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Jacqueline Birks


NIHR - OXBRC Senior Medical Statistician

I am  senior medical statistician for the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (OXBRC).  I am an advisor for the South Central Research Design Service, and team  lead for the RDS team in CSM.

I have an extensive range of experience, covering quantitative genetics, clinical trials, individual patient data meta-analysis, analysis of longitudinal data, and diagnostic and prognostic tests. My interest range over a number of clinical specialities, including surgery, cardiology, emergency medicine, and geriatrics. I have  written many systematic reviews of interventions for dementia.

I am currently involved in the design and analysis of several clinical trials that are comparing  the introduction of electronic devices with paper charts for patient data collection. Oxford Biomedical Research Centre has completed several trials of devices, including an app for pregnant women to monitor blood glucose, and a tablet computer replacing paper charts  to record  vital signs on inpatients. In addition to the evaluation of the devices, we now have access to large electronic data sets which can be used for further research. One challenging problem is that of the early warning scores, derived from a patient’s current vital signs, used routinely in hospitals, but with little evidence that they identify patients who are deteriorating. I am interested in using statistical methods to develop a risk prediction model for deterioration that takes into account current and previous vital  signs. 

I am evaluating a risk prediction  algorithm,  for unidentified colorectal cancer, derived using machine learning methods . I am using routine patient data from the CPRD database, specifically complete blood count data. In parallel, using the CPRD data I am developing a risk prediction model using a statistical model. I am interested in evaluating the implementation of risk prediction  models in practice.

Clinical trials that compare an new non surgical intervention with an existing surgical intervention often arouse strong feelings. I have been the statistician on such a trial, the International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial (ISAT) for many years. This trial compared neurosurgical clipping with endovascular coiling, in the treatment of ruptured intracranial aneurysms. The first publication in 2002 showed a clear benefit of coiling compared with surgery, but some have questioned the longer term benefits.   To answer these questions it is important to follow up patients as we have been doing for nearly 20 years in ISAT. Mortality can be assessed using routinely collected data but the problems I am interested in is dealing with the missing data on the outcomes important to patients.


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