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Laura Whitehead


I am in the writing up stage of my PhD at Warwick Medical School. My research aims to develop a core outcome set for cardiac arrest clinical trials, this is a small group of outcomes that should be reported routinely across cardiac arrest research increasing standardisation and comparability of outcome reporting across trials.

Prior to starting my PhD I studied Medical Science (BMedSc) at the University of Birmingham. Throughout my PhD I have presented my research findings at a number of international conferences. Most recently I presented my research at the European Resuscitation Council Congress, where I was awarded the Young European Investigtor Ian Jacobs award.

Research Interests

Core outcomes sets, outcome reporting, cardiac arrest effectivenees trials, mixed methods research, qualitative research, interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), patient and public involvement.

Research Summary

In developing a core outcome set (COS) for cardiac arrest effectiveness trials we need to consider which outcomes are the most important outcomes that should be measured as a minimum across all trials in this field.

The first stage of this research was to identify the range of outcome reporting across current trials. A systematic review of RCTs published (2002-2012) highlighted great heterogenity in outcome reporting, further indicating a need for a COS(1). This review also indicated limited long term and patient centred assessment. Following this in-depth interviews were conducted with survivors of cardiac arrest and their partners to understand the health outcomes that are important to their experience and recovery.

Once potential outcomes were identified consensus on the most important of these was sought in a two-round international Delphi survey with both healthcare professional/researcher and patient/partner groups. Results of this survey informed the final stage of this research, a consensus meeting with international expert healthcare professionals and researchers and patient representatives to define a core outcome set and to begin to explore how to measure these outcomes.

Throughout my research I have worked closely with the patient and public involvement group: the Clinical Research Ambassador Group (CRAG) at Heartlands Hospital Birmingham (Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust) in the design of this research.

References: (1) Whitehead L, Perkins GD, Clarey A, Haywood KL. A systematic review of the outcomes reported in cardiac arrest clinical trials: The need for a core outcome set. Resuscitation. 2015;88C:150-157.


My PhD has been supervised by:

Dr. Kirstie Haywood (WMS- RCNRI)

Professor Gavin Perkins (WMS- CTU)


Laura Whitehead

Laura dot Whitehead at warwick dot ac dot uk