Julie McLellan is the recipient of this year's Kellogg College Gillian Nicholls Prize for her MSc dissertation in evidence-based health care.
Julie is a research officer in the department's Medical Statistics Group, and was funded by the NIHR School for Primary Care Research to undertake a Master's in Evidence-Based Health Care at Oxford University.
Her dissertation - The Impact of Small Studies with Small Sample Sizes in Large Systematic Reviews - addressed an important question regarding methods that are used in evidence based health care research.
The number of published medical papers has increased rapidly over the last 20 years. For clinicians and patients to be able to keep up with all this information, systematic reviews are produced, which compile all the available studies on a single topic/question, into a more useable form.
However, this is a comprehensive process, involving considerable resource, including time. This means that there may be delays in useful information being used for clinical decisions.
Dr Annette Pluddeman, Course Director of the MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care, said: “In this dissertation, Julie has shown that in cases where a large number of studies have been published, a smaller scale review, incorporating only the largest studies will provide an adequate answer. This is likely to have a huge impact in reducing the time and effort required to obtain the required answer; potentially leading to prompt and better clinical care.”