Professor Sue Jowett PhD, MSc, BSc

Professor Sue Jowett

Institute of Applied Health Research
Professor of Health Economics

Contact details

Health Economics Unit
Institute of Applied Health Research
IOEM Building
University of Birmingham
Birmingham, B15 2TT

Sue Jowett is a Professor in the Health Economics Unit (HEU) and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Primary Care Centre Versus Arthritis at Keele University.

Sue has an extensive portfolio of applied research concerning trial and model-based economic evaluations in chronic diseases. Sue oversees all health economics research within studies undertaken by the Primary Care Centre Versus Arthritis at Keele University, as part of a formal collaboration between the HEU and Keele. She also collaborates on a large number of projects at the University of Birmingham and is the health economics lead and co-investigator on over 20 major grants, the majority funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment and Programme Grant for Applied Research funding streams. Sue is also involved in NERC-funded WM-AIR programme of work on air pollution in the West Midlands, and is leading the economic component of the health strand. Whilst most of her work has a UK focus, more recent work has considered chronic disease detection and management in LMICs.

Sue has published a large number of economic evaluations in the area of chronic disease prevention and treatment in a community care setting. Her principal clinical areas are musculoskeletal disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), primary and secondary cardiovascular disease prevention, acute stroke care, liver disease and venous thromboembolism.

Sue teaches health economics, particularly in the area of economic evaluation methodology including decision modelling, to students on the HEU’s MSc in Health Economics and Health Policy, as well as 2nd year medical students at both Birmingham and Keele.


  • PhD in Health Economics, University of Birmingham, 2007
  • MSc Applied Meteorology and Climatology, University of Birmingham, 1995
  • BSc (Hons) Geography, University of Bristol, 1993


Sue Jowett qualified with a BSc in Geography from the University of Bristol in 1993 and completed an MSc in Applied Meteorology and Climatology at the University of Birmingham in 1995. A change of direction led her to join Primary Care Clinical Sciences at Birmingham in 1995 as a Research Associate and became a Research Fellow in 2001.

In 2004 Sue moved to the Health Economics Unit (HEU) and studied part-time for a PhD in Health Economics, gained in 2007. In 2010 Sue was appointed to a Senior Lecturer position to lead the health economics research within studies undertaken by the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre at Keele University, as part of a formal collaboration between the HEU and Keele. She successfully gained a permanent HEFCE Senior Lecturer post in 2013 and was promoted to Reader in 2017.

The majority of Sue’s work to date has been in the area of economic evaluation alongside interventions for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, and management of musculoskeletal disease. Her initial health economics research was on three large clinical trials concerning AF and anticoagulation, and expertise gained in this area led to further collaboration with colleagues at Birmingham, Oxford and Cambridge.  Sue advised the NICE Guidelines Development Group on the modelling undertaken for on blood pressure diagnosis for their Hypertension Guidelines.

As lead of the collaboration with Keele, Sue oversees the health economics aspects many trials and cohort studies and is the lead health economist on research grant applications. She is developing methodological research with Keele and is particularly interested in modelling interventions within musculoskeletal disease.

Sue has been a health economics co-applicant on a large number of successful research grants including seven National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grants in chronic diseases and she has also been involved in a large number of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) funded studies concerning areas such as COPD, musculoskeletal conditions, liver disease, anticoagulation for pulmonary embolism and management of acute stroke. She is also a co-investigator on three Global Health projects in COPD and atrial fibrillation, and a NERC-funded grant on air pollution in the West Midlands.


Postgraduate supervision

Sue has successfully supervised 7 PhD students to completion and currently supervises 2 PhD students in the topic areas of Surgical Site Infection prevention in LMICs, and Ethics and economics of medically unexplained symptoms in Primary Care.

Sue is primarily interested in supervising doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • Decision modelling in economic evaluation
  • Trial-based economic evaluation
  • Aspects of economic evaluation in chronic disease (COPD, musculoskeletal disease, cardiovascular disease)


Research Activity

Cardiovascular disease and anticoagulation

Sue has worked on numerous projects in the clinical topics of cardiovascular disease and anticoagulation since embarking on a career in health economics.

She advised on the modelling of the long-term cost-effectiveness of blood pressure diagnosis which was published in the Lancet and formed part of the NICE hypertension guidelines In collaboration with Oxford University, Sue has led the economic component on a number of studies on the diagnosis and management of hypertension in primary care, with an emphasis on self-monitoring, including the TASMINH, TASMIN2 & TASMIN-SR trials. More recently the TASMINH4 trial and the PROOF-BP study have had results published in the Lancet and Hypertension, and the OPTIMISE trial, which explored reducing antihypertension medication in the elderly was published in JAMA.

Sue’s current projects in this clinical area include the STOP-APE trial (stopping anticoagulation for sub-segmental pulmonary embolism), the MAPS-2 trial (metoclopramide to prevent pneumonia after stroke and two global health studies, Global AF Reach  which is undertaking research into atrial fibrillation (AF) in Sri Lanka, Brazil and China, and Treats-AF which is investigating an educational intervention for anticoagulation therapy in AF patients in Thailand.

Musculoskeletal disease

Sue leads the health economics portfolio of research conducted in collaboration with the Primary Care Centre Versus Arthritis at Keele University on a wide variety of musculoskeletal disorders.  Core areas of research concern stratified care, osteoarthritis (OA) and inflammatory conditions. Whilst this work traditionally focussed on trial based economic evaluation, Sue has ensured that more recent work also includes a decision model-based evaluation to explore longer-term cost-effectiveness. Two NIHR Programme Grants are ongoing, concerning the use of prognostic and diagnostic information for targeting treatment in shoulder pain and a pharmacist-led primary care intervention for opioid-treated persistent non-cancer pain. Three NIHR-funded trials HTA are also in progress on knee-braces for knee OA, an allopurinol-based treat-to-target protocol for recurrent gout and a vocational advice service for return to work.

This long-standing research partnership has led to a number of key publications, for example the INSTINCTS trial, published in the Lancet, is the largest trial undertaken of corticosteroid injection compared with night splints for the relatively common but painful problem of carpal tunnel syndrome, and the first study to include a health economics analysis of these interventions. The HTA-funded SCOPiC trial (Lancet Rheumatology) was the first trial of a stratified care in primary care for patients with sciatica.

So far, three Keele-funded PhDs (with co-supervision from Sue) have been completed successfully on optimal care for OA, absenteeism and presenteeism in back pain patients and the use of decision modelling in the assessment of cost-effectiveness of stratified care in musculoskeletal disease.

Respiratory disease

Sue leads the health economics research on the expanding programme of respiratory disease work, primarily concerning chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), led by colleagues within the Institute.

There are four current NIHR-funded trials underway in this area with two assessing interventions to manage acute exacerbations in COPD (Colour COPD, Predict & Prevent), one concerning smoking cessation with electronic cigarettes in COPD (ECal) and an acute care study looking at ambulatory oxygen for pulmonary fibrosis (Oxypuf). Also ongoing is Breathewell, an NIHR-funded Global Health programme of work of case finding and management of COPD in Brazil, China, Georgia and North Macedonia, and health economics is an integral component of the research in all four countries. Previous work includes the TARGET-COPD case finding trial containing a within-trial and beyond-trial economic evaluation. The clinical trial has been published in Lancet Respiratory Medicine and the model-based analysis, the first of its kind, was published in Thorax.

Air pollution

Bringing together her expertise in respiratory and cardiovascular disease, Sue is also a co-investigator on WM-Air, a cross-College collaboration with the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, which secured £5m in funding from the NERC Regional Impact from Science of the Environment (RISE) Programme. The West Midlands Air Quality Improvement Programme (WM-AIR) includes a health strand, and Sue is leading the development of a health economics-based toolkit for use by local public health decision makers. This web-based toolkit will provide local estimates of how effective air pollution mitigation strategies will be in terms of reduction in mortality and morbidity, quality of life and health care resource use and costs.




Other activities

External Examiner

  • Executive MSc in Health Economics, Outcomes and Management in Cardiovascular Sciences, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics (2016-present)
  • MSc in Health Research, Warwick Medical School, Warwick University (2017-present)

Steering Committees

  • Member of the Trial Steering Committee for the DEFINE trial: Determining the Effectiveness of a FeNO-guided asthma management intervention in primary care: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial with nested economic and process evaluations. Funded by the NIHR Programme for Applied Research. (Lead: Dr Kay Wang, University of Oxford) (2021-)
  • Member of the Trial Steering Committee for FRUITI (Fix or Replace Undisplaced Intracapsular fractures Trial of Interventions). Funded by the NIHR HTA programme. (Lead: Dr Xavier Griffin, University of Oxford) (2020-)
  • Member of the Trial Steering Committee for the ARTISAN trial: Acute Rehabilitation following traumatic anterior shoulder dislocation. Funded by the NIHR HTA programme. (Lead: Professor Rebecca Kearney, University of Warwick) (2018-present)
  • Member of the Trial Steering Committee for the RISAPS trial: Rivaroxaban versus warfarin for stroke patients with antiphospholipid syndrome, with or without SLE (RISAPS): a randomised, controlled, phase II/III non-inferiority trial. Funded by Arthritis Research UK. (Lead: Dr Hannah Cohen, University College London) (2018-present)
  • Member of the Trial Steering Committee for the GRASP trial:  Clinical and cost effectiveness of progressive exercise compared to best practice advice, with or without corticosteroid injection, for the treatment of rotator cuff disorders: a 2x2 factorial randomised controlled trial. Funded by the NIHR HTA programme. (Lead: Professor Sallie Lamb, Oxford University) (2018-2020)
  • Member of the Study Steering Committee for the NIHR HS&DR project “Innovations in major system reconfiguration in England: a study of the effectiveness, acceptability and processes of implementation of different models of stroke care” (Lead Professor Naomi Fulop, UCL) (2013-2017)

Funding Committees

  • Member of the NIHR HTA Clinical Evaluation and Trials Funding Committee (2016-2020)
  • Member of the West Midlands Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) funding committee (2012-2015)

Peer review

Review Editor. Frontiers in Health. Costs and Resource Allocation (April 2021-present)

Professional membership

  • Member of the UK Health Economics Study Group (HESG)
  • Member of the International Health Economics Association (IHEA)


Recent publications


Kaur, D, Mehta, R, Jarrett, H, Jowett, S, Gale, N & Turner, A 2023, 'A phase III, 2 arm, multi-centre, open label, parallel-group randomised designed clinical investigation of the use of a personalised early warning decision support system to predict and prevent acute exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - 'Predict & Prevent AECOPD' -Study Protocol', BMJ open, pp. 1. <>

Sarigiovannis, P, Foster, NE, Jowett, S & Saunders, B 2023, 'Developing a best-practice framework for Musculoskeletal Outpatient Physiotherapy Delegation: the MOPeD mixed methods research study protocol', BMJ open, vol. 13, e072989.

Monahan, M, Glasbey, J, Roberts, T, Jowett, S, Pinkney, T, Bhangu, A, Morton, D, la Medina, ARD, Ghosh, D, Ademuyiwa, AO, Ntirenganya, F & Tabiri, S 2023, 'The costs of surgical site infection after abdominal surgery in middle income countries: Key resource use In Wound Infection (KIWI) study', The Journal of hospital infection. <>

Burton, C, Rathod-Mistry, T, Blackburn, S, Blagojevic-Bucknall, M, Chesterton, LS, Davenport, G, Dziedzic, K, Higginbottom , A, Jowett, S, Myers, H, Oppong, R, van der Windt, D, Hay, E & Roddy, E 2023, 'The effectiveness of corticosteroid injection versus night splints for carpal tunnel syndrome: 24-month follow-up of a randomised trial', Rheumatology, vol. 62, no. 2, keac219.

Martins, SM, Dickens, A, Salibe-Filho , W, Albuquerque Neto , AA, Adab, P, Enocson, A, Cooper, BG, Sousa, LVA, Sitch, A, Jowett, S, Adams, R, Cheng, KK, Chi, C, Correia-de-Sousa, J, Farley, A, Gale, N, Jolly, K, Maglakelidze, M, Maghlakelidze, T, Stavrikj, K, Turner, A, Williams, S, Jordan, R & Stelmach, R 2022, 'Accuracy and economic evaluation of different screening tests and their combinations for undiagnosed COPD among people with hypertension in Brazil', NPJ Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, vol. 32, 55 .

Pang, H, Pan, Z, Adams, R, Duncan, E, Chi, C, Kong, X, Adab, P, Cheng, KK, Cooper, B, Correia-de-Sousa, J, Dickens, A, Enocson, A, Farley, A, Gale, N, Jolly, K, Jowett, S, Maglakelidze, M, Maglakelidze, T, Martins, S, Sitch, A, Stavrikj, K, Stelmach, R, Turner, A, Williams, S & Jordan, R 2022, 'Community lung health service design for COPD patients in China by the Breathe Well group', NPJ Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, vol. 32, no. 1, 27.

Oppong, R, Lewis, M, Campbell, P, Dunn, KM, Foster, N, Hill, J & Jowett, S 2022, 'Comparison of healthcare utilisation, costs and health related quality of life across the subgroups defined by the Keele STarT MSK Tool', Rheumatology.

Jowett, S, Kodabuckus, S, Ford, GA, Hobbs, R, Lown, M, Mant, J, Payne, R, McManus, R, Sheppard, J & OPTiMISE investigators 2022, 'Cost-effectiveness of antihypertensive deprescribing in primary care: a Markov modelling study using data from the OPTiMISE trial', Hypertension, vol. 79, no. 5, pp. 1122-1131.

Sarigiovannis, P, Foster, NE, Jowett, S & Saunders, B 2022, 'Delegation of workload from musculoskeletal physiotherapists to physiotherapy assistants/support workers: a UK online survey', Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, vol. 62, 102631.

Woolley, KE, Bartington, SE, Pope, FD, Greenfield, SM, Jowett, S, Muhizi, A, Mugabe, C, Ahishakiye, O, Thomas, GN & Kabera, T 2022, 'Domestic fuel affordability and accessibility in urban Rwanda; policy lessons in a time of crisis?', Energy for Sustainable Development, vol. 71, pp. 368-377.

Adams, R, Jordan, R, Adab, P, Barrett, T, Bevan, S, Cooper, L, DuRand, I, Hardy, P, Heneghan, N, Jolly, K, Jowett, S, Marshall, T, O'Hara, M, Rai, K, Rickards, H, Riley, R, Sadhra, S, Tearne, S, Walters, G & Sapey, E 2022, 'Enhancing the health of NHS staff: eTHOS. Protocol for a randomised controlled pilot trial of an employee health screening clinic for NHS staff to reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, compared with usual care', Pilot and Feasibility Studies, vol. 8, no. 1, 155.

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. <>

Maglakelidze , M, Kurua, I, Maglakelidze, N, Maglakelidze, T, Chkhaidze, I, Gogvadze, K, Chkhaidze, N, Beadle, H, Redden-Rowley, K, Adab, P, Adams, R, Chi, C, Cheng, KK, Cooper, B, Correia-de-Sousa, J, Dickens, A, Enocson, A, Farley, A, Gale, N, Jowett, S, Martins, SM, Rai, K, Sitch, A, Stavrikj, K, Stelmach , R, Turner, A, Williams, S, Jordan, R & Jolly, K 2022, 'Feasibility of a pulmonary rehabilitation programme for patients with symptomatic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Georgia: a single site, randomized controlled trial from the Breathe Well Group', BMJ open, vol. 12, no. 9, e056902.

Dretzke, J, Wang, J, Yao, M, Guan, N, Ling, M, Zhang, E, Mukherjee, D, Hall, J, Jowett, S, Mukherjee, R, Moore, DJ & Turner, AM 2022, 'Home non-invasive ventilation in COPD: a global systematic review', Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 237-251.

Hill, JC, Garvin, S, Bromley, K, Saunders, B, Kigozi, J, Cooper, V, Lewis, M, Protheroe, J, Wathall, S, Chudyk, A, Dunn, KM, Birkinshaw, H, Jowett, S, Hay, EM, van der Windt, D, Mallen, C & Foster, NE 2022, 'Risk-based stratified primary care for common musculoskeletal pain presentations: results of the STarT MSK cluster randomised controlled trial', The Lancet Rheumatology, vol. 4, no. 9, pp. e591-e602.

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