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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 

Hospital Health Sciences (HS)

Study Title
Principal Investigator(s)

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)

The PsyWell Trial (ISRCTN 48134476)

The PsyWell Trial (ISRCTN 48134476) is a randomised controlled trial evaluation of an internet based cognitive behaviour therapy training tool (MoodGYM) to improve mental wellbeing in the general population (3070 participants recruited). Our primary outcome measure is the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS). The trial is a collaboration between the University of Warwick, The Australian National University, and NHS Choices.

Dr. John Powell

NHS Choices

DIIA Innovation Platform

The study is designed to provide early health economic data to inform the development of a DIIA (Detection & Identification of Infectious Agents) Innovation Platform. The aim is to support the Technology Strategy Board, which in partnership with the Department of Health is investing up to £55m in collaborative research and development projects to develop point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tools to assist clinicians and health workers in the management of key infections.

Prof Ala Szczepura

Technology Strategy Board & Dept Health

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 expanded. Professor Norman Waugh has joined us along with three of his group from Aberdeen University. Warwick Evidence is currently working on projects focused on treatment of prostate cancer, spinal metastases, diabetes and interventions for Adult ADHD. Future topics include: treatment for type 2 diabetes and ventilator associated pneumonia.

Prof Aileen Clarke

Funded by National Institute for Health Research

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

Social Science and Sytems in Health (SSSH)

Study Title
Principal Investigator(s)
The Emergence of Artificial Culture in Robot Societies This interdisciplinary project explores how robots can be used to understand complex systems and the emergence of the new patterns of behaviour in such systems. Through the use of robots, both embodied and virtual, the team is developing a participatory platform through which to present to the public, models of how society functions. The aim is to better understand the link between micro-processes (interactions between individual agents) and macro level behaviours (characteristics of the system or society as a whole). Prof. Frances Griffiths (Warwick) EPSRC
Receiving end of life care at home: experiences of bereaved carers of cancer patients cared for by health care assistants Health care assistants provide nursing, social and emotional support for patients receiving end of life care at home yet little research has focused on the care they provide. This project uses qualitative methods to explore the details of the care they provide from the perspective of bereaved carers. We will interview bereaved carers who have received home care respite services from health care assistants in three different research sites. We will explore the role of the health care assistant and the benefits and challenges of receiving the service. This project is undertaken in collaboration with the University of Sheffield. Dr. Dan Munday  Dimberly Cancer Care
Warwick Spinal Immobiliser Spinal cord injury has devastating consequences, and it is known that current devices used to try to prevent this do not provide complete immobilisation of the cervical spine of injured patients. This study will develop and test a newly-designed spinal immobiliser to determine whether it provides better immobilisation whilst also overcoming some of the other limitations of devices in current clinical use. Prof. Matthew Cooke National Institute for Health Research, Invention for Innovation