Ms Deirdre O’Brien MSc.

Research Fellow

Health Economics


Contact details

Health Economics
School of Health and Population Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Deirdre O’Brien is a Research Fellow at the Health Economics Unit, University of Birmingham.

She is an enthusiastic researcher who is interested in issues such as economic evaluation, systematic review, modelling and economic analysis alongside clinical studies. She has a special interest in evaluation health care interventions for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease


  • MSc Health Economics and Health Policy, University of Birmingham (2011)
  • BA in Economics and Business, University of Dublin, Trinity College (2006)


Before joining the Health Economics Unit, Deirdre O’Brien qualified with a BA (Joint Hons) in Economics and Business from the University of Dublin, Trinity College in 2006. She went on to join Air Products, a leading home respiratory service provider where she worked with health professionals in Ireland and the UK developing and delivering new home respiratory services.

In 2011, Deirdre obtained an MSc in Health Economics and Health Policy from the University of Birmingham after which she joined ICF GHK consulting. Here she led, or contributed to, the quantitative analysis of many health-related research projects. She also completed a six month part-time secondment to Monitor, the new health and Social care regulator.

In 2012 Deirdre joined the Health Economics Unit as a Research Fellow where she is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to conduct health economic and cost-effectiveness analysis on intervention for treating of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD. She is currently involved in two HTAs reviewing the cost-effectiveness of NIV and self-management interventions in patients with COPD. She is also supporting the BLISS Trial, a project aimed at setting up a primary care COPD cohort to test novel health service interventions.


Health Economics and Health Policy MSc/Postgraduate Diploma


Deirdre is currently leading the health economic aspects of the Health Technology Appraisal (HTA) to review ‘supported self-management for patients with moderate to severe COPD’. This is an evidence synthesis and economic analysis. Her role in involves systematic review of the cost-effectiveness of self-management and conducting a cost-effectiveness analysis, building an economic model to compare self-management with usual care.

She is also supporting the health economic aspects of the HTA to systematically review the evidence on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of community based non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in patients with stable end stage COPD with hypercapnic respiratory failure who have required assisted ventilation during an exacerbation or who are hypercapnic on long term oxygen therapy (LTOT). This will also use a model based cost-utility analysis to determine the cost-effectiveness of community based NIV in this population.

Other projects she is involved in include supporting the BLISS Trial, a project aimed at setting up a primary care COPD cohort to test novel health service interventions. Specifically this projects aims to:
1. Ascertain the cost-effectiveness of the addition of active case finding, compared with opportunistic-only case finding for COPD in primary care
2. Test the validity of existing COPD prognostic indices in a primary care COPD population and develop an improved prognostic index
3. Identify factors associated with employment, absenteeism and presenteeism amongst those with COPD of working age
4. Assess feasibility and benefits of formal occupational health assessment amongst those with poor work performance
Deirdre will lead on the trial-based economic evaluation design, data collection and analysis.

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