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Epidemiology and Large Datasets

Epidemiology and Large Datasets

Epidemiology as applied to public health and health services research; design and analysis of studies with clustered data; large datasets and electronic patient records; obesity, chronic disease prevention, ageing and antimicrobial utilisation. 

Current Research Projects

eCRT: Cluster randomised trials in a primary care database

This project is funded by the Wellcome Trust through the joint initiative on electronic patient records. The project aims to implement two cluster randomised trials in a primary care database with applications in antibiotic prescribing and stroke secondary prevention. The project is being implemented in collaboration with the University of Southampton (Paul Little, Lucy Yardley, Lisa McDermott) and GPRD, MHRA (Tjeerd van Staa).

Lead PI: Professor Martin Gulliford


Role of primary care in translating effective lifestyle modification strategies

This project is supported by the National Prevention Research Initiative (NPRI, Phase 3). The project will build on Markov model, drawing on GPRD data, to model the long-term outcomes and costs of lifestyle interventions in primary care. The project commences in 2010 and will be implemented in collaboration with the London School of Economics (Caroline Rudisill, Alistair McGuire) and GPRD, MHRA (Tjeerd van Staa).

Lead PI: Professor Martin Gulliford


Health Inequalities

Our group have been using Lambeth DataNet to explore health inequalities in Lambeth, and the determinants of health inequalities. The database contains anonymised primary care data from 340,000 patients registered at general practices in Lambeth. Recent projects have included an exploration of health inequalities in blood pressure control, diabetes control and the use of anti-thrombolytic therapy in atrial fibrillation.

We have recently agreed an Information Sharing Agreement enabling us to link and share anonymised data between the CRIS (Case Register Interactive Research) database held at the Institute of Psychiatry, and the East London database (primary care data from Newham, City & Hackney and Tower Hamlets).

Our first project linking Lambeth DataNet with the East London database has created a database of 1.1m patients with high proportions of African Caribbean (Lambeth) and South Asian (East London) ethnicities. Linkage took place in late 2011 and the first results of a study of inequalities in the management of atrial fibrillation emerged in early 2012.

The group is also represented on the Lambeth Health Inequalities Group (LHIN) chaired by Dr Ruth Wallis, Director of Public Health, Lambeth.

Lead PI: Dr Mark Ashworth


Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) research

The theme of health inequalities has continued with our work on QOF. Our group has accumulated a complete dataset of QOF data covering all 8000+ general practices in England since 2004. This has been linked to practice and demographic variables, enabling us to explore inequalities in the achievement of QOF targets. In 2009, Maria Kordowicz joined our group and developed the qualitative side of our research, exploring the link between QOF performance and the organisational characteristics of general practices. More recently, we have been working on the link between QOF performance and the delivery of public health outcomes.

Lead PI: Dr Mark Ashworth


Psychometric outcome measures research

Our group devised PSYCHLOPS (Psychological Outcome Profiles), a patient-generated mental health outcome measure. The copyright for PSYCHLOPS is held by Department of Population Health Sciences. This instrument is the only idiographic outcome measure which is self completed and feasible for use in primary care. We have conducted several quantitative and qualitative studies to define its psychometric properties and its niche as an outcome measure. It has been included in the Department of Health’s ‘Outcome Compendium’. We have been involved in several international studies of PSYCHLOPS including collaborations with universities in Holland, Poland, Iceland and Portugal.

Lead PI: Dr Mark Ashworth 


Antibiotic research

Together with Martin Gulliford, I have been involved in projects exploring antibiotic prescribing in primary care. This research was based on an analysis of GP consultations resulting in an antibiotic prescription, especially in respiratory tract infections, and identified using GPRD data. We are now hoping to build on this research and study antibiotic  prescribing patterns during the swine flu epidemic.

Lead PI: Dr Mark Ashworth


People & Contact Us

Professor Martin Gulliford, Professor of Public Health

Department of Population Health Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine
King's College London
5th floor Addison House
London, SE1 1UL

Tel: 020 7848 6631
Fax: 020 7848 6620

Dr Mariam Molokhia, Reader in Epidemiology and Primary Care

Dr Mark Ashworth, Clinical Senior Lecturer

Department of Population Health Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine
King's College London
3rd Floor Addison House

Tel: 020 7848 8700
Fax: 020 7848 6620

  • Dr Peter Schofield, Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr Elizabeth Brown, Clinical Research Fellow
  • Alex Dregan, Lecturer in Translational Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Dr Judith Charlton, Research Assistant
  • Jennifer Nicholas, PhD student
  • Maria Kordowicz, PhD Student


Grant funded collaborations within the Department

Title:  Cluster randomised trials in a primary care database: utilising electronic patient records for intervention research.
Applicants/Collaborators:  Gulliford M, Ashworth M, Grieve A, Heuschmann P, Little P, van Staa T, Toshcke M, Wolfe C, Yardley L.
Funding body: Wellcome Trust

Title:  Translating lifestyle interventions for disease prevention into primary care: modelling long-term changes in health.
Applicants/Collaborators:  Gulliford M, Ashworth M, Grieve A, Heuschmann P, Little P, van Staa T, Toshcke M, Wolfe C, Yardley L.
Funding body: MRC

Title:  Vascular risk screening: evaluation of a new public health initiative.
Applicants/Collaborators:  Gulliford M, Delaney B, Ashworth M, Dodhia H, Connolly A-M. 
Funding body: Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charitable Foundation

Grant funded collaborations with other departments and institutions

Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London

Title:  A programme of research to develop and test a package of stepped collaborative care for patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and depression in primary care (HEARTS in MIND). 
PI’s/Collaborators:  Tylee A, Morris I, Brown J, Mann A, Murray J, Rose D, Ashworth M,  Churchill R, McCrone P, Walters P, Leese M. Chambers J.
Funding body: NIHR: Programme Grant. 

Title:  A multi-centre RCT comparing the effectiveness of advanced motivational interviewing with usual care for reducing cardiovascular disease risk. 
Applicants/Collaborators:  Ismail K, Winkley K, Ashworth M, Treasure J, Greenough A, Whincup P, Stahl D, McCrone P, Cook D, de Zoysa N. 
Funding body: NIHR, HTA Programme 

Title:  Mental and Physical Health in Lambeth.
Applicants/Collaborators:  Henderson M, Schofield P, Hotopf M, Ashworth M. 
Funding body: MRC Research Grants

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