Policy Research

Title: Improving flu vaccination uptake by healthcare workers: a study of implementation and attitudes (2016-2017)
Funding Body: Public Health Research Consortium/Department of Health
Role: Research Director (NatCen)

Summary: The aim of this study is to explore the interaction of staff attitudes and vaccine uptake in a range of high and low uptake Trusts. There are two elements to the research: (A) a qualitative study exploring the interaction of staff attitudes, good practice in implementation and vaccination uptake; (B) a quantitative study of the relationship between implementation and uptake. A full description of the project is available here.

Title: Experiences of Personal Independence Payment for people with sensory loss (2016)
Funding Body: RNIB, Thomas Pocklington Trust, and Sense
Role: Research Director (NatCen)


Summary: As part of UK government’s welfare reforms, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has begun to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged 16 to 64. This research looks at the impact of this policy change on people who have a visual impairment or a dual sensory impairment (deaf-blind).

Output: Experiences of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people with sensory loss. Thomas Pocklington Trust, Royal National Institute of Blind People and Sense (pdf).

Title: Qualitative scoping work – Youth Policy Surveys on alcohol and obesity (2016)
Funding Body:
Cancer Research UK
Research Director (NatCen)


Summary: The aim of this qualitative scoping work was to support the development of two new surveys. The main objectives were to identify issues which young people think should be explored in future legislation on alcohol and obesity.

Outputs: Young People’s Perceptions of Food Marketing and Obesity: Qualitative scoping work for the PRCP’s Youth Policy Surveys. ScotCen Social Research; NatCen Social Research; Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling; and Policy Research Centre for Cancer Prevention, Cancer Research UK.

Youth Policy Survey (YPS) Pilot Project on Alcohol: Results from a preliminary study of young people’s perceptions and experiences of drinking and alcohol marketing. Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling, ScotCen Social Research, NatCen Social Research and Cancer Research UK.

Title: Analysis of free-text responses to assisted dying consultation (2015)
Funding Body: Royal College of Physicians
Role: Consultant (LSE)


Summary: In 2014 the RCP surveyed its members on proposed legislation on assisted dying. In addition to questions about whether they supported a change in the law, what the RCP’s position should be and whether they would be prepared to participate actively in assisted dying, participants were also given the opportunity to provide free-text responses. This study analyses these responses to see what they reveal about the attitudes of RCP members and fellows.

Output: Albert Weale and Aude Bicquelet. Reading between the lines: analysis of free text responses to assisted dying consultation. Royal College of Physicians. Commentary (pdf)

Title: Text Mining for central banks (2015)
Funding Body: Bank of England
Role: Consultant (LSE)


Summary: Although widely applied in other fields such as political science and marketing, text mining has been historically less used as a technique in economics. The aim of this project was to demonstrate the value central banks may gain from a more conscious application of text mining techniques, and to explain some of them using examples relevant to central banks.

Output: Bholat et al. Handbook – No. 33  Text mining for central banks (pdf)

Title: Life Extending and End of Life treatments (2008-2011)
Funding Body: National Institute for Heath and Care Excellence
Role: Consultant (LSE)


Summary: This project analyses responses to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) consultation on end of life medicines (2008). It uses computer-assisted textual analysis to identify patterns of arguments and linked them to various types of respondents (patients; carers; NHS professionals and pharmaceutical companies).

Bicquelet Aude, Albert Weale. ‘Coping with the Cornucopia: Can Text Mining Help Handle the Data Deluge in Public Policy Analysis?’ Policy & Internet 3(4): 150-171. (pdf)

Aude Bicquelet ‘Text mining and Public Policy Analysis‘. The Policy and Internet Blog. Oxford Internet Institute. (pdf)

Title: Assessing the value of innovation in Healthcare (2010)
Funding Body: National Institute for Heath and Care Excellence
Role: Consultant (LSE)


Summary: Existing NICE procedure operates on the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) using QALYs.  The QALY estimates are themselves built up by subjective assessments of pain/functional states. However, there may be a number of reasons why this is not a good approach. This projects uses Text Mining techniques to analyse NICE’s consultation on ‘the value of innovation’. It looks at the arguments about why the existing NICE procedure might undervalue or overvalue innovation in the NHS.

Output: Aude Bicquelet. Consultation Report on the ‘Value of Innovation’. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (pdf)