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Other Research Theme Collaborations: PREM
We design record-linkage studies across health registers and administrative databases to ascertain key event-dates (such of hospitalization, incarceration, drug treatment, or sentencing) for national 'virtual' cohorts of hard-to-reach individuals. We then analyse cause-specific morbidity and mortality rates and make proposals for, or test, interventions to reduce identified major risks such as from carriage of undiagnosed Hepatitis C virus (HCV), or of overdose death soon after release from prison. The hard-to-reach populations we have focused on are caught up in addictions, criminal justice or epidemics of injection-related blood-borne viruses. We have needed to estimate how many current injectors there are by capture-recapture techniques; and to project their future drugs-related deaths. By record-linkage, we have quantified hazard-rates for ex-prisoners, HCV carriers, drug treatment clients, and ever-injectors: in the short-term (notably within 28 days of prison-release or hospital-discharge), by calendar era, and as individuals age or report misuse of alcohol. Our seminal Scottish record-linkage studies have been corroborated internationally and, in 2012, randomization began in our prison-based N-ALIVE Trial to determine if naloxone (opiate antagonist) on-release can reduce by 30% overdose-deaths soon after release from prison. In addition, our statistical work has determined the primary and secondary outcomes for how Scotland conducts 5-year before/after monitoring of whether its public health policy on take-home naloxone will have reduced opiate-related deaths when these were on an age-related increasing trajectory during the baseline period of 2006-10. During 2005-09, Sheila Bird was the Royal Statistical Society's (RSS) vice-president for external affairs and introduced both the RSS's statistical seminars for journalists and awards for statistical excellence in journalism: for which, in 2010, she was awarded the RSS's Chambers Medal. Following swine-flu, on which she wrote a series of articles for Straight Statistics, Sheila Bird has led the Royal Statistical Society's campaign for legislation to end the late registration of deaths in England and Wales where fact-of-death is not registered for at least six months for one in five premature deaths (aged 5-44 years). From 2006 to 2014, Sheila Bird and the late Colonel Clive Fairweather CBE, reported 20-weekly on military fatality rates in Afghanistan by nationality and cause. In 2011, Sheila was appointed OBE for her services to social science and, in 2012, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Selected PapersBird, S. M. (2013)Editorial: Counting the dead properly and promptly.
Journal of the Royal Statistics Society Series A 176: 815-817
King, R., Bird, S. M., Overstall, A., Hay, G. & Hutchinson, S. J. (2014)Estimating prevalence of injecting drug users and associated heroin-related death-rates in England using regional data and incorporating prior information.
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A 177: 1-28
Tom, B. D. M., Farewell, V. T. & Bird, S. M. (2014)Maximum Likelihood and pseudo score approaches for parametric time-to-event analysis with informative entry times.
Annals of Applied Statistics : (in press)
Overstall, A., King, R., Bird, S. M., Hay, G. & Hutchinson, S. J. (2013)Incomplete contingency tables with censored cells with application to estimating the number of people who inject drugs in Scotland.
Statistics in Medicine :
White, S.R., Bird, S. M. & Grieve R. (2013)Review of methodological issues in cost-effectiveness analyses relating to injecting drug users, and case-study illustrations.
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A : (in press)
Merrall, E. L. C., Bird, S. M. & Hutchinson, S. J. (2013)A record-linkage study of drug-related death and suicide after hospital discharge among drug-treatment clients in Scotland, 1996-2006.
Addiction 108: 377-384
Merrall, E. L. C., Bird, S. M. & Hutchinson, S. J. (2012)Mortality of those who attended drug services in Scotland 1996-2006: record-linkage study.
International Journal of Drug Policy 23: 24-32
McDonald, S. A., Hutchinson, S. J., Bird, S. M., Mills, P. R., Dillon, J., Bloor, M., Robertson, C., Donaghy, M., Hayes, P., Graham, L. & Goldberg, D. J. (2009)A population-based record linkage study of mortality in hepatitis C-diagnosed persons with or without HIV coinfection in Scotland.
Statistical Methods in Medical Research 18: 271-283
Bird, S. M., Lynskey, M., English, C., Donnelly, J., Michael, M. & Treble, R. (2008)Revisiting British Army Drugs Testing 2003-07.
Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Journal 153: 16-23