Dr James Hodgkinson PhD, MSc, BA (Hons)

James Hodgkinson

Institute of Applied Health Research
Research Fellow

Contact details

Institute of Applied Health Research
Murray Learning Centre
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

James Hodgkinson is a Research Fellow in the Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham. James is both a medical sociologist with a particular interest in qualitative methodology, and an experienced systematic reviewer who has led and supported a range of reviews. He has, however, enjoyed using a full range of research methodologies in health services research, also including the design, analysis and management of randomised controlled trials and surveys.

His main research interest and recent experience is in aspects of blood pressure monitoring – the relative merits of home and ambulatory monitoring, the promise of telemonitoring, and the possibilities for self-monitoring in both the general hypertensive population and in specific groups, such as pregnant women and those with atrial fibrillation – but he is also interested in medication adherence, the potential of community pharmacies in cardiovascular screening, the use of performance management, and systematic review methodology.

More recently James has taken on another research project related to reviewing interventions which prevent or reduce gang-related violence and other harms to health.


  • Advanced Diploma in Management, Oxford Brookes University, 2006
  • PhD Sociology, University of Surrey, 2000
  • MSc with Distinction Social Research Methods, University of Surrey, 1995
  • BSc (Hons) Social and Political Sciences, University of Cambridge, 1993


James Hodgkinson graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge in 1993. He went on to gain a M.Sc. with Distinction in Social Research Methods, and subsequently completed a PhD at the University of Surrey, using an innovative ethnography of discourses approach.

From 1999 to 2002, while working at the Centre for Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC), University of Hertfordshire, James managed a randomised controlled trial (COPE Trial) to evaluate the cost effectiveness of nurse-led systematic case management of older people in primary care, designing and analysing questionnaires, undertaking qualitative interviews, and observing case management sessions.

Between 2002 and 2007 James was team leader of the Home Office West Midlands Regional Research Team, providing analytic support and promoting evidence-based approaches to aid regional decision-making and practice, developing an expertise in systematic reviews and performance management. He joined the Department of Primary Care Clinical Sciences, University of Birmingham, in 2007, initially rapid searching, assessing and synthesizing the evidence base underpinning existing and new areas within the Quality and Outcomes Framework.

Most recently, James is working as a Research Fellow specialising in research around blood pressure monitoring, typically either as a systematic reviewer or qualitative researcher, though also assessing the adequacy of monitoring equipment in a range of settings. Details of his current research activity and recently completed work are provided in the ‘Research’ section.


Postgraduate supervision

James would be happy to supervise any projects which either:

  •  Use a systematic review methodology (any topic)
  •  Relate to blood pressure monitoring and/ or the diagnosis of hypertension (any methodology)


He would also be happy to discuss students’ own ideas in other areas especially – but not exclusively – projects which:

  • Consider the role of performance management (e.g. Quality and Outcomes Framework)
  • Relate to medicines management, patient beliefs about medicines, and/or the role of community pharmacists


Programme Manager on the NIHR Programme Grant, ‘Optimising the diagnosis and management of hypertension in primary care through self-monitoring of blood pressure’, for which he leads on a systematic review on the optimal schedule for self-monitoring and a calibration study of patients’ own blood pressure monitors, has undertaken focus groups with patients and health care professionals about self-monitoring protocols, and is supporting the TASMINH4 (Telemonitoring And/or Self-Monitoring In Hypertension) randomised controlled trial.

He is also a co-applicant on the successful ‘Optimising the monitoring and management of raised blood pressure during and after pregnancy’ NIHR Programme Grant, which began in 2016. Following a successful pilot study and systematic review, this programme will assess evidence on the potential for self-monitoring of blood pressure in pregnancy to improve the diagnosis of pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension. James is currently involved in intervention development through patient and healthcare professional focus groups and interviews.

James is also Chief Investigator on an ongoing validation study of home blood pressure monitors in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Completed research work

Blood pressure monitoring

The main emphasis of his work recently has been on the monitoring of blood pressure:

  • Systematic review of the relative effectiveness and performance characteristics of each of (a) clinic measurements, (b) home blood pressure monitoring and (c) ambulatory monitoring, in the diagnosis of hypertension (this led to a change in NICE guidance)
  • Systematic review of the accuracy of ambulatory blood pressure monitors, including considering the clarity and rigour of validation protocols
  • Primary research assessing the calibration drift of new blood pressure measuring devices in a retail pharmacy environment, and factors affecting loss of accuracy
  • Systematic review defining the prognostic value of the morning blood pressure surge in clinical practice
  • Analysis using ambulatory blood pressure monitoring data to interpret inter-arm blood pressure differences

Atrial fibrillation

Other cardiovascular research has focused on atrial fibrillation:

  • Analyses of GPRD data on atrial fibrillation (AF), in particular on (i) predictors of AF, focusing on medication usage and pharmacoepidemiological factors,  (ii) treatment pathways for AF (especially the use, maintenance and discontinuation of anticoagulants in patients in different stroke risk categories), and (iii) adverse events and predictors of treatment discontinuation in patients with AF.
  • He also assessed the pros and cons of introducing a stroke risk stratification indicator into QOF for atrial fibrillation, including an assessment of the validity and sensitivity of CHADS2 across different populations and compared to other risk stratification schemes.

Systematic reviews

Other than those related to blood pressure monitoring, James has had a protocol writing, screening, data extraction and analysis role on several distinct systematic reviews:

  • Investigating the effects of different aspirin dosing frequencies and the timing of aspirin intake in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease
  • Evidence on interventions to improve sexual wellbeing and ameliorate sexual dysfunction in adults with cardiovascular disease
  • Effectiveness of service user-led self-help groups for bipolar disorder on health and psychosocial outcomes

  • Assessing the diagnostic and prognostic utility of tests currently available for the detection of aspirin resistance in patients with established cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease

James has also conducted an analysis comparing review processes and outcomes using Rapid Evidence Assessment and full Systematic Review approaches using his own work as an exemplar.  

Other activities

Competitive funding (as named applicant)

McManus R, Hodgkinson J, Tucker K, Hinton L, Chappell L, Mackillop L, Rivero-Arias O, Bell S, Yu L, Heneghan C, McCourt C, Sandall J, Khan K, Leeson P, Stevens R, Greenfield S. NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research. Optimising the monitoring and management of raised blood pressure during and after pregnancy £2,499,033 04/2016 – 03/2021

Fitzmaurice D, Dretzke J, Moore D, Lordkipanidzé M, Hodgkinson J, Bayliss S. NIHR National School for Primary Care Research (SPCR). Systematic review of aspirin dosing regimens £71,106 09/2014 - 08/2015

Hodgkinson J, Martin U, Beesley L, McManus R, Fitzmaurice D, Holder R, Thompson S. NIHR National School for Primary Care Research (SPCR). Validation of home blood pressure monitors in patients with atrial fibrillation. Project Number 230. £45,198 09/2014 – 06/2015

McManus R, Hodgkinson J,  Greenfield S, Heneghan C , Bankhead C, Stevens R, Tucker K, Saunders U, Locock L. NIHR National School for Primary Care Research (SPCR). Self-monitoring of blood pressure in pregnancy: developing the evidence base in primary care. Project Number 171. £236,560 10/2012 – 04/2014  

Sheppard J, Hodgkinson J, Martin U, Deeks J, McManus R. NIHR National School of Primary Care Research (SPCR). Defining the prognostic value of the morning blood pressure surge in clinical practice. Project Number 130. £34,339 12/2011 – 12/2012  

Peer review

James has acted as a peer reviewer for the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) program, for Public Health England, for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and for the NIHR National School of Primary Care Research (SPCR).

He has reviewed papers for many different research publications, e.g. Clinical Medicine, International Journal of Hypertension, BMJ Open, PLOS One, Cogent Medicine, Clinical Medicine Insights: Cardiology, Journal of Patient Preference and Adherence, Journal of Hypertension, Evidence and Policy, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Primary Health Care Research & Development, Vascular Health and Risk Management, Journal of General Practice, BMC Medical Research Methodology, and Journal of Human Hypertension.

Other positions of responsibility


  • General Medical Council External Research Associate


  • Deputy Chair for Impact and PPI Working Group, Institute of Applied Health Research
  • Institute of Applied Health Research representative on Library Committee


  • Managed the NIHR National School of Primary Care finances for the Department of Primary Care Clinical Sciences
  • Hypertension team representative at Research Team Group
  • Membership of Royal Statistical Society


Recent publications


Chisholm, A, Tucker, KL, Crawford, C, Green, M, Greenfield, S, Hodgkinson, J, Lavallee, L, Leeson, P, Mackillop, L, McCourt, C, Sandall, J, Wilson, H, Chappell, LC, Mcmanus, RJ & Hinton, L 2024, 'Self-monitoring blood pressure in pregnancy: evaluation of health professional experiences in the BUMP trials', Pregnancy Hypertension, vol. 35, pp. 88-95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.preghy.2024.01.134

Hinton, L, Dumelow, C, Hodgkinson, J, Montgomery, C, Martin, A, Allen, C, Tucker , K, Green, ME, Wilson , H, McManus, R, Chappell, L & Band , R 2023, ''Nesting networks’: Women’s experiences of social network support in high-risk pregnancy', Midwifery, vol. 120, 103622. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2023.103622

Richardson, M, Newman, M, Berry , G, Stansfield, C, Coombe, A & Hodgkinson, J 2023, 'A systematic evidence map of intervention evaluations to reduce gang-related violence', Journal of Experimental Criminology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-023-09574-w

Jakubowski, B, Stevens, R, Wilson, H, Lavallee, L, Brittain, L, Crawford, C, Hodgkinson, J, Hinton, L, Mackillop, L, Chappell, LC, McManus, RJ & Tucker, KL 2022, 'Cross-sectional diagnostic accuracy study of self-testing for proteinuria during hypertensive pregnancies: the UDIP study', BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, vol. 2022, pp. 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.17180

BUMP 2 Investigators 2022, 'Effect of self-monitoring of blood pressure on blood pressure control in pregnant individuals with chronic or gestational hypertension: the BUMP 2 randomized clinical trial', JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 327, no. 17, pp. 1666-1678. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2022.4726

BUMP Investigators 2022, 'Effect of self-monitoring of blood pressure on diagnosis of hypertension during higher-risk pregnancy: the BUMP 1 randomized clinical trial', JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 327, no. 17, pp. 1656-1665. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2022.4712

Barrett, R & Hodgkinson, J 2022, 'Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cardiovascular heart disease medication use: time-series analysis of England's prescription data during the COVID-19 pandemic (January 2019 to October 2020)', Therapeutic advances in cardiovascular disease, vol. 16, pp. 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1177/17539447221137170

Wilson, H, Tucker, KL, Chisholm, A, Hodgkinson, J, Lavallee, L, Mackillop, L, Cairns, AE, Hinton, L, Podschies, C, Chappell, LC & McManus, RJ 2022, 'Self-monitoring of blood pressure in pregnancy: a mixed methods evaluation of a national roll-out in the context of a pandemic', Pregnancy Hypertension, vol. 30, pp. 7-12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.preghy.2022.07.006

Tucker, KL, Hodgkinson, J, Wilson, HM, Crawford, C, Stevens, R, Lay-flurrie, S, Dale, M, Astbury, N, Chappell, LC & Mcmanus, RJ 2021, 'Current prevalence of self-monitoring of blood pressure during pregnancy: the BUMP Survey', Journal of Hypertension, vol. 39, no. 5, pp. 994-1001. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000002734

Hodgkinson, J, Lee, M-M, Milner, S, Bradburn, P, Stevens, R, Hobbs, FDR, Koshiaris, C, Grant, S, Mant, J & McManus, RJ 2020, 'Accuracy of blood pressure monitors owned by patients with hypertension (ACCU-RATE study)', British Journal of General Practice .

Hodgkinson, JA, Lee, MM, Milner, S, Bradburn, P, Stevens, R, Hobbs, FDR, Koshiaris, C, Grant, S, Mant, J & McManus, RJ 2020, 'Accuracy of blood-pressure monitors owned by patients with hypertension (ACCU-RATE study): A cross-sectional, observational study in central England', British Journal of General Practice, vol. 70, no. 697, pp. E548-E554. https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp20X710381

Dougall, G, Franssen, M, Tucker , K, Yu, LM, Hinton, L, Rivero-Arias, O, Abel, L, Allen, J, Band , R, Chisholm, A, Crawford, C, Green, M, Greenfield, S, Hodgkinson, J, Leeson , P, McCourt , C, MacKillop, L, Nickless, A, Sandall, J, Santos, M, Tarassenko, L, Velardo, C, Wilson , H, Yardley, L, Chappell, L & McManus, R 2020, 'Blood pressure monitoring in high-risk pregnancy to improve the detection and monitoring of hypertension (The BUMP 1 and 2 trials) : protocol for two linked randomised controlled trials', BMJ open, vol. 10, no. 1, e034593. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-034593

Hinton, L, Hodgkinson, J, Tucker , K, Rozmovits, L, Chappell, LC, Greenfield, S, McCourt , C, Sandall, J & McManus, R 2020, 'Exploring the potential for introducing home monitoring of blood pressure during pregnancy into maternity care: current views and experiences of staff - qualitative study', BMJ open, vol. 10, no. 12, e037874, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-037874

Monahan, M, Jowett, S, Nickless, A, Franssen, M, Grant, S, Greenfield, S, Hobbs, FDR, Hodgkinson, J, Mant, J & McManus, RJ 2019, 'Cost-effectiveness of telemonitoring and self-monitoring of blood pressure for antihypertensive titration in primary care (TASMINH4)', Hypertension, vol. 73, no. 6, pp. 1231-1239. https://doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.12415


Hodgkinson, JA, Milner, S & Lee, MM 2021, 'Accuracy of BP monitors used at home', Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, vol. 59, no. 12, 179. https://doi.org/10.1136/dtb.2021.000055

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