Mr Alastair Canaway BA, MSc

Research Fellow

Health Economics

Alastair Canaway

Contact details

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


Alastair Canaway is a Research Fellow within the Health Economics Unit.

His current focus is on the economic evaluation of a cluster randomised controlled trial of an obesity prevention intervention (WAVES study).

The other main academic interests are methodologically challenging issues within outcome measurement for use in economic evaluation. Particular areas of interest relate to the use of measures in complex settings. This includes: evaluating end of life care interventions and the use of outcome measures with young children.

Outside of academia Alastair’s primary love is for sport, in particular, athletics, cycling and football.


  • PhD Health Economics - ongoing
  • MSc in Economics and Health Economics, University of Sheffield, 2010
  • BA in Economics, University of Sheffield, 2009


Like so many other sixth form students, after several indecisive years as a school pupil with little idea of what to do with his life, Alastair decided to study economics at university simply ‘because it was his best subject’. Consequently, he studied economics at the University of Sheffield. Through his time at University he excelled at sport spending several years on the athletics and cross country committee whilst regularly competing in the British University Championships (BUCS). In his final year with few ideas of what career path to take he signed up for a module in health economics; it was an act that would shape his life. 

The extraordinarily useful yet inherently flawed nature of health economics piqued his interest and led to him studying and completing the MSc in Economics and Health Economics at the University of Sheffield. Upon completion of his dissertation he took up the role of Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham (October 2010). Within the first 12 months of his working career, he had administered and completed a pilot study investigating the methodological properties of economic instruments in children. This project also investigated the sensitivity of economic instruments to changes in weight in children.

Following this there was a swift change to a focus on end of life care, an area equally challenging as working with children. The three years leading up to 2015 have been spent working on a PhD to develop a measure to capture the benefits of end of life care on those close to the dying.

Upon completion of the PhD, Alastair has returned to working on child obesity related work, with the current focus being on conducting the economic evaluation for the WAVES trial.


  • 3rd year economics tutorials


Child obesity and economic evaluation:

Alastair is currently conducting the economic evaluation for the West Midlands Active Lifestyle & Healthy Eating in Schools (WAVES) Trial alongside Dr Emma Frew. 

He has also investigated the methodological properties of child specific preference-based quality of life measures.

End of life care and economic evaluation

Alastair has been working on developing a measure to capture the impact of end of life care on those close to the dying for use in economic evaluation.


Canaway, A. & Frew, E. (2013), ‘Measuring preference-based quality of life in children aged 6–7 years: a comparison of the performance of the CHU-9D and EQ-5D-Y—the WAVES Pilot Study’, Quality of Life Research, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 173-183

Canaway, A. & Frew, E. (2014), ‘Is utility-based quality of life in children aged 6-7 years affected by Body Mass Index (BMI)?’ International Journal of Obesity, Vol. 38, No. 8, p. 1146

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