Dr Harriet Hunt
Research Fellow in Evidence Synthesis and Test Evaluation
+44 (0) 1392 726074
South Cloisters 309
South Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
I am a Research Fellow in Evidence Synthesis and Test Evaluation with the Evidence Synthesis Team in the Institute of Health Research at the University of Exeter Medical School. I'm currently working on the ICON project evaluating evidence for interventions to improve continence in children and young people with neurodisability, in order to make recommendations for future research and practice.
I recently led an NIHR RfPB-funded project investigating Parent-to-parent support interventions for parents of babies cared for in neonatal units (PaReNt project). In this project we worked alongside parents of babies with experience of neonatal care, and having their voice at every stage of the research enriched the project substantially. I learned a great deal from our co-researchers in how to carry out meaningful shared research, how to communicate with a range of audiences and making evidence useful for different groups, particuarly those beyond standard academic paths.
I completed my PhD looking at the diagnostic accuracy of brief cognitive assessments when used to identify dementia in general practice with support from the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC, now PenARC). My principal supervisor was Professor Chris Hyde, supported by Dr Mark Pearson and Dr David Llewellyn as co-supervisors.
I'm an experienced researcher with particular interests in the use of evidence and how medical applications are used in the real world. I have further associated interests in the communication of dynamic and incomplete information, public understanding of medical data, and the presentation of complex information for different audiences. I am very interested to learn more on these topics, and have several research plans in development.
I joined the Medical School in 2009 as part of the Public Health Evidence research group conducting public health reviews for the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE on topics such as reducing obesity, injury in childhood and smoking cessation. I have used theory-led approaches across a number of these topics and conducted realist synthesis to investigate avoiding acute hospital admissions, funded by the NIHR Service and Delivery Organisation (now Health Services and Delivery Research).
I was first author of a diagnostic test accuracy review looking at different devices for identifying trauma induced coagulopathy in adult trauma patients, produced with the Cochrane Injuries Group and published in the Cochrane Library. Previous projects have included reviews of prognostic factors for iron deficiency in blood donors, a realist review of intermediate care, and policy guidance reviews on obesity prevention for NICE.
I have recently contributed to guidance development on reporting standards in diagnostic test accuracy as part of the PRISMA-DTA Working Group (PRISMA-DTA statement here: http://www.prisma-statement.org/Extensions/DTA).
I teach undergraduates on the University of Exeter Medical School BMBS Medicine - Clinical Decision Making and Making Sense of Evidence modules, and graduates on the MSc in Health Services Research - Evidence Synthesis module. I carry out peer reviewing for the Cochrane Diagnostic Test Accuracy Review Unit within the Cochrane Collaboration and a large number of peer reviewed journals such as the BMJ and Systematic Reviews.
- evaluating medical tools and tests
- public engagement
- research coproduction with diverse groups
- theory-driven evidence synthesis
- systematic reviews and meta-analysis
- testing for dementia
- realist synthesis
PhD (University of Exeter, 2019) Medical Research
MSc (Open University, 2009) Psychological Research Methods
BSc Dual Hons (Keele, 2001) Psychology and Criminology
I’m particularly interested in how test information is understood; working alongside Professor Chris Hyde has provided an education in test evaluation and associated knotty issues. At Exeter we have a number of highly expert researchers within the Exeter Test Group, taking collaborative and cross-disciplinary approaches which allows test research to cut across the traditional topical and methods boundaries, working with groups including the Exeter Collaboration for Primary Care (APEx), Clinical Epidemiology, the Cancer Diagnosis group (DISCO), and the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care in the South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC).
I am also interested by the practical application of diagnostic test data. I teach part of the Clinical Decision Making course for our undergraduate medical students, and am keen to explore how ‘useable’ diagnostic information is for medics and non-medics, and how this usefulness might be improved. I am interested in the impact of false positive and false negative test results on the people who use this data, e.g. medical practitioners, patients and carers. Tests are used for various reasons such as screening, guiding therapy and predicting how a disease might progress. Prognosis is a developing area, and with Chris Hyde our investigations are also looking at the possible added prognostic value of some diagnostic tests.
Currently the reporting of diagnostic test accuracy data is under scrutiny, and along with Zhivko Zhelev and colleagues from the University of Birmingham Medical School and the University of Amsterdam Medical Centre we are looking at how study designs might be better reported in the research literature.
I'm currently working on the ICON project with PenCRU and a number of external partners. This research aims to describe current clinical practice in the NHS for improving continence of children and young people with special educational needs and disability, and to summarise evidence for interventions. This will allow us to make recommendations for future research and practice.
I have recently completed an NIHR RfPB-funded project investigating Parent-to-Parent Support Interventions for Parents of Babies Cared for Neonatal units (PaReNt project). In this project we worked alongside parents of babies with experience of neonatal care, and having their voice at every stage of the research enriched the project substantially. I learned a great deal from our co-researchers in how to carry out meaningful shared research, how to communicate with a range of audiences and making evidence useful for different groups, particuarly those beyond standard academic paths.
I have recently completed PhD research looking at the accuracy of using brief cognitive assessments (or 'pen and paper' tests) when used to identify dementia in general practice supported by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC).
I was lead researcher of a diagnostic test accuracy review Thromboelastography (TEG) and rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM) for trauma-induced coagulopathy in adult trauma patients with bleeding with the Cochrane Injuries Group, published in the Cochrane Library and working with colleagues at the University of Exeter, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (Oxford), John Radcliffe Hospital, NHS Blood & Transplant (Oxford), Churchill Hospital, Oxford Haemophilia & Thrombosis Centre and the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine ICT Centre, Department of Military Anaesthesia and Critical Care in Birmingham, UK.
I have also been working with colleagues at John Radcliffe Hospital, NHS Blood & Transplant, Oxford, and the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge on a diagnostic test accuracy review of tests of haemoglobin levels in blood donors (protocol CRD42014005179 published on PROSPERO).
GW4 Network (Bristol, Bath, Exeter and Cardiff Universities); Alzheimer's Research UK South West Hub; Sociology of Diagnosis network, PRISMA-DTA network group.
- 2016 University of Exeter Doctoral College
The University of Exeter Doctoral College Postdoctoral Research Awards (Santander award)
- 2014 University of Exeter
Researcher-led Initiative - Developing research capacity by increasing the knowledge and skills of researchers involved in diagnostic accuracy research
- 2014 RCUK Newton Fund
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS South Central & West) Newton Fund - £49, 531: to delivery health technology assessment teaching at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases Evandro Chagas, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- 2013 University of Exeter Medical School
Translational Medicine Discretionary Fund - Initiative to support and develop ideas for systematic reviews of dementia for University of Exeter researchers
Publications by category
Publications by year
I teach Yr 1 and Yr2 sessions as part of the Clinical Decision Making and Using Evidence Based Medicine modules for University of Exeter Medical School BMBS medical students. I also contribute to developing and teaching the new BMBS elective diagnostic evidence workshops.
I teach on the MSc in Health Services Research - Evidence Synthesis module, and have co-supervised Yr 2 students on their research practical module.