Ben Kearns

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD

School of Health and Related Research

Research Fellow

Ben Kearns
b.kearns@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 6380

Full contact details

Ben Kearns
School of Health and Related Research
Regent Court (ScHARR)
30 Regent Street
Sheffield
S1 4DA
Profile

I am a Research Fellow in Health Economics and Decision Modelling at the University of Sheffield. My PhD focused on the use of Bayesian dynamic survival models for the analysis and extrapolation of survival data. This included extensions to incorporate external evidence, cure fraction models, and time-varying treatment effects.

I have substantial experience of health technology assessments, and the use of statistical methods to support appraisals. This includes a number of oncology appraisals, and leading projects such as the first UK options-appraisal of screening for ovarian cancer, evaluating pathway (service) re-design options for individuals with diabetes and depression, and providing independent critiques of company submissions to the NICE Technology Appraisal programme. I have worked for a variety of decision-makers and clients including NICE, the Department of Health, NHS Cancer Screening Programmes, and pharmaceutical companies. I have also delivered training to both NICE technical staff and the ABPI, and regularly peer-reviews for the Lancet and NIHR.

I am module lead for HAR6119: Building Cost-effectiveness Models for Health Technology Assessment (online), the deputy lead for HAR6167: Cost-effectiveness Modelling for Health Technology Assessment, and my section lead for the ScHARR Information Governance Committee.

Research interests
  • The use of statistics in health economics
  • Extrapolation and time-series analyses
  • Survival analysis and model uncertainty
  • Vascular disease, cancer, depression
  • Chronic diseases, mental ill health, and their interactions
  • The use of health economics for pathway (service) re-design
  • Mathematical modelling, including simulation

Current projects

I currently work for EEPRU and the NICE DSU on a variety of projects, including ‘Models for the evaluation and purchase of antimicrobials’. I am also actively engaged with knowledge exchange consultancy. I shall be starting an NIHR DSEA exploring the use of evidence synthesis and machine learning methods to incorporate external evidence when extrapolating baseline hazard functions.

Publications

Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles

Chapters

Conference proceedings papers

Reports

  • Whyte S, Thomas C, Kearns B, Webster M & Chilcott J (2017) Optimising Bowel Cancer Screening Phase 1: Optimising the cost effectiveness of repeated FIT screening and screening strategies combining bowel scope and FIT screening View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kearns B, Rafia R, Leaviss J, Preston L, Wong R, Brazier J, Palmer S & Ara R (2014) Whole pathway modelling of depression in patients. (Theme 2: Mental Health). Appendices. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kearns B, Rafia R, Leaviss J, Preston L, Wong R, Brazier J, Palmer S & Ara R (2014) Whole pathway modelling of depression in patients. (Theme 2: Mental Health). Part 1, Executive summary, introduction, clinical reviews and conceptual modelling. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kearns B, Rafia R, Leaviss J, Preston L, Wong R, Brazier J, Palmer S & Ara R (2014) Whole pathway modelling of depression in patients. (Theme 2: Mental Health). Part 2. Independent economic evaluation: methods and results, discussion and conclusion RIS download Bibtex download
  • Ara R, Kearns B, Mukuria C, van Hout B & Brazier JE (2013) Examining productivity losses associated with health related quality of life using patient and general population data. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • ara R, van hout B, Kearns B & Brazier JE (2013) Case-mix methodology for the NHS outcomes framework GP Patient Survey Questionnaire Data View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Software / Code

Datasets

Teaching interests

I teach (or have taught) students on the following courses:

  • HAR6119: Building Cost-effectiveness Models for Health Technology Assessment (Module leader)
  • HAR6167: Cost-effectiveness Modelling for Health Technology Assessment (Deputy module leader)
  • HAR6172: Advanced Simulation Methods
  • HAR6240: Health Service Research Methods
  • HAR6059: Informatics for Public Health
  • HAR669: Health Research Methods

I have also supervised masters dissertations for the MSc Health Economics and Decision Modelling, the Master of Public Health (Management and Leadership), and the MSc Statistics with Medical Applications.” Should be amended with an extra sentence at the end “I have also supervised a PhD short project.

My teaching interests include:

  • The use of decision-analytical models (Decision Trees and Markov Models) in technology assessment.
  • Incorporating and evaluating uncertainty within decision-analytical models.
  • Uses of observational data and alternatives to randomised controlled trials. 
Professional activities
  • Within ScHARR, I am a member of the Modellers Academic Group, Statistical Academic Group, the Public Involvement Group, and the Big Data Group.
  • I am a member of, and the public involvement lead for, the CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber Health Economics and Outcome Measurement Theme.
  • I am a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.
  • I am an invited expert for the NICE Scientific Advice programme.
  • I regularly peer-review journal articles (inc. The Lancet and BMJ), funding submissions (NIHR and MRC) and conference abstracts (SMDM). I have also been a Guest Academic Editor for PLOS One. 
  • I have undertaken privately commissioned work for industrial companies and a University and have been invited to deliver talks at a number of international conferences.