Four members of staff in ScHARR were successful in the most recent round of the NIHR Fellowship Programme and have been offered a prestigious NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship:
Alexis Foster (Design, Trials and Statistics)
Kelly Mackenzie (Public Health)
Rachid Rafia (Health Economics and Decision Science)
Benjamin Kearns (Health Economics and Decision Science)
Rachid Rafia’s fellowship aims to develop a methodological framework to inform the choice of analytic approaches for modelling cancer therapies subject to the nature of data available and to guide decision-making based on these models. Mathematical models are commonly used to predict patients’ quality of life, how long they are likely to live, and the cost to the NHS if they receive a new treatment. These models are needed because clinical trials do not always provide enough information about all of these outcomes. However, different approaches are used inconsistently which may result in different predictions. This could lead to inconsistent decision-making and have a significant impact on patients and the NHS. Therefore there is a need for more consistency in the way economic evaluations are conducted.
Benjamin Kearns’ fellowship will look at producing guidance on good practice methods for predicting future outcomes in health technology assessment (HTA). HTAs can be a key evidence source for decision makers when deciding if they should be paying for health technologies. Key outcomes in HTA are the costs to the healthcare system and the benefits to patients. Typically, decision makers need to know what these outcomes will be over a patient’s lifetime, but only have evidence for a limited time period. Hence methods for predicting future outcomes are required. Ben’s fellowship shall build on previous and on-going work to produce good-practice guidance to assist with producing and communicating predictions of the future.