How can we all best use scientific evidence?

Media coverage of the use of statins to prevent cardiovascular disease, of Tamiflu to treat flu and of the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer have opened up public debate about medical and scientific claims.

CLAHRC researcher and leader of our behaviour change theme Professor Rob Horne (pictured below) has helped produce new resources for professionals and patients to improve the way evidence about medicines is communicated.

Professor Horne is part of a prestigious Oversight Group within the Academy of Medical Sciences looking at how scientific evidence around medicines can best be communicated and understood.

Their report entitled Enhancing the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines aims to address problems that can arise from poor-quality evidence about medicines, or misrepresentation or misperception of evidence.

The report and associated resources will help health professionals to improve the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines. This will lead to better, more informed conversations between professional and patient about the benefits and risks of prescribing (or not prescribing) a particular medicine.

Other resources produced as part of this work include a pocket guide for patients entitled Helping you decide whether to take a medicine

 

Professor Robert Horne

Prof Rob Horne founded the Centre for Behavioural Medicine at the UCL School of Pharmacy in 2006 and has developed a range of valid and reliable tools to assess patient perspectives of illness and treatments. Over the past decade, his research has generated over 140 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and research grants over £10M (as PI and co-applicant). Rob was designated a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 2010 and was appointed a NIHR Senior Investigator in 2011. In 2012 he was appointed as UCL’s academic lead for the Centre for the Advancement of Sustainable Medical Innovation (CASMI), a joint undertaking with the University of Oxford. In 2005/6 he led a scoping exercise commissioned by the NIHR Service Delivery and Organisation (SDO) Programme to produce a conceptual map of compliance, adherence and concordance and to identify priorities for future research. This work formed the basis for the NICE Medicine Adherence Guidelines which he co-authored in 2009. He has also advised the European Parliament, MRC, DoH, NHS and the WHO.

 

Prof Steph Taylor

Stephanie Taylor is Professor in Public Health and Primary Care. Her research interests include complex interventions, chronic disease management and the self management of chronic conditions.

She has led a number of systematic reviews of quantitative research evidence and is currently involved in a number of clinical trials of complex interventions in the community. She is principal investigator on an NIHR programme grant looking at a novel self management intervention for chronic musculoskeletal pain (COPERS), and co investigator on a large study of the effect of promoting physical activity on depression amongst residents in residential and nursing homes (OPERA).

Stephanie sits on the NICE Public Health Interventions Advisory Committee. She is an expert advisor on self care of non-communicable diseases to the World Health Organisation.

Taxonomy for the Rehabilitation of Knee Conditions (TRAK), a Digital Intervention to Support the Self-Care Components of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rehabilitation: Protocol of a Feasibility Study

Jo Hornby

Jo is currently working on the Digital Alcohol Management on Demand (DIAMOND) feasibility trial comparing face to face alcohol treatment with supported access to web based treatment for hazardous or harmful drinkers.

Prior to joining the e-Health Unit, I was a Clinical Project Manager involved in the management of a cell therapy trial with Cell Therapy Catapult at Guy’s Hospital. Previously I was a Clinical Trial Agreements Associate at Kings Health Partners Clinical Trial Office and worked at several large pharmaceutical companies as a Clinical Project Manager. I have experience in Phase I to IV clinical trials covering the therapeutic areas of anti-infectives, osteoporosis, oncology, cardiovascular and diabetes. I have a PhD in Biotechnology and BSc Microbiology (Hons).

Dr Fiona Hamilton

Fiona is currently working on the Digital Alcohol Management on Demand (DIAMOND) feasibility trial comparing face to face alcohol treatment with supported access to web based treatment for hazardous or harmful drinkers.

I worked as a GP for five years in South London before training in Public Health Medicine. My PhD examined the impact of pay for performance (such as the national Quality & Outcomes Framework) on smoking cessation work in primary care, and alcohol screening and brief intervention, with a focus on inequalities. My current research area is e-Health initiatives to address behaviour change in people with hazardous and harmful alcohol use.