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, 24 April 2017

March’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 March 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.
  • Gesesew HA, Tesfay Gebremedhin A, Demissie TD, Kerie MW, Sudhakar M, Mwanri L. Significant association between perceived HIV related stigma and late presentation for HIV/AIDS care in low and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one. 2017;12(3):e0173928.
  • Lai YS, Zhou XN, Pan ZH, Utzinger J, Vounatsou P. Risk mapping of clonorchiasis in the People's Republic of China: A systematic review and Bayesian geostatistical analysis. PLoS neglected tropical diseases. 2017;11(3):e0005239.
  • Lee TH, Kim W, Shin J, Park EC, Park S, Kim TH. Strategic Distributional Cost-Effectiveness Analysis for Improving National Cancer Screening Uptake in Cervical Cancer: A Focus on Regional Inequality in South Korea. Cancer research and treatment : official journal of Korean Cancer Association. 2017.
  • Mezei AK, Armstrong HL, Pedersen HN, Campos NG, Mitchell SM, Sekikubo M, et al. Cost-effectiveness of cervical cancer screening methods in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review. International journal of cancer. 2017.
  • Tian M, Zhang J, Luo R, Chen S, Petrovic D, Redfern J, et al. mHealth Interventions for Health System Strengthening in China: A Systematic Review. JMIR mHealth and uHealth. 2017;5(3):e32.
Image: search by Pleuntje


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

March’s CEAs.....

Our quick search for CEA’s published in February uncovered 43 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.
  • Clarke CS, Hunter RM, Shemilt I, Serra-Sastre V. Multi-arm Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) comparing different durations of adjuvant trastuzumab in early breast cancer, from the English NHS payer perspective. PloS one. 2017;12(3):e0172731.
  • Hernandez L, Guo S, Toro-Diaz H, Carroll S, Syed Farooq SF. Peginterferon beta-1a versus other self-injectable disease-modifying therapies in the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in Scotland: a cost-effectiveness analysis. Journal of Medical Economics. 2017;20(3):228-38.
  • Lee TH, Kim W, Shin J, Park EC, Park S, Kim TH. Strategic Distributional Cost-Effectiveness Analysis for Improving National Cancer Screening Uptake in Cervical Cancer: A Focus on Regional Inequality in South Korea. Cancer research and treatment : official journal of Korean Cancer Association. 2017.
  • McGuffin M, Merino T, Keller B, Pignol JP. Who Should Bear the Cost of Convenience? A Cost-effectiveness Analysis Comparing External Beam and Brachytherapy Radiotherapy Techniques for Early Stage Breast Cancer. Clinical oncology (Royal College of Radiologists (Great Britain)). 2017;29(3):e57-e63.
  • Padula WV, Millis MA, Worku AD, Pronovost PJ, Bridges JF, Meltzer DO. Individualized cost-effectiveness analysis of patient-centered care: a case series of hospitalized patient preferences departing from practice-based guidelines. Journal of Medical Economics. 2017;20(3):288-96.

Monday, 17 April 2017

MSc International Health Technology Assessment

Dissertation topics have now been agreed for the summer.  All dissertations for the MSc IHTAP&R are the development of clinical and economic evidence in support of value propositions relating to specific treatments.  Conditions covered this year include:
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Severe asthma
  • Childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CALD) and X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)
  • End-stage critical limb ischaemia.
Further details of the MSc IHTAP&R are available here.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

New NICE documentation

The fast track and budget impact threshold changes are now in operation.  The documentation relating to these changes are now on the NICE website, including:
  • Joint consultation document
  • NICE Board paper
  • Consultation analysis
  • Procedure for varying the funding requirement to take account of net budget impact
  • Assessing resource impact process manual: technology appraisals and highly specialised technologies
  • Fast track appraisal - Addendum to the Guide to the Processes of Technology Appraisal
  • Cost comparison - Addendum to the Guide to the methods of Technology Appraisal
Existing submission templates have also been updated to address the implementation of the changes.

Image: Nice Ball Bearings by Lenore Edman


Wednesday, 12 April 2017

ISOQOL Co-chair

Anju Keetharuth has been appointed the new Co-chair of the ISOQOL UK & Ireland Special Interest
Group (SIG). She is will be starting her term in October 2017 succeeding John Brazier, working alongside Elizabeth Gibbons from the University of Oxford.

The overall aim of the SIG is to promote research into use of PROMS in the UK and in addition meet the aim of ISOQOL ‘to advance the scientific study of health-related quality of life and other patient-centered outcomes to identify effective interventions, enhance the quality of health care and promote the health of populations’.

One of the current initiatives of the SIG is the 2nd UK PROMs conference at the University of Oxford on June 8th 2017 following the first successful conference hosted by the University of Sheffield last year.

Image: Anju Keetharuth by University of Sheffield

Monday, 10 April 2017

CWiPP Keynote Lecture by Paul Dolan

Who: Prof Paul Dolan, Professor of Behavioural Science, London School of Economics
When: Wed 24 May 2017, 1730-1830
Where: Lecture Theatre 4, The Diamond, University of Sheffield
What: “The narrative trap”

Paul says: "In my follow up to Happiness by Design, I will explore some of the main social stories we are told about how we ought to live our lives. I will seek to show that these narratives actually cause more harm than good to our happiness. This talk is very much work in progress. I will benefit from getting your comments, and I hope you will learn something too."

Why: Paul wrote the questions that are currently being used by the Office for National Statistics to monitor national wellbeing and is also responsible for producing the MINDSPACE report for the UK Cabinet Office, which he uses widely in consulting with public sector and corporate clients. Much of his work has been inspired by his time working alongside Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman at Princeton University and Mark Deverill at the University of Sheffield.

How: Please register here.

Image: TO HAPPiNESS by Kayla Nicole


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

HEDS in the media - January to March 2017

A lot of the research that ScHARR and HEDS conducts gains media and online attention. As per the last few quarterly periods we have taken a quick look at some the attention using Altmetrics to see what has been said about our work and how far and wide it has reached on social media channels.


Dr Chris Carroll's piece in The BMJ 'Qualitative evidence synthesis to improve implementation of clinical guidelines' received an awful lot of attention across Twitter as 279 Tweets were sent as a result of the article. Richard Lehman's popular journal round up in the BMJ Opinion Blog wrote saying; "here at last is a very good BMJ analysis piece making the point clearly and trenchantly."


As you can imagine, a piece of research by HEDS with the title: 'Complimentary and Alternative Medicine for Management of Premature Ejaculation' was always going to gain some media attention. The Mail Online, Fox News and Medscape all gave coverage to this research. As did Edzard Ernst with his own tabloid headlined article; "Coming sooner or later – alternative therapies for premature ejaculation". ScienceBlogs also picked up on the article which lead to dozens of comments, not all of them puerile.

Since January our research has been picked up in 17 news stories, featured in 10 blogs and Tweeted about somewhere in the region of 500 times; with 140 Tweets (how apt) on the 17th January when it was mostly the aforementioned research by Dr Carroll being shared.

Much of our work around alcohol pricing was mentioned in the release of The House of Commons Briefing Paper 'Alcohol: Minimum Pricing'. The Lancet paper 'Effects of minimum unit pricing for alcohol on different income and socioeconomic groups: a modelling study' from 2014 was cited in the Parliamentary paper published in January this year.

Here is the Altmetric data from the first three months of 2017.


Image of HEDS altmetric data from first quarter of 2017
HEDS Altmetric data from first quarter of 2017

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

And the Value in Health Paper of the Year Award goes to…..

…Sabine Grimm, Simon Dixon and John Stevens for “When Future Change Matters: Modeling Future Price and Diffusion in Health Technology Assessments of Medical Devices” Value Health 2016;19;6:720-726.

The paper was produced during Sabine’s PhD studies that she undertook within HEDS.  Sabine will be receiving the award prior to the Second Plenary Session of the ISPOR 22nd Annual International Meeting, May 20-24, 2017, at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center Boston, MA, USA.

Image: Greetings from Boston, Mass. [front] by Boston Public Library


Monday, 3 April 2017

Project update: Predicting preterm birth

From the Faculty news page:

‘Next Generation’ Device Could Herald Breakthrough in Prediction of Preterm Birth


A new ‘next generation’ device which could help doctors reliably predict the risk of preterm birth is to be developed by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust thanks to funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Professor Dilly Anumba of the Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine and Consultant in Obstetrics & Gynaecology said: “Preterm birth is a huge global problem, and prediction and prevention of preterm birth remain challenging, because current methods, such as measuring the cervix by ultrasound, have limited accuracy.  If a technique that reliably predicts preterm birth could be developed, care measure can be employed to delay birth to reduce potential long-term disability and impairment.  We know that even if we can delay birth by a number of weeks, we can reduce the risk of more severe outcomes.  Thanks to NIHR funding, we will now be able to improve on our original promising invention, and build on the world-l;eading expertise in Sheffield to improve pregnancy and preterm outcomes.”
Professor Dilly Anumba

The first version of the device, which used electrical impedance spectroscopy, was tested on 500 women in a clinical research trial.  Up to 200 women who previously had a preterm birth will take part in the new study employing this innovative technique.  The project commenced in January 2017.

The NIHR funding has been awarded to Professor Dilly Anumba, Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, Dr Timothy James Healey, Clinical Engineering, STH, Professor Simon Dixon, HEDS Group ScHARR, Professor Stephen Walter, ScHARR, Mrs Mags Openshaw, PPI Co-applicant.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Latest Publications from HEDS in March

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

Image of Diabetic Medicine journal
© Diabetic Medicine 
       Breeze, P.R., Thomas, C., Squires, H., Brennan, A., Greaves, C., Diggle, P., Brunner, E., Tabak, A., Preston, L., Chilcott, J., 2017. Cost-effectiveness of population-based, community, workplace and individual policies for diabetes prevention in the UK. Diabetic Medicine. doi:10.1111/dme.13349

       Crown, W., Buyukkaramikli, N., Thokala, P., Morton, A., Sir, M.Y., Marshall, D.A., Tosh, J., Padula, W. V, Ijzerman, M.J., Wong, P.K., Pasupathy, K.S., 2017. Constrained Optimization Methods in Health Services Research-An Introduction: Report 1 of the ISPOR Optimization Methods Emerging Good Practices Task Force. Value in Healh. 20, 310–319. doi:10.1016/j.jval.2017.01.013

Hind, D., Parkin, J., Whitworth, V., Rex, S., Young, T., Hampson, L., Sheehan, J., Maguire, C., Cantrill, H., Scott, E., Epps, H., Main, M., Geary, M., McMurchie, H., Pallant, L., Woods, D., Freeman, J., Lee, E., Eagle, M., Willis, T., Muntoni, F., Baxter, P., n.d. Aquatic Therapy For Boys With Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD): An External Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial. Pilot Feasibility Stud.

Image of Trials journal
© Trials
Relton, C., Cooper, K.L., Viksveen, P., Fibert, P., Thomas, K., n.d. Prevalence of homeopathy use by the general population worldwide: a systematic review. Homeopathy.

Saxon, D., Ashley, K., Bishop-Edwards, L., Connell, J., Harrison, P., Ohlsen, S., Hardy, G.E., Kellett, S., Mukuria, C., Mank, T., Bower, P., Bradburn, M., Brazier, J., Elliott, R., Gabriel, L., King, M., Pilling, S., Shaw, S., Waller, G., Barkham, M., 2017. A pragmatic randomised controlled trial assessing the non-inferiority of counselling for depression versus cognitive-behaviour therapy for patients in primary care meeting a diagnosis of moderate or severe depression (PRaCTICED): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials 18, 93. doi:10.1186/s13063-017-1834-6

Image of International Assessment of Technology in Health Care journal
© International Journal of Technology
Assessment in Health Care 
Scope, A., Booth, A., Morrell, C.J., Sutcliffe, P., Cantrell, A., 2017. Perceptions and experiences of interventions to prevent postnatal depression. A systematic review and qualitative evidence synthesis. Journal of Affective Disorders. 210, 100–110. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2016.12.017


Scope, A., Essat, M., Pandor, A., Rafia, R., Ward, S., Wyld, L., Cross, S., Woods, H., n.d. Gene expression profiling and expanded immunohistochemistry tests to guide selection of chemotherapy regimens in breast cancer management: a systematic review. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care.