The research focus of this section is on the application of epidemiological and
biostatistical methods across the spectrum of health, disease and disability from
clinical practice to public health.
Research is currently undertaken mainly in three domains:
- public health epidemiology and biostatistics
- health services / clinical epidemiology and biostatistics
- public health: clinical services interface.
The section also houses a quantitative research consultancy service that
provides support across all the domains above and also supports biomedical
The Public Health Epidemiology and Biostatistics domain currently has five
key research groupings:
- Non-Communicable Diseases and Surveillance (a research group focusing
on CVD and diabetes, nutrition, obesity and physical activity, and smoking).
(a nationwide network focusing on human health and the environment, coordinated
by the Section of Epidemology and Biostatistics. Current research areas include: housing
health - the indoor environment, environmental health indicators, infectious disease
in daycare facilities.
- Injury and Trauma (a research group focused mainly on road traffic injury
- Burden of Alcohol (a research group quantifying the burden of death, disease
and disability related to alcohol consumption in NZ).
- Life Course Research (this is a new field of research for the section which
examines the relative impact of exposures from the beginning through to the end
of life on health).
- ViDA is a randomised control
trial which aims to find out about the possible effect of vitamin D supplements
on the incidence of heart disease, respiratory disease, and on falls and
fractures. 5110 people aged 50-84 years have been followed up until late 2015.
At the beginning of the study participants come to the Tāmaki Campus clinics for
an initial visit, where they have a blood sample taken, they provide information
about their health status and medical history, and a series of physical
activities are completed and measurements are taken.
The Health Services/Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics domain is organised within
the Effective Practice, Informatics and Quality improvement (EPIQ) group.
EPIQ has three inter-related subgroups:
- Effective Practice
- Informatics/Knowledge Management
- Quality Improvement
research activity at present is focused around PREDICT, a web-based platform for
providing ‘moment of care’ evidence-based decision support practitioners for getting
research into practice. The programme also generates research from practice by keeping
a record of the patient-practitioner interaction. Current PREDICT projects include
primary care-based CVD and diabetes risk management and risk assessment/prioritisation
for coronary artery bypass grafting.
The section's Public Health: Clinical Services Interface domain is developing
research expertise in screening, which draws on both public health sciences because
the context is a population and clinical sciences because the activity involves
a clinical action. Our current screening research activities include:
- CVD and diabetes risk
- cervical cancer (the section is involved in the National Cervical Cancer Screening
- breast screening (the section has recently agreed to provide support for evaluating
the National Breast Cancer Screening Programme)
The Quantitative Research Methods Consulting Service includes three full-time biostatisticians
who were previously employed as part of the national HRC funded biostatistics support
services in the four main centres.The biostatistics group is now funded by the University
and continues to provide a consultancy service for researchers in biomedical, clinical/health
services and public health fields.