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Division of Health Sciences - Highlighted Research

The Division of Health Sciences (HS) integrates work from societal, social, psychological, organisational and bio-medical perspectives. HS focuses on the design and evaluation of interventions (behavioural, medical, technological and organisational), plus how the application of knowledge in these areas change clinical practice and ultimately health outcomes. The division's work includes applied health services research, methodological development/application of health sciences, as well as relevant theoretical enquiry and discovery science.

Below you will find a selection of our current and recent research projects:

Clinical Trials Unit (CTU)

Study Title Summary Principal Investigator(s) Funder

Pre-FIT: Prevention of Fall Injury Trial

The Prevention of Fall Injury Trial (Pre-FIT) (ISRCTN 71002650) is the largest trial of fall prevention interventions conducted to date, and is designed to answer a question of substantial public health significance: What is the comparative effectiveness of advice, exercise and a multi-factorial fall prevention (MFFP) programme on peripheral fractures among older people living in the community?

Prof. Sallie Lamb


PARAMEDIC: Prehospital randomised controlled trial of mechanical compression device in cardiac arrest

The PARAMEDIC trial is a collaboration between the Universities of Warwick, Coventry, Leeds, Southampton and Surrey and the Scottish, Welsh and West Midlands Ambulance Services. The PARAMEDIC trial will examine if the use of a new mechanical chest compression device (called LUCAS-2) will improve survival and other patient focused outcomes in victims of cardiac arrest.

Prof. Gavin Perkins and Dr. Simon Gates NCCHTA

PERSEPHONE: Duration of Trastuzumab with chemotherapy in early breast cancer: 6 versus 12 months

PERSEPHONE - is a randomised controlled multi-centre clinical trial in HER-2 positive early breast cancer. The standard arm is 12 months(m)adjuvant trastuzumab, compared with the experimental arm of 6m trastuzumab. Duration of trastuzumab 12m and 6 m will be compared. The trial has an equivalence or non-inferiority hypothesis, that the 6m trastuzumab, will be equivalent to standard 12m. All patients will receive chemotherapy and trastuzumab will be given either concurrently with chemotherapy, or sequentially after chemotherapy has been completed. Patients may also receive chemotherapy in the adjuvant or neoadjuvant setting. Patients will be stratified by the following treatment variables (among others ):(i) Timing of trastuzumab - Concurrent/sequential with chemotherapy; (ii)Type of chemotherapy - anthracycline-based/taxane-based; (iii)Timing of chemotherapy - adjuvant /neoadjuvant.

Prof. Helena Earl (Cambridge) and Prof. Janet Dunn (Warwick) NCCHTA

DRAFFT – Distal Radius Acute Fracture Fixation Trial

The Distal Radius Acute Fracture Fixation Trial is a Multi-centred, Randomised Controlled Trial which aims to directly compare the results of Kirschner wire fixation with Volar Locking plate fixation to inform the future management of adult patients with this type of injury. Across 16 UK centres, 390 participants will be recruited and followed up 12 months post injury. The primary outcome measure will be the Patient Reported Wrist Evaluation Score and secondary outcomes will include the Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder and Hand score, EQ-5D, complications, radiographs and resource use.

Mr. Matt Costa NCCHTA 

SAT – Shoulder Arthroplasty Trial

The Shoulder Arthroplasty Trial is the next study in a series of joint replacements trials conducted by Warwick Orthopaedics. Funded by the National Institute of Health research’s Research for Patient Benefit scheme, this pilot trial aims to compare clinical and cost effectiveness of hemi-resurfacing arthroplasty with total resurfacing arthroplasty. Patients will be randomly assigned to either group and assessments will be made of shoulder function, quality of life and complications during the first year post-surgery.

Prof. Damian Griffin


UK FASHIoN – UK Feasibility Study of a trial of Arthroscopic Surgery for Hip Impingement compared with Non-operative care

The optimal treatment for patients with femoro-acetabular impingment is still under debate. Numerous conservative treatment options are currently being used ranging from physiotherapy to analgesia to arthroscopic surgery. The aim of this feasibility study is to inform the design of a future randomised controlled trial investigating which treatment option is most clinical and cost effective. It will determine whether such a full trial would be feasible, and if so, how best to design it. Specific aspects under investigation are: number of eligible and willing patients, compliance and follow-up rates; equipoise amongst surgeons, physiotherapist, rheumatologist, sports medicine physicians; preparedness of patients to be randomised and of surgeons to randomise; estimation of the minimum clinically important difference and standard deviation. The study will be conducted in collaboration with experts at both Keele and Bristol University.

Prof. Damian Griffin NCCHTA

UK Heel Fracture Trial

Fractures of the calcaneus, or heel bone, are an important cause of hindfoot osteoarthritis. Hindfoot osteoarthritis may lead to pain, loss of function, inability to work, economic loss and occasionally necessitates sub-talar fusion. The UK Heel Fracture Trial is a pragmatic randomised controlled trial to estimate the effect of open reduction and internal fixation compared with non-operative treatment of displaced intra-articular fractures of the calcaneus. The trial recruited one hundred and fifty one participants from twenty-two UK hospitals during a three year period. The participants were followed-up with interim outcomes measured at 6, 12 & 18 months with the principal outcome, the Kerr Calcaneal Fracture Score, measured at two years following injury. The results of the trial will be available in 2012.

Prof. Damian Griffin Funder ARUK

Populations, Evidence and Technology (PET)

Study Title
Principal Investigator(s)

Warwick Evidence

Warwick Evidence undertakes reviews and evidence synthesis on the clinical and cost effectiveness of health care interventions on behalf of NICE. The team started work in April 2011 and have recently been successful in the retender process to continue this work from 2016-2021. Warwick Evidence is currently working on projects focused on cartilage defects in knees, treatment for type 2 diabetes, diagnosis of latent TB and My5FU chemotherapy for treatment of different cancers.

Prof Aileen Clarke


Warwick Evidence

Barriers and facilitators to implementation of NICE clinical guidance in UK practice: elective orthopaedic surgery for the treatment of end stage arthritis with total hip replacement. Evidence based practice is aimed at reducing variation within the National Health Service (NHS). It ensures that the most clinically and cost-effective procedures are used to treat patients. This research explores decision-making for hip replacement by orthopeadic surgeons, to identify potential barriers and facilitators to the implementation of evidence based guidance in practice. The research will include an initial meta-ethnographic review of the literature, followed by ethnographic case studies (including interviews, observations and document analysis) of three orthopeadic centres in NHS hospitals. The findings will inform the design of an intervention aimed at improving uptake and understanding of evidence by orthopaedic surgeons in the NHS.


Amy Grove


Royal College of Nursing Research Institute


Study Title
Principal Investigator (S)
GRIPP2 (Reporting of Patient and Public Involvement in Research)

The reporting of patient and public involvement in health research needs significant enhancement. The GRIPP checklist developed by the RCN RI represents the first international attempt to enhance the quality of PPI reporting. This study will utilise the GRIPP checklist and develop GRIPP 2 by following the method and consensus process utilised by the EQUATOR Network, an international initiative that seeks to enhance the reliability and value of medical research by promoting transparent and accurate reporting of research studies. The aim of the GRIPP 2 checklist will be to help researchers and service users improve the quality, content, detail, consistency, transparency, and completeness of their PPI reporting, thus strengthening the PPI evidence base, and ultimately enabling a clearer understanding of what PPI works, for whom, why and in what circumstances.

Sophie Staniszewska Internal
MOPE - New Models for Patient Experience This study is creating a new architecture for the National Patient Experiences Survey which is used in NHS Trusts. The new survey will be utilised across the NHS. Chris Graham NIHR
Improving outcomes for children with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / ME (CFS/ME)

Stage 1: a structured review and critical evaluation of the quality and acceptability of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) identified from published research to assess health status and quality of life of children with CFS/ME. Stage 2: a qualitative study exploring children’s’ experiences of CFS/ME and the identification of important outcomes. This stage will involve interviews with children and their parents / carers.

Kirstie Haywood (Warwick) and Esther Crawley (RNHRD, Bath; Bristol) Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD)
Meta ethnography for chronic pain This qualitative systematic review aims to increase understanding of what it is like to have chronic pain, using existing research to improve knowledge and inform best practice. It will bringing together published qualitative research which explores patients’ experiences of chronic non-malignant pain. It will do this using the methods of meta-ethnography, which is an interpretative process which aims to develop new conceptual understandings Francine Toye(Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre) NIHR


Social Science and Sytems in Health (SSSH)

Study Title
Principal Investigator(s)
The Safer Clinical Systems Approach 

A million people use healthcare services each day and the vast majority are treated without incident. However studies suggest that one in 10 patients admitted to hospital will experience some form of harm during their stay. In nearly every case, the problem is caused by unreliable healthcare systems and processes. That is why the Safer Clinical Systems programme (sponsored by the Health Foundation) is testing and demonstrating improvements to healthcare systems to make care safer. Safer Clinical Systems is a five-year programme which takes a fresh and proactive approach to safety improvement. Rather than waiting until a problem has occurred, the programme helps healthcare teams proactively identify potential safety breaches, enabling them to build better, safer healthcare systems

Prof. Matthew Cooke Health Foundation
The Vutivi Health Technology Project

Healthcare system design and the integration of digital and networked technology for patients with chronic conditions and antenatal women in primary healthcare within rural South Africa: A critical analysis. The World Health Organisation promotes the use of digital and networked technology, also known as m-Health and e-Health, as a means to improve health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries. This research explores the present and future implementation of e-Health within public healthcare facilities in rural South Africa

Jocelyn Watkins Economic and Social Research Council, and GE Healthcare Ltd
The LYNCS study

The research focuses on young people (aged 16-24 years) with long-term health conditions (eg diabetes, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell) as they tend to disengage from health services - resulting in poor health outcomes. It will investigate whether and how their engagement can be improved through the use of digital, clinical communication (direct patient-clinician communication with clinical content) and so improve health outcome.

Prof. Frances Griffiths

Prof. Jackie Sturt



Statistics and Epidemiology (SE)

Study Title
Principal Investigator(s)

Lifestyle and pharmacological interventions for the primary prevention of CVD

This programme of work is a collaboration between the Cochrane Heart Group (based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London) and Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick. The focus of the work is to examine the effects of lifestyle changes and drug therapy on modifiable risk factors (e.g. blood pressure, lipid levels) in the general population and in those at increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Karen Rees

NIHR Cochrane Programme Grant

Trial of ‘Families for Health’: helping families with children who are overweight to manage their weight

A randomised controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of ‘Families for Health’, a family-based childhood obesity treatment intervention delivered in a community setting for ages 7 to 11.

Dr. Wendy Robertson


Using Surrogate Endpoints for Decision-Making in Adaptive Seamless Designs

This project involves the development of statistical methodology for confirmatory clinical trials in which the best of a number of treatments is selected at an interim analysis. Such trials are challenging when the primary endpoint is observed only after long-term follow-up, since recruitment may have closed before sufficient data are observed to conduct the interim analysis. If a surrogate endpoint is observed more rapidly, this can be used alongside the primary endpoint for treatment selection. We aim to determine how to use the surrogate endpoint data as efficiently as possible.

Prof. Nigel Stallard

MRC Methodology Research Panel

InSPiRe:Innovative methodology for small populations research

An EU grant of €2.3m to bring together international experts in innovative clinical trial design methodology from across the globe. The focus will be on the development of novel methods for the design and analysis of clinical trials in rare diseases or small populations defined, for example, by a rare genetic marker.

Prof Nigel Stallard


Mental Health and Well Being (MHW)

Study Title

RCT of the effectiveness

of Group Family Nurse

Partnerships (gFNP),

end date: 31/12/16

Programme in improving preventing abuse.

Professor Jane Barlow