Dr Andy Dickens MSc, PhD

Dr Andy Dickens

Institute of Applied Health Research
Research Fellow

Contact details

The Murray Learning Centre
Institute of Applied Health Research
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Andy is the Senior Research Fellow for Breathe Well; an NIHR-funded Global Health Research Group on COPD in Primary Care. The aim of the programme is to foster research in primary care and the community to improve the diagnosis, management and prognosis of COPD patients in low and middle income countries. 

Andy Dickens is also the Research Fellow on an NIHR-funded research programme entitled 'The Birmingham Lung Improvement Studies (BLISS)'.


  • PhD in Medical Studies, University of Exeter, 2010
  • MSc in Social Research, University of Plymouth, 2003
  • BA (Hons) in Social Policy, University of York, 1999


Andy joined the University of Birmingham in 2011, having previously been at the Primary Care Research Group at Peninsula Medical School (Exeter) from 2003-2011, where he completed his PhD.

Over the past 18 years Andy has worked in a range of research areas within public health and health service research, developing particular research interests in respiratory disease, health outcomes for older people and complex interventions.


Medicine and Surgery MBChB:

  • 1st year MBChB Research Methods small group tutor
  • 3rd year MBChB Evidence Based Medicine & Research Methods small group tutor


Breathe Well programme

Within the Breathe Well programme, University researchers are working with four LMICs – Brazil, China, Georgia and Macedonia. The aim is to co-develop the capability, networks & platform to deliver targeted and effective research and healthcare outcomes in COPD, specifically to:

  • strengthen local research capacity in the partner countries in community-based COPD research & generic population research methods
  • develop and test community-based & culturally-appropriate approaches for identifying undiagnosed COPD in low resource countries
  • adapt evidence-based behavioural approaches for management of COPD according to cultural needs and the local healthcare infrastructure, and assess the feasibility of their implementation
  • build a robust platform for future collaborative research within the partner countries and other similar settings


Further information about the Birmingham Lung Improvement Studies is available at www.birmingham.ac.uk/bliss

Other activities

Andy is the University of Birmingham Ambassador for the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC). The role entails being a liaison link between SAPC Executive and the Institute of Applied Health Research.

Andy is also an observer on the research sub-committee for the International Primary Care Research Group (IPCRG). 


Brien SB, Stuart B, Dickens AP, Kendrick T, Jordan RE, Adab P, Thomas M. Independent determinants of disease-related quality of life in COPD - scope for non-pharmacological interventions? International Journal of COPD. 13: 247-256

Khan A, Dickens AP*, Adab P, Jordan R. 2017. Self-management behaviour and support among primary care COPD patients: Cross-sectional analysis of data from the Birmingham Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Cohort. npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, 27;46; doi:10.1038/s41533-017-0046-6

Kosteli M-C, Heneghan N, Roskell C, Williams SE, Adab P*, Dickens AP, Enocson A, Fitzmaurice D, Jolly K, Jordan R, Greenfield S, Cumming J. Barriers and enablers of physical activity engagement for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in primary care. International Journal of COPD. 12: 1019-1031

Adab P, Fitzmaurice DA, Dickens AP, Ayres JG, Buni H, Cheng KK, Cooper BG, Daley A, Enocson A, Greenfield S, Jolly K, Jowett S, Kalirai K, Marsh JL, Miller MR, Riley RD, Siebert WS, Stockley RA, Turner AM, Jordan RE. Cohort profile: The Birmingham Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Cohort Study. International Journal of Epidemiology, 2016; doi: 10.1093/ije/dyv350

Jenkinson CE, Dickens AP, Jones  K, Thompson-Coon  J, Taylor RS, Rogers  M, Bambra CL, Lang  I, Richards SH. Is volunteering a public health intervention? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the health and survival of volunteers. BMC Public Health, 2013; 13:773

Dickens AP, Richards SH, Greaves CJ, Campbell JL. Interventions targeting social isolation in older people: a systematic review. BMC Public Health, 2011; 11: 647 (highly accessed).

Dickens AP, Lang, IA, Langa KM, Kos K, Llewellyn DJ. Vitamin D, cognitive dysfunction and dementia in older adults. CNS Drugs (invited lead article), 2011; 25(8): 629-39.

Dickens AP, Richards SH, Hawton A, Taylor R, Greaves CJ, Green C, Campbell JL, Edwards R. An evaluation of the effectiveness of a community mentoring service for socially isolated older people: a controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 2011; 11: 218.