Edinburgh RSS local group
Meetings 2018 - Archive

Tuesday 27 Nov 2018, Nov. The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (nearly) two decades on: what have we learned?

Speaker: Elizabeth Fraser
Affiliation: Communities Analysis Division, Scottish Government

Abstract: Since the early 00s, The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation has been used to measure different aspects of inequality at a small spatial scale. To date, there have been five updates, with the next one planned for 2019. The SIMD has been extensively used by a range of stakeholders to target resources, develop policy and strategy and as an analytical resource to support commissioning and explore the nature and extent of inequality. The Index has also captured the imagination of organisations and individuals working at a local level by demonstrating in a clear and accessible way how social and economic forces have shaped and maintained these inequalities, and how action at the local, regional and national levels can be framed to improve conditions in those communities experiencing the highest levels of deprivation. This talk provides a historic overview of measuring inequality using these indices, and reflects on the current situation and potential for future developments.

Tuesday 27 Mar 2018, More effective and efficient trial design and conduct

1. John Norrie, Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit, Centre for Population Health Sciences, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh
Designing Trials that are both Efficient and Pragmatic: what are the synergies, and what are the tensions?.

2. Shaun Treweek, Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen
Trial Forge: what it (and we) can do to improve trial efficiency


1. John Norrie
This talk will consider issues, mainly around design, of trials that are required to be both pragmatic and efficient. Through considering the usual PICO (Population, Intervention, Control, and Outcomes) paradigm, it will identify and discuss strategies which are both pragmatic and efficient (the synergies), either mainly pragmatic or mainly efficient, and intriguingly try to tease out when the demands of pragmatism and efficiency could clash (the tensions). Various trial designs will be highlighted, mainly through examples of publicly funded trials designed and run by the author funded from the UK National Institute of Health Research / Health Technology Assessment Programme (NIHR/HTA).

2. Shaun Treweek
Trials are important; very often they are also inefficient. Trial Forge (http://trialforge.org) aims to improve trial efficiency by identifying and then filling gaps in trial methods research. Coordination and collaboration are key: letting a thousand flowers bloom is all very well but it does mean that evidence to support trial decisions is patchy and accumulates very slowly. Shaun and other Trial Forge collaborators have some ideas about how we can improve the efficiency of trials, particularly around recruitment and retention. The talk will use the 2018 update to the Cochrane recruitment review to highlight what we need to do to build an evidence base for trial recruitment decision-making. Examples from retention will also be presented and discussed. Finally, in addition to talking about what Trial Forge is doing, the talk will suggest ways in which you can contribute to it.