HEOM PhD students 

HEOM012 PhD project 

Economics of interventions in early childhood

Contact: Richard Mattock

The thesis will attempt to determine appropriate methods to be used in economic evaluations conducted for interventions aimed at children in the early years of development (ages 0-5). The introductory sections will discuss methodological issues based on the unique features of childhood and development. These methods will then be used to inform 1-3 applied economic evaluations for specific interventions. The discussion will focus on how these economic evaluations can be used to inform policy, an assessment of the methodology used, and areas of research that need to be developed in the future.
HEOM013 PhD project

Expert elicitation in decision analytic modelling

Contact: Dina Jankovic

Expert elicitation refers to a formal, structured process of extracting opinions about uncertain quantities or probabilities from individuals considered to be experts in the relevant field. It has been used as a tool for quantifying uncertainty in a number of fields: military intelligence, nuclear industry, engineering, environmental studies and more, but remain relatively unexplored in healthcare. Potential barriers to using elicitation could be reluctance to use subjective opinion as evidence in policy making, the lack of confidence in the ability of experts to correctly estimate parameters, concerns regarding the role of bias in subjective opinion (ie can experts’ personal interest affect their opinion) and the lack of guidelines on how to design and conduct the elicitation process.
HEOM014 PhD project

Free Exercise! 
Does the Leeds Let's Get Active (LLGA) scheme help to increase physical activity and reduce health inequalities?

Contact: Francesco Candio

This PhD thesis is based around the economic evaluation of a public health intervention (the Leeds Let’s Get Active scheme) which aimed to get inactive people exercising and reduce health inequalities.

Secondary data analysis and economic modelling will be employed to explore intervention cost-effectiveness. This case study will be used to address identified challenges in economic evaluation methods for population-level interventions in a public health scenario of multiple outcomes and commissioning decision-makers.            
HEOM015 PhD project

Exploring the economics of unified budgets for health and social care

Contact: Hannah Penton

Better care plans are currently being developed by Clinical Commissioning Groups to aid this transition to unified budgets, critically in helping to identify where cost savings can be made for both the NHS and social services.  Policies with multi-sectoral impacts may also require different methodologies to assess cost-effectiveness and there will be additional considerations in considering how to consolidate the various outcomes.
Methods used to assess cost-effectiveness in healthcare may not be appropriate when assessing social care interventions and there may be additional issues when consolidating outcomes observed in both areas, particularly when trade-offs may have to be made. Measures of benefit such as the QALY may also be inappropriate in social care. The use of well-being measures may be more appropriate.
HEOM016 PhD project

Marginalised communities

Contact: Paolo Ramponi
 Within Yorkshire and Humber there are several communities who access health care in a different way from the general population. For example prisoners and travellers are two groups who are likely to have different access to health professionals compared with the general population. While there are studies of cost-effectiveness in these populations, there is potential for more work, both applied and methodological, in this area.

This studentship will focus on evaluating cost-effectiveness of interventions in these marginalised groups. It is anticipated that for these groups, cross sectoral and cross temporal effects are likely to be important. For example, for prisoners maximising health is a key objective but reduction in re-offending (cross sectoral with criminal justice) in the longer term (cross temporal) is also likely to be an important concern.
HEOM023 PhD project

Identifying the facilitators and barriers to implementing the routine use of outcome measures in third sector wellbeing organisations

Contact: Alexis Foster

Alexis Foster is exploring how to improve the evidence base of health and wellbeing activities run by charities and other not for profit organisations. This is because whilst people attending community activities report they find them useful, we know little about whether their health and wellbeing actually improves. The specific focus of the fellowship is looking at the facilitators and barriers to using outcome measures routinely in third sector organisations. Throughout the fellowship, a community based participatory approach will be taken, where the research will be conducted collaboratively with stakeholders.

HEOM022 PhD project

Guidance on good practice methods for predicting future outcomes in health technology assessment (HTA)

Contact: Ben Kearns

Benjamin Kearns’ fellowship is looking 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 builds on previous and on-going work to produce good-practice guidance to assist with producing and communicating predictions of the future.