Dr Lavinia Ferrante di Ruffano

 

Research Fellow

Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Lavinia Ferrante di Ruffano

Contact details

Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Health and Population Sciences
Public Health Building
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

About

Lavinia Ferrante di Ruffano is a methodologist working in the Medical Test and Biomarker Evaluation Research Group, led by Prof. Jon Deeks. Her main research focus is developing the methods for evaluating the clinical effectiveness of diagnostic tests.

Qualifications

  • M.Sc. Palaeoecology, UCL, 2003
  • B.Sc. (Hons) Archaeology, UCL, 2001
  • Ph.D. University of Birmingham, 2012

Biography

My background is in palaeoepidemiology and palaeopathology, the analysis of human skeletal remains and reconstruction of ancient patterns of disease. I qualified as an archaeologist in 2001, and after a year in commercial archaeology specialised as human osteologist at UCL. After a few years of working as an independent specialist, I decided to commit my skills to the world of the living and took up a research position with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. There I contributed to the clinical guideline publication The Physical Signs of Child Sexual Abuse, the result of a comprehensive, expert-led systematic review.

In 2007 I joined the Department of Public Health, Epidemiology & Biostatistics to develop the methods used to evaluate diagnostic tests under Prof. Jon Deeks and funded by the MRC Methodology Programme.

I am particularly interested in developing the theory that underpins our understanding of how patients' health may be changed by the tests they receive in healthcare, and how clinicians’ behaviour responds to different testing strategies.

Teaching

  • Epidemiological Methods to third year medical students,
  • Clinical epidemiology SGT sessions, Year 1 medical students
  • HTA+Evidence Synthesis MSc

Doctoral research

PhD title Using randomised controlled trials to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of diagnostic tests: How useful are test-treatment RCTs?

Research

I recently finished a methodological analysis of Test-Treatment RCTs aiming to investigate how reliable and informative these designs are for evaluating the clinical effectiveness of diagnostic tests.

In work as a methodologist on several prospective primary evaluations of diagnostic test performance and effectiveness.

Other activities

As a member of the Medical Test and Biomarker Evaluation Research Group, I help to organise the biennial international symposium: Methods for Evaluating Tests and Biomarkers. This is a two-day research conference to promote and discuss the challenging methodological issues surrounding medical test evaluation.

Publications

Ferrante di Ruffano L, Hyde CJ, McCaffery KJ, Bossuyt PMM, Deeks JJ. Assessing the value of diagnostic tests - a framework for designing and evaluating trials. BMJ2012 Feb 21;344:e686. PMID: 22354600.

Ferrante di Ruffano L, Davenport C, Eisinga A, Hyde C, Deeks JJ. A capture-recapture analysis demonstrated that randomized controlled trials evaluating the impact of diagnostic tests on patient outcomes are rare. J Clin Epi 2012;65:282-7. PMID: 22001307

Ferrante di Ruffano L, Davenport C, Eisinga A, Hyde C, Deeks JJ. A capture-recapture analysis demonstrated that randomized controlled trials evaluating the impact of diagnostic tests on patient outcomes are rare. J Clin Epidemiol 2011 [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 22001307.

Ferrante di Ruffano L, Hyde C, Deeks J. (2010) What do test-treat trials measure? Poster presentation at the Joint Cochrane and Campbell Collaboration; 2010 Oct 18-22; Keystone, Colorado, USA [abstract]. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Supplement 2010; Suppl CD000002:129.

Ferrante di Ruffano L, Davenport C, Eisinga A, Bayliss S, Fry-Smith A, Hyde C, Deeks J. (2010) Are test-treat trials as rare as suspected? A capture-recapture estimate of numbers published. Poster presentation at the Joint Cochrane and Campbell Collaboration; 2010 Oct 18-22; Keystone, Colorado, USA [abstract]. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Supplement 2010; Suppl CD000002:129.

Ferrante di Ruffano L, Hyde C, Deeks J. (2010) How Do Tests Impact on Patient Health? An explanatory Framework. Oral presentation at the Methods for Evaluating Medical Tests and Biomarkers Symposium; 2010 July 1-2; University of Birmingham, UK [abstract].

Ferrante di Ruffano L, Dinnes JJ, Hyde CH, Deeks JJ (2008) Assessing the effects of diagnostic tests on patient outcomes: How reliable, informative and practical are randomised controlled trials? Poster presentation at the Cochrane Collaboration; 2008 Oct 3-7; Freiburg, Germany [abstract]. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Supplement 2008

Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health. The Physical Signs of Child Sexual Abuse: An evidence-based review and guidance for best practice (2008). London: Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, 2008. Available at www.rcpch.ac.uk/csa

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