Jac Dinnes is a Senior Researcher in the Unit of Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Birmingham UK. She is currently researching the methodology behind the evaluation of biomarkers for monitoring purposes. Her main interests lie in methodological research to identify and validate the best ways of designing and analysing studies to evaluate medical tests used for diagnostic and monitoring purposes.
Jac Dinnes qualified with an MA (Hons) in Economic Science from the University of Aberdeen in 1993. She then completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Information Analysis and went on to work as a systematic reviewer for the NHS in Scotland, advising Health Boards on major purchasing decisions. Since then she has held academic positions at the University of York (UK) and the University of Southampton (UK), completing an MSc in Public Health and more recently a PhD. Her work includes systematic reviews across a range of clinical applications and methodological work to support the systematic review process both for therapeutic interventions and diagnostic tests and more recently has focused on identifying the best ways of designing and analysing studies evaluating medical tests used for monitoring purposes.
Jac is a peer reviewer for the Cochrane Collaboration Wounds Group and for the new Diagnostic Test Accuracy Reviews.
Diagnostic research; systematic review methodology
Biomarkers for monitoring
She is currently working on an NIHR funded project evaluating the benefits of new and existing biological fluid biomarkers in liver and renal disease. She is focusing on the methodological component of the Programme Grant under the supervision of Professor Jon Deeks. The aim is to develop a framework that defines the minimum evidence required to justify and guide the use of biomarkers within formal monitoring rules or strategies.
Diagnostic test evaluations
Her interest in diagnostic test research is longstanding. She contributed to the development of the QUADAS tool (Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies) and more recently completed her PhD on the effect of patient spectrum (case-mix) on diagnostic test accuracy. This included a thorough review of how heterogeneity has been examined in systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy, a comparison of three statistical methods for the meta-analysis of diagnostic accuracy studies and a meta-regression using a large sample of previously published systematic reviews of diagnostic tests to identify the influence of spectrum-related covariates.
Evaluating non-randomised intervention studies
Her other methodological interest lies in the evaluation of non-randomised intervention studies. She carried out a review of whether and how quality has been assessed in systematic reviews that included non-randomised studies and conducted a thorough evaluation of available quality assessment tools for non-randomised studies, assessing them against pre-specified internal validity domains.
S Oliver, AM Bagnall, J Thomas, J Shepherd, A Sowden, I White, J Dinnes, R Rees, J Colquitt, K Oliver, Z Garrett (2010) Randomised controlled trials for policy interventions: a review of reviews and meta-regression Health Technology Assessment 14: 1-165.
J Dinnes, J Deeks, H Kunst, A Gibson, E Cummins, N Waugh, F Drobniewski, A Lalvani (2007) A systematic review of diagnostic tests for the detection of tuberculosis Health Technology Assessment 11: 1-314.
C Green, J Dinnes, A Takeda, BH Cuthbertson (2006) Evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of drotrecogin alfa (activated) for the treatment of severe sepsis in the United Kingdom International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care 22:90-100.
J Dinnes, JJ Deeks, J Kirby, P Roderick (2005) A methodological review of how heterogeneity has been examined in systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy Health Technology Assessment 9: 1-128.
P Whiting, A Rutjes, J Dinnes, J Reitsma, P Bossuyt, J Kleijnen (2005) A systematic review finds that diagnostic reviews fail to incorporate quality despite available tools Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 58:1-12.
S Conaty, L Watson, J Dinnes, N Waugh (2004) The effectiveness of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines in adults: a systematic review of observational studies and comparison with results from randomised controlled trials Vaccine 22:3214-3224.
P Whiting, A Rutjes, J Dinnes, J Reitsma, P Bossuyt, J Kleijnen (2004) Development and validation of methods for assessing the quality and reporting of diagnostic studies Health Technology Assessment 8:1-234.
J Deeks, J Dinnes, R D'Amico, A Sowden, C Sakarovitch, F Song, M Petticrew, D Altman (2003) Evaluating non-randomised intervention studies Health Technology Assessment 7:1-173.