year by the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2018.

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.