Prof Helen WorthingtonPhD, CStat

Professor of Evidence Based Care

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Research interests

Professor Helen Worthington is joint Co-ordinating Editor (with Professor Jan Clarkson) and is statistician for the Cochrane Collaboration Oral Health Review Group, which is based at Manchester. She is an active reviewer on many Cochrane reviews and is interested in developing the methodology for systematic reviewing of the evidence for treatments and procedures in the oral health area.  This involves collaborating with international multi-disciplinary review teams across the world. 

Professor Worthington has been involved in reviews in the following areas: oral care during cancer treatment, treatment of oral cancer, dental implants, periodontal treatments, fissure sealants, manual versus powered toothbrushes, benefit of scale and polish treatments,  frequency of dental check-ups. She is interested in statistical issues in conducting systematic reviews in dentistry.  In particular the meta analysis of split-mouth trials and cross-over trials. Two Cochrane reviews are looking at the anti-caries effect of different levels of fluoride toothpaste and the risk of fluorosis. These were undertaken with international review teams including Dr May Wong & Professor Edward Lo (University of Hong Kong). Professor Worthington undertook these and many other reviews with Professor Anne-Marie Glenny and Dr Tanya Walsh from the University of Manchester. Helen was a co-applicant on a CDC (USA) funded grant to undertake reviews (PI Anne-Marie Glenny, University of Manchester).  This team has also recently completed a Cochrane review looking at the effects of water fluoridation, which has generated much international debate.


Professor Worthington has been heavily involved in the design and analysis of clinical trials in dentistry, including cluster randomised trials and pooling of data from multi-centre trials. She was the statistician on several large scale trials assessing the efficacy of different fluoride toothpastes. More recently is a co-applicant on three major ongoing HTA funded trials: frequency of check-up appointments (PI Jan Clarkson, University of Dundee), caries prevention in young children (PI Martin Tickle, University of Manchester), benefit of oral hygiene instruction and scale and polish (PI Jan Clarkson, University of Dundee). She is also a co-applicant on a programme grant (PI Andy Ness, University of Bristol). She was statistician for a recent cluster randomized trial conducted by Martin Tickle which showed that  the dental screening of school children was not cost effective.

Professor Worthington also chairs the IDMEC for a further two HTA trials and chairs the TSC for an RfPB trial.


In 2012, in Brazil,  Professor Worthington received the prestigious International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Trendley Dean Distinguished Scientist Award for her contribution to epidemiology and public health.

Professor Worthington has supervised over 10 PhD students and has published over 400 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

Methodological knowledge

Good knowledge of statistics and epidemiology applied to dental research. Also methodological expertise in undertaking meta-analysis and interpreting evidence.


Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display