Dr Yen-Fu Chen PhD

Research Fellow

Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Contact details

90 Vincent Drive, Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
School of Health and Population Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Birmingham, B15 2TT


Yen-Fu Chen is a Research Fellow in Systematic Review and Quality Improvement. He joined the research team led by Professor Richard Lilford in 2010 and is currently working with the West Midlands Quality Institute on research related to quality improvement in health care.

Yen-Fu previously worked as a systematic reviewer in the West Midlands Health Technology Assessment Collaboration for 8 years, during which he completed several health technology assessment (HTA) reports for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as well as many other evidence based reports/summaries.


  • PhD in Health Services Research 2003
  • MPH 1998
  • MSc in Biopharmacy 1997
  • BSc in Pharmacy 1992


Yen-Fu received training in Pharmacy in Taiwan where he was originally from. He came to the UK for postgraduate training in Biopharmacy and Public Health, and subsequently completed a PhD at the University of Nottingham. His PhD looked at prescribing problems in primary care, and focused in particular on the prescribing of potentially hazardous or contraindicated drug combinations (drug-drug interaction or drug-disease interaction) in general practice.

He then joined the West Midlands Health Technology Assessment Collaboration (WMHTAC) as a Systematic Reviewer and subsequently a Senior Systematic Reviewer. He accumulated substantial experience in conducting and teaching systematic reviews and health technology assessments during the 8 years in WMHTAC and completed several health technology assessment (HTA) reports.

He is currently a Research Fellow in the research team led by Professor Richard Lilford. In addition to contributing to systematic reviews of a wide variety of topics, he is involved in research related quality improvement in health care and health technology assessment of medical devices.


Teaching Programmes

Postgraduate supervision

Yen-Fu is interested in supervising doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • Systematic review of complex interventions
  • Development of methods for health technology assessment

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Lawrence on the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: dr@contacts.bham.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.   



Systematic Review, Quality Improvement, Health Technology Assessment, Evidence Synthesis


Quality Improvement

Evaluation of effectiveness of quality improvement interventions; use of quality indicators as a quality improvement tool; measuring preventability of adverse events through case note review; handover between hospitals and community

Systematic review

Validity of indirect comparisons; systematic review of adverse events; the impact of publication bias on evidence synthesis

Health Technology Assessment

Health technology assessment of medical devices; use of indirect comparisons in health technology assessment


Ashfaq K, Yahaya I, Hyde C, Andronis L, Barton P, Bayliss S, Chen Y-F. Clinical and cost-effectiveness of stem cell transplant in the management of acute leukaemia: a systematic review. Health Technology Assessment. Health Technology Assessment 2010;14(54). Available at: http://www.hta.ac.uk/project/1789.asp

Chen Y-F, Jowett S, Barton P, Malottki K, Hyde C, Gibbs S, Pepke-Zaba J, Fry-Smith A, Roberts J, Moore D. Clinical and cost-effectiveness of epoprostenol, iloprost, bosentan, sitaxentan and sildenafil for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension within their licensed indications: a systematic review and economic evaluation. Health Technology Assessment 2009;13(49). Available at: http://www.hta.ac.uk/project/1621.asp 

Rodríguez-Cobo I, Chen Y-F, Olowokure B, Litchfield I. Clinical and economic assessment of different general population strategies of pertussis vaccine booster regarding number of doses and age of application for reducing whooping cough disease burden: a systematic review. Vaccine 2008;26(52):6768-6776. 

Chen Y-F, Jobanputra P, Barton P, Bryan S, Fry-Smith A, Harris G, Taylor R. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - etodolac, meloxicam, celecoxib, rofecoxib, etoricoxib, valdecoxib and lumiracoxib - for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review and economic evaluation. Health Technology Assessment 2008;12(11).

Available at: http://www.hta.ac.uk/project/1383.asp    

Chen Y-F, Jobanputra P, Barton P, Jowett S, Bryan S, Clark W, Fry-Smith A, Burls A. A systematic review of the effectiveness of adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in adults and an economic evaluation of their cost-effectiveness. Health Technology Assessment 2006;10(42).

Available at: http://www.hta.ac.uk/project/1469.asp  

Chen Y-F, Neil KE, Avery AJ, Dewey ME, Johnson C. Prescribing errors and other problems reported by community pharmacists. Therapeutics & Clinical Risk Management 2005,1(4): 333-342.

Chen Y-F, Avery AJ, Neil KE, Johnson C, Dewey ME, Stockley IH. Incidence and possible causes of prescribing potentially hazardous/contraindicated drug combinations in general practice. Drug Safety 2005,28(1): 67-80.

Avery AJ, Sheikh A, Hurwitz B, Smeaton L, Chen Y-F, Howard R, Cantrill J, Royal S. Safer medicines management in primary care. British Journal of General Practice 2002, 52(suppl):S17-S21.

Chen Y-F, Dewey ME, Avery AJ and the Analysis Group of the MRCCFA Study [The Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (MRC CFAS)]. Self-reported medication use for older people in England and Wales. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 2001,26(2):129-140.

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