Dr Clare Davenport BSc, MB ChB, MSc

Clare Davenport

Institute of Applied Health Research
Senior Clinical Lecturer

Contact details

Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Institute of Applied Health Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Birmingham, B15 2TT

Clare Davenport is a specialist public health practitioner coming to the end of a doctoral research programme concerned with the development of methods of conducting and presenting the results of systematic reviews of test accuracy that meet the needs of decision makers. Clare’s main area of expertise is systematic review methodology. In addition to systematic reviews and meta-analysis of diagnostic tests she has experience of undertaking reviews and health technology assessments in diverse topic areas including health impact assessment, pharmacological interventions, complex behavioural interventions, population level interventions and qualitative research, on the basis of successful grant applications to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, the Centre for Public Health Excellence and NETSCC HTA .

Clare contributes to the delivery of undergraduate and post-graduate teaching, as well as training for the local NHS community, drawing on her research and broader public health expertise.


  • Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health - 2006
  • MSc Public Health - 1996
  • MB ChB - 1992
  • BSc Medical Sciences (1st class) - 1989


Clare qualified in Medicine in 1992 and completed specialist training in Public Health in 2005, having worked in the Anglia and Oxford and West Midlands Regions.

Clare joined the University in 2003 to undertake a PhD concerned with methods for conducting and presenting results of systematic reviews of test accuracy.

In addition to her doctoral research Clare has developed expertise in systematic review methodology and Health Technology Assessment which has resulted in numerous publications, contributions at national and international conferences and invitations to peer review for prestigious journals and major grant awarding bodies.


Teaching Programmes

  • MPH
  • MBChB undergraduate (module coordinator and clinical epidemiology lead) for Doctors Patients and Society (year 1 semester 2) and clinical epidemiology lead

Postgraduate supervision

  • Clare contributes to supervision of dissertations at Masters level, particularly those students undertaking systematic reviews.
  • Doctoral supervision: NA at this time



At present the major themes of Clare’s research are methods for undertaking test accuracy reviews, in particular ensuring contextual fit and effective dissemination of test accuracy information for decision makers. Other research interests that have developed as a result of her involvement in Health Technology Assessment, guideline development and research into diagnostic decision making include methods for systematic reviews of qualitative research, mixed methods research and systematic reviews of complex interventions.

  • Systematic review methodology; in particular systematic reviews of test accuracy, systematic reviews of complex interventions, systematic reviews of qualitative research.
  • Mixed methods synthesis
  • Diagnostic decision making


Test accuracy systematic review methods

The main emphasis of Clare’s work over the last 8 years has been methods for undertaking and disseminating systematic reviews of test accuracy. This work has included:

-A review of existing test accuracy reviews to assess the degree to which existing systematic reviews contextualise test use when framing questions, undertaking narrative and quantitative synthesis and when reporting results.

-A review of empirical and qualitative research concerned with understanding and application of test accuracy information.

-Mapping the epidemiology of existing test accuracy reviews.

-Contribution to the revision of QUADAS – a quality assessment tool for test accuracy systematic reviews.

-Methods for quality assessment of comparative test accuracy primary research.

Systematic Review methodology and Health Technology Assessment

Since joining the University Clare has contributed 7 health technology assessments and two systematic reviews – all leading to publications in peer reviewed journals. This evidence synthesis activity reflects diverse topic areas including test accuracy, health impact assessment, pharmacological interventions, complex behavioural interventions, population level interventions and qualitative research, on the basis of successful grant applications to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, the Centre for Public Health Excellence, NETSCC HTA and WHO. The research activity reflects Clare’s particular interest in systematic reviews of complex interventions, methods for undertaking systematic reviews of qualitative research and mixed methods reviews.

Clare has also collaborated in research concerning the use of on-going trials in health technology assessment.

Evidence based decision making

 As part of her doctoral research Clare has been investigating how test accuracy information is used in the clinical encounter and barriers and facilitators to the use of test accuracy information in its current presentation format. Clare is also collaborating on an NIHR Cochrane Engagement award investigating the accessibility of Cochrane Test Accuracy reviews to clinicians and policy makers. The aims of this research are to develop methods of test accuracy presentation that meet the needs of decision makers.

Clare also collaborated on a systematic review concerning the extent to which the results of health impact assessment were used to inform policy, barriers and facilitators to its use.

Other activities

  • Joint coordinator and trainer of a 4 day research skills course for the Yorkshire and Humber Post-Graduate Deanery since 2010
  • Member of the UK Cochrane Diagnostic Test Accuracy Systematic Review regional support unit since 2010. In this role Clare contributes to training of Cochrane review groups, methodological peer review of titles and protocols and support for reviewers undertaking systematic reviews.
  • Peer reviewer for the BMJ, Biomed Central, JECH, NETSCC HTA, NIHR RfPB.
  • Member of the NICE Dental Recall Guideline development group 2003


Pennant M, Takwoingi Y, Pennant L, Davenport C, Fry-Smith A, Eisinga A, Andronis A, Arvanitis T, Hyde C. 2010. A systematic review of positron emission tomography (PET) and positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) for the diagnosis of breast cancer recurrence. Health Technol Assess; 14 (5): 1-103.

Pennant M, Davenport C, Bayliss S, Greenheld W, Marshall T, Hyde C. Community programmes for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review. 2010. American Journal of Epidemiology;172(5):501-516

Dretzke J, Davenport C, Frew E, Barlow J, Stewart-Brown S, Sandercock J, Bayliss S, Raftery J, Hyde C, Taylor R. 2009.The clinical effectiveness of different parent training programmes for children with conduct disorder. Biomed Central Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health;3:7.

Meads C, Davenport C. Quality assessment of diagnostic before-after studies: development of methodology in the context of a systematic review. 2009. BMC Medical Research Methodology; 9:3.

Bayliss S, Davenport C. Locating systematic reviews of test accuracy studies: how five specialist review databases measure up.2008. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care; 24 (4): 403-411

Albon E, Tsourapas A, Frew E, Davenport C, Oyebode F, Bayliss S, Arvanitis T, Meads C.2008. Structural neuroimaging in psychosis: a systematic review and economic evaluation. Health Technol Assess;12(18).

Davenport C, Mathers J, Parry J. 2006. Use of Health impact assessment in incorporating health considerations in decision making. J. Epidemiol. Community Health; 60:196-201.

Davenport C, Cheng EYL, Kwok YTL, Lai AHO, Wakabayashi T, Hyde CJ, Connock M. An assessment of the comparative and combined diagnostic test accuracy of the natriuretic peptides and the ECG in the diagnosis of left ventricular systolic dysfunction in primary care – a systematic review and meta-analysis. 2006. British Journal of General Practice 2006; 56 (522) :48-56.

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