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.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Cochrane Collaboration Issue 9, 2016…

….is almost complete.  The website now lists protocols, but we’ll just flag up the reviews and methodology papers in our current areas of interest; these being……
  • Insulin monotherapy compared with the addition of oral glucose‐lowering agents to insulin for people with type 2 diabetes already on insulin therapy and inadequate glycaemic control
  • Compression stockings for preventing deep vein thrombosis in airline passengers
  • Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation
  • Screening for genital chlamydia infection
  • Individual participant data meta-analyses compared with meta-analyses based on aggregate data

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Project update: NICE guidelines on harmful sexual behaviour in children and young people



Fiona Campbell, Andrew Booth, Anthea Sutton
Fiona Campbell, Andrew Booth, Anthea Sutton 
ScHARR have been involved in two systematic reviews of evidence that informed new NICE guidelines on harmful sexual behaviour in children and young people. Fiona Campbell, Anthea Sutton and Andrew Booth were part of a team - including Simon Hackett (Durham University) and Evgenia Stepanova (Barnardo's) - that undertook the review using quantitative and qualitative evidence to inform the development of the NICE guidance.


This is the first time NICE has published guidance to enable practitioners to help children and young people who display harmful sexual behaviour. For too long, this is an issue that has gone under the radar. ScHARR in collaboration with Durham university and Barnardo's undertook an appraisal of the evidence to inform the assessment and treatment of harmful sexual behaviour in children and young people.


Recommendations include a joined up approach between universal services, child health services, children's social services and the voluntary sector. Other recommendations include engaging with families and carers before beginning an intervention and tailoring it to meet the needs of the individual child or young person. The evidence reviews also highlighted gaps in existing research and recommendations were made for further research into the impact of electronic media on sexual behaviour.


NICE has published the guidance and also the systematic reviews and can be viewed below.

What’s bothering NICE?

If you want to know which methodological issues are bothering NICE about their Technology Appraisal Programme, then having a look at what the DSU is doing is a good start.  The DSU, based in HEDS is currently involved in work in the following areas:
  • New Technical Support Documents (TSDs) in partitioned survival analysis and in the calibration of treatment effects
  • Quality assurance of models which inform NICE Technology Appraisals

Further information is available here.

Monday, 26 September 2016

ScHARR Pemberton Lecture

"Alcohol: evidence-based policies and practical implementation – mind the gap" given by Professor Sir Ian Gilmore

Image: brew bottles by frankieloen

Monday 3 October 2016 at 17.30 followed by a wine reception, The University of Sheffield Students' Union Auditorium, Western Bank, Sheffield.

Alcohol has been part of human culture for more than five thousand years and remains a topic of continuing interest - everyone is an expert on why we drink and how much. There is now a wealth of scientific analysis of consumption and harm in populations that differ in ethnicity, gender, age, equity and other variables, and this has allowed a clear picture of what works and doesn’t work in optimising our troubled relationship with alcohol. However there are so many vested interests in our favourite drug that putting this evidence into practice has met with challenges that remain unresolved but infinitely fascinating.

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore is an honorary consultant physician at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and holds an honorary chair at the University of Liverpool. He is a past-president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the British Society of Gastroenterology. He is chairman of Liverpool Health Partners, created to promote an Academic Health Science System in the city and he chairs the UK Alcohol Health Alliance. He is also President of Alcohol Concern and is a member of the Climate and Health Council.

Free admission, by ticket only....but available here.

Friday, 23 September 2016

The economics of screening for ALD at a newborn screening

A bit of a delay on the HEDS news wire, but still very much news worthy is that our own Alice Bessey, Jim Chilcott and Jo Leavis gave an overview of the process to introduce X-ALD into new born screening to the UK which will support ALD Life’s application to the National Screening Committee. 

The talk titled 'Cost-effectiveness of including X-ALD in the NHS newborn screening programme' was delivered earlier this year at the ALD Life Community Weekend. It aimed to prove that it is economically beneficial to the NHS to test newborn babies for ALD (Adrenoleukodystrophy) at birth. The talk can be viewed below.


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Steve Pudney, new Professor in HEDS

Steve is an applied econometrician working mainly on health and disability issues. Before joining ScHARR as (part-time) Professor of Health Econometrics, he was Director of Research at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex. He remains co-Director of the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change and a member of the scientific leadership team of the Understanding Society household panel survey, both based at ISER.

Steve is currently involved in research projects in a number of health-related areas. One is the distributional character of public policy for older disabled people, particularly the target efficiency of the social care / disability benefit system. This involves extending conventional measures of income inequality and poverty to take account of estimates of the personal costs of disability. A second project looks at survey measurement of health, and particularly the use of blood-based biomarkers as health indicators for research on social science issues. A third, MRC-funded, project in collaboration with Monica Hernandez and Allan Wailoo, is examining the statistical problems of integrating evidence on quality of life from different measurement instruments, such as EQ-5D, HUI and SF-6D.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

New project: NICE topic

ScHARR-TAG has been allocated the following STA topic:
  • Sarilumab after TNFnhibitors for treating active rheumatoid arthritis [ID994] (16/108/06)
Image: Rheumatoid Arthritis in the hand by Wellcome Images


Friday, 16 September 2016

Inaugural lecture…..

“Assessing the evidence: a NICE journey” given by Eva Kaltenthaler, Professor of Health Technology Assessment.

In her inaugural lecture, Professor Eva Kaltenthaler will describe her work as a systematic reviewer undertaking technology appraisals for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the process used to assess new treatments for use in the NHS. Professor Kaltenthaler will discuss changes to research methods in systematic reviewing as well as changes to the NICE technology appraisal process over the past 15 years. She will outline her involvement in a range of research projects exploring the methods used in technology appraisal.  Professor Kaltenthaler will also briefly outline her earlier work using mixed methods research to study hygiene behaviour.

The lecture is on Wednesday 21 September 2016, 5.15pm-6.00pm (followed by a wine reception) in Lecture Theatre 4, The Diamond.

The lecture is free to attend and your place can be booked here.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

New NICE Technical Support Document (TSD)

Well sort of…..it’s an updated version of TSD 2, “A general linear modelling framework for pair-wise and network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials”.  Specifically, the coding to Example 6 (Psoriasis, from page 83 of the TSD) has been revised.

All TSDs are available from the DSU website here.

What are TSDs?  The TSDs are commissioned by NICE with the aim of providing further information about how to implement the approaches described in the current NICE Guide to the Methods of Technology Appraisal. They provide a review of the current state of the art in each topic area, and make clear recommendations on the implementation of methods and reporting standards where it is appropriate to do so. They aim to provide assistance to all those involved in submitting or critiquing evidence as part of NICE Technology Appraisals, whether companies, assessment groups or any other stakeholder type.
Image: nice by wallsdontlie

Monday, 12 September 2016

Latest Publications from HEDS

Despite the quiet summer months it has been a busy time for HEDS colleagues and their collaborators with several new papers published and about to appear in high profile journals.

© Springer
 Alshreef, A., Jenks, M., Green, W. and Dixon, S. (n.d.) ‘Review of Economic Submissions to NICE Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme’, Applied Health Economics and Health Policy.

Angus, C. R., Thomas, C., Anderson, P., Meier, P. and Brennan, A. (2016) ‘Estimating the cost-effectiveness of brief interventions for heavy  drinking in primary health care across Europe’, European Journal of Public Health, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy B - Oxford Open Option D.

Atienzo, E. E., Kaltenthaler, E. and Baxter, S. K. (n.d.) ‘Barriers and Facilitators to the Implementation of Interventions to Prevent Youth Violence in Latin America: A Systematic Review and Qualitative Evidence Synthesis’, Trauma, Violence, & Abuse.

Bowman, K., Delgado, J., Henley, W. E., Masoli, J. A., Kos, K., Brayne, C., Thokala, P., Lafortune, L., Kuchel, G. A., Ble, A., Melzer, D. and as part of the Ageing Well Programme of the NIHR School for Public Health Research, E. (2016) ‘Obesity in Older People With and Without Conditions Associated With Weight Loss: Follow-up of 955,000 Primary Care Patients.’, J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci [Online]. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27492450.

© Springer
Rafia, R., Scope, A., Harnan, S., Stevens, J. W., Stevenson, M. and Lobo, A. (n.d.) ‘Vedolizumab for Treating Moderately to Severely Active Crohn’s Disease After Prior Therapy: An Evidence Review Group Perspective of a NICE Single Technology Appraisal’, PharmacoEconomics


Rohwer, A., Pfadenhauer, L., Burns, J., Brereton, L., Gerhardus, A., Booth, A., Oortwijn, W. and Rehfuess, E. (2016) ‘Logic models help make sense of complexity in systematic reviews and health technology assessments.’, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Elsevier [Online]. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27498377.

Tappenden, P., Harnan, S., Ren, S., Thokala, P., Wong, R., Mukuria, C., Green, C., Pledge, S. and Tidy, J. (n.d.) ‘Olaparib for Maintenance Treatment of BRCA 1 or 2 Mutated, Relapsed, Platinum-Sensitive Ovarian, Fallopian Tube and Peritoneal Cancer in People Whose Relapsed Disease has Responded to Platinum-Based Chemotherapy: An Evidence Review Group Perspective of a NICE Single Technology Appraisal’, PharmacoEconomics.

© BMJ Publishing Group
Teo, C. H., Ng, C. J., Booth, A. and White, A. (2016) ‘Barriers and facilitators to health screening in men: A systematic review’, Social Science & Medicine.

Thomas, C., Breeze, P., Strong, M., Brennan, A., Norman, P., Cameron, D. and Epton, T. (n.d.) ‘The cost-effectiveness of an updated theory-based online health behavior intervention for new university students: U@Uni2’, Journal of Public Health & Epidemiology.

De Vocht, F., Heron, J., Campbell, R., Egan, M., Mooney, J. D., Angus, C., Brennan, A. and Hickman, M. (n.d.) ‘Testing the impact of local alcohol licencing policies on reported crime rates in England’, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, pp. jech–2016–207753–jech–2016–207753.