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Prof Mark McCarthy
1-19 Torrington Place
  • Emeritus Professor of Public Health
  • Epidemiology & Public Health
  • Institute of Epidemiology & Health
  • Faculty of Population Health Sciences
Research Summary

My current work is directed towards strengthening public health research across Europe and internationally. 'Public health research' includes all health research at population and organisational level, and collaborates  with both clinical and basic medical sciences and with social sciences including policy and economics.

This arises from a career in teaching, research and public health practice. My first Department of Health research grant was a randomised controlled trial of length of stay for maternity care, in which I learned that randomised trials are not suited to assessment and learning in health services research and health promotion. These fields need quantitative observational studies, drawing on the Bradford Hill causal criteria, and with replication across different settings and performers.

In the 1980s we developed studies on palliative care, including a study of impact across 21 health districts in England (Regional Study of Care for the Dying). This work was produced the world first journal publications on palliative care in the fields of cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological illnesses. The Support Team Assessment Schedule has continued, through Irene Higginson's work, to be influential in performance assessment for community service settings.

I used the Thames Cancer Registry to make studies of population effectiveness of care for childhood leukaemia (including social aspects), osteosarcoma (innovatively using mathematical modelling) and breast care (the first published study to compare cancer treatments with clinical consensus guidelines). My more recent work in the cancer field has assessed the utility of regional cancer information systems for management at population level (Measures of Quality in Cancer Services).

In the field of environmental health, I became interested in the population (lack of) effectiveness of seat belts and cycle helmets in reducing road injuries, followed by an investigation of the causes of cyclist deaths in London, and the first Health Impact Assessment for transport and health in London (1995). I worked with Camden and WHO on Healthy Cities, and developed modelling for health impact assessment, using population attributable risks from epidemiological studies, in fields including oil extraction (Russia, Iran, Libya), housing and transport, and in 2007 an HIA of the Olympic Transport Plan.

My current work with the European Public Health Association is concerned to raise these fields of public health research across European countries and globally. PHIRE (Public Health Innovation and Research) is currently both assessing uptake of fund innovation projects and also addressing structures and programmes for research at national levels.

01-OCT-1998 Professor of Public Health Epidemiology and Public Health University College London, United Kingdom
01-FEB-1990 – 30-SEP-1997 Director and Board Member Department of Public Health Camden and Islington (NHS), United Kingdom
01-JAN-1979 – 01-OCT-1998 Senior Lecturer in Community Medicine Community Medicine University College London, United Kingdom
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