Dr Rachel Jordan MA (Cantab), MPH, PhD

Dr Rachel Jordan

Institute of Applied Health Research
Reader in Epidemiology and Primary Care

Contact details

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

Rachel Jordan is a Reader in Epidemiology & Primary Care. Her research focuses mainly on the early diagnosis, management and prognosis of COPD in the primary care setting.

She has successfully led several NIHR-funded programmes including a £2.4m programme grant and a £2m Global Health Research Group grant. Rachel is a member of the research leadership team and immediate past chair of the research committee of the International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG). She is the College Academic Lead for Global Health Research, leading a University-wide Global Health Research Network.

She is also leading the eTHOS feasibility trial of an employee health screening clinic, funded by the NIHR HS&DR programme, and is a co-Investigator of a number of other studies related to lung disease.

Other research interests include the effectiveness and uptake of seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccine in different population groups, occupational lung disease and the health of healthcare workers.

She teaches and supervises postgraduate and undergraduate students in Medicine, Public Health and Clinical Trials.


  • PhD in Epidemiology University of Birmingham, 2007
  • MPH University of Birmingham, 2000
  • MA (Cantab) Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, 1993


Rachel Jordan qualified with a BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge (Emmanuel College) in 1993.

After a brief spell in the pharmaceutical industry she went on to take her first post in epidemiology at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine with Professors Nick Wald and Malcolm Law, undertaking a series of systematic reviews including one which led to the generation of the Polypill idea.

Returning to her home town of Birmingham in 1998, Rachel joined the systematic review team in Public Health & Epidemiology, gaining her MPH and being awarded the Thomas McKeown project prize.  In 2000, although still based at the University of Birmingham, Rachel took up a research role with the Health Protection Agency, gaining her PhD part time over a 6-year period, and publishing further related papers, including 3 invited editorials in the BMJ. Most of her work during this period focussed on acute respiratory hospital admissions and the epidemiology of influenza and influenza vaccines.

Following completion of her PhD Rachel became a Lecturer with responsibility for helping to manage the MPH and moving to work more on chronic respiratory diseases, before in 2008 being awarded a research fellowship from the NIHR entitled “Towards a better understanding of the definition, characteristics and health service requirements of patients with COPD in the UK” comprising a series of studies using the Health Survey for England, the GPRD and published literature. 

She was an integral part of a team of investigators awarded a £2m NIHR programme grant entitled “COPD in Primary Care: from case finding to improving patient outcomes, co-PI on an HTA-funded evidence review of the effectiveness of self-management for COPD and a key investigator on a number of other related primary and secondary research grants. In 2017 she was awarded an NIHR Global Health Research Group grant on COPD in primary care. Her recent trial “TargetCOPD” was awarded 2016 RCGP Research Paper of the Year for the respiratory category.

In 2011 she was promoted to Senior Lecturer and in 2018 to Reader.



Research themes

COPD screening; COPD epidemiology (aetiology, prognosis and effectiveness of new interventions); COPD self-management; health of healthcare workers; seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccine epidemiology; systematic reviews; epidemiological studies; health services research; global health.

Current projects

Rachel is the Co-Chief Investigator and Director of Breathe Well; an NIHR-funded Global Health Research Group on COPD in Primary Care (£2M; 2017-2021). 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.

NIHR HS&DR (PI): Enhancing the Health of NHS Staff: eTHOS. A randomised controlled pilot trial of an employee health screening clinic for NHS staff. 2018-2020; £701,136

NIHR HTA (CoI): Effectiveness of Electronic Cigarettes compared with varenicline for smoking cessation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and effect on Lung health (ECAL study); 2021-2024; £1,707,927

DHSC/UKRI COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative (coI): COPE-Birmingham: The contribution of occupational exposures to risk of COVID-19 and approaches to control among healthcare workers; 2020-2022; £441,309

NIHR HTA (coI): Sputum colour charts to guide antibiotic self-treatment of acute exacerbation of COPD (Colour-COPD); 01/03/2019 to: 28/02/2023 (48 months). £2,056,942.37

Previous grants

LUPUS UK (CoI): Improving working lives and productivity amongst South Asian people with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; 2019-2020; £25,000

NIHR Programme Grant
COPD in Primary Care: from case finding to improving patient outcomes
2011-2018; £2.4m

NIHR Post-doctoral Research Fellowship:
Towards a better understanding of the definition, characteristics and health service requirements of patients with COPD in the UK
2008 – 2013; £337,041

NIHR HTA programme: Supported self-management for patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): an evidence synthesis and economic analysis
2011-2013; £241,472.

NIHR HTA programme
The cost-effectiveness of community based non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in patients with stable end stage COPD with hypercapnic respiratory failure. A systematic review and economic evaluation
2012-2013; £213,264.

National Schools of Primary Care
Evaluation of the PiKo-6 as a novel screening test for case finding for COPD in primary care
Jan – Dec 2012: £58,957

National Schools of Primary Care
Patient self-management in primary care in patients with COPD
Jan 2013– Dec 2015: £802,000

National Schools of Primary Care
A pilot study to assess the prevalence and characteristics of emphysematous lung change in patients with symptoms of COPD and normal spirometry
Jan – Dec 2012: £50,000

NIHR HS&DR Programme
Enhancing the Health of NHS Staff: eTHOS.  A randomised controlled pilot trial of an employee health screening clinic for NHS staff. 
2018-2020; £701,136

NIHR HTA programme
Sputum colour charts to guide antibiotic self-treatment of acute exacerbation of COPD (Colour-COPD)
2019-2023; £2,056,942

Other activities

  • npjPCRM editorial Board member
  • RfPB COPD panel member
  • Past member of British Lung Foundation Research Committee


Recent publications


Pang, H, Pan, Z, Adams, R, Duncan, E, Chi, C, Kong, X, Adab, P, Dickens, A, Gale, N, Cheng, KK, Cooper, B, Correia-de-Sousa, J, Enocson, A, Farley, A, Jolly, K, Jowett, S, Maglakelidze, M, Maglakelidze , T, Martins , S, Sitch, A, Stavrikj, K, Stelmach , R, Turner, A, Williams, S & Jordan, R 2022, 'Exploring the need for, and design of, a community lung health service for COPD patients in China: a mixed method study. Findings from the Breathe Well group', NPJ Primary Care Respiratory Medicine. <http://www.nature.com/npjpcrm/>

Watson, J, Jordan, R, Adab, P, Vlaev, I, Enocson, A & Greenfield, S 2022, 'Investigating primary health care practitioners’ barriers and enablers to referral of patients with COPD to pulmonary rehabilitation: a mixed methods study using the Theoretical Domains Framework', BMJ open, vol. 12, no. 1, e046875. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-046875

Abdel-Aal, A, Lisspers, K, Williams, S, Adab, P, Adams, R, Agarwal, D, Barnard, A, Bouloukak, I, van Boven, JFM, Chavannes, N, Dickens, A, van Gemert, F, Escarrer, M, Haroon, S, Kayongo, A, Kirenga, B, Kocks, JWH, Kotz, D, Newby, C, McNulty, CAM, Metting, E, Moral, L, Papadakis, S, Pinnock, H, Price, D, Ryan, D, Singh, SJ, Correia-de-Sousa, J, Ställberg, B, Szefler, SJ, Taylor, SJC, Tsiligianni, I, Turner, A, Weller, D, Yusuf, O, Tabyshova, AK & Jordan, R 2022, 'Prioritising primary care respiratory research needs: results from the 2020 International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) global e-Delphi exercise', NPJ Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, vol. 32, no. 1, 6. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41533-021-00266-4

Pan, Z, Dickens, A, Chi, C, Kong, X, Enocson, A, Cooper, B, Adab, P, Cheng, KK, Sitch, A, Jowett, S, Adams, R, Correia-de-Sousa, J, Farley, A, Gale, N, Jolly, K, Maglakelidze , M, Maglakelidze , T, Martins , S, Stavrikj, K, Stelmach , R, Turner, A, Williams, S & Jordan, R 2021, 'Accuracy and cost-effectiveness of different screening strategies for identifying undiagnosed COPD among primary care patients (≥40 years) in China: a cross-sectional screening test accuracy study. Findings from the Breathe Well group', BMJ open.

Adab, P, Jordan, R, Fitzmaurice, D, Ayres, J, Cheng, KK, Cooper, B, Daley, A, Dickens, A, Enocson, A, Greenfield, S, Haroon, S, Jolly, K, Jowett, S, Lambe, T, Martin, J, Miller, M, Rai, K, Riley, RD, Sadhra, S, Sitch, A, Siebert, S, Stockley, RA & Turner, A 2021, 'Case-finding and improving patient outcomes for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in primary care: the BLISS research programme including cluster RCT', Programme Grants for Applied Research, vol. 9, no. 13, pp. 1-180. https://doi.org/10.3310/pgfar09130

Riley, M, Swann, A, Morris, AJ, Martins, SM, Adams, R & Jordan, R 2021, 'Knowledge, attitudes and practices of patients and healthcare professionals regarding oral health and COPD in São Paulo, Brazil: a qualitative study', NPJ Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, vol. 31, no. 1, 20. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41533-021-00235-x

Hoogendoorn, M, Jowett, S, Dickens, A, Jordan, R, Enocson, A, Adab, P, Versteegh, M & Rutten-van Mölken, M 2021, 'Performance of the EQ-5D-5L plus respiratory bolt-on in the Birmingham chronic obstructive pulmonary disease cohort study', Value in Health, vol. 24, no. 11, pp. 1667-1675. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jval.2021.05.006

Ray, E, Culliford, D, Kruk, H, Gillett, K, North, M, Astles, CM, Hicks, A, Johnson, M, Lin, SX, Orlando, R, Thomas, M, Jordan, RE, Price, D, Konstantin, M & Wilkinson, TMA 2021, 'Specialist respiratory outreach: a case-finding initiative for identifying undiagnosed COPD in primary care', NPJ Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, vol. 31, no. 1, 7. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41533-021-00219-x

Ubhi, M, Dubey, S, Gordon, C, Adizie, T, Sheeran, T, Allen, K, Jordan, R, Sadhra, S, Adams, J, Daji, R, Reynolds, J & Kumar, K 2021, 'Understanding the impact of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus on work amongst South Asian people in the UK: an explorative qualitative study', Lupus, vol. 30, no. 9, pp. 1492-1501. https://doi.org/10.1177/09612033211022816

Dickens, A, Fitzmaurice, D, Adab, P, Sitch, A, Riley, RD, Enocson, A & Jordan, R 2020, 'Accuracy of Vitalograph lung monitor as a screening test for COPD in primary care', NPJ Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41533-019-0158-2

Jain, A, Aggarwal, A, Adams, J, Jordan, R, Sadhra, S, Dubey, S, Allen, K & Kumar, K 2020, 'Delay in seeking medical help in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in India: a qualitative study', International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1111/1756-185X.14001

Gjorgjievski, D, Ristovska, R, Stavrikj, K, Farley, A, Adab, P, Adams, R, Dickens, A, Enocson, A, Stanoevski, G, Gale, N, Jowett, S, Rai, K, Sitch, A, Stamenova, A, Krstevska, E & Jordan, R 2020, 'Effectiveness of combining feedback about lung age or exhaled carbon monoxide levels with Very Brief Advice (VBA) and support for smoking cessation in primary care compared to giving VBA and support alone – protocol for a randomized controlled trial within the Breathe Well research program', Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, vol. 8, no. E, pp. 28-36. https://doi.org/10.3889/oamjms.2020.4519

Haroon, S, Adab, P, Dickens, A, Sitch, A, Rai, K, Enocson, A, Fitzmaurice, D & Jordan, R 2020, 'Impact of COPD case finding on clinical care: a prospective analysis of the TargetCOPD trial', BMJ open, vol. 10, no. 10, e038286. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038286


Ming Khoo, E, Li, DKT, Ungan, M, Jordan, R & Pinnock, H 2021, 'Lung health in LMICs: tackling challenges ahead', The Lancet, vol. 398, no. 10299, pp. 488-489. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)01230-7


Jordan, R, Adab, P & Cheng, KK 2020, 'Covid-19: risk factors for severe disease and death', BMJ, vol. 368, no. 368, m1198. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1198

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