Prof Helen WorthingtonPhD, CStat

Professor of Evidence Based Care

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Overview

Helen Worthington is Professor of Evidence Based Care (since 2003) and Co-ordinating Editor of the international Cochrane Oral Health Group (since 1997). She combines these roles with her School of Dentistry role as Director of Evidence for Practice. 

Helen Worthington joined the School of Dentistry at the University of Manchester  in 1975 as a Research Associate giving statistical advice to students and staff. Now as a strong international researcher most of her present research time is spent as a member of several research teams, where she plays a major part in each, helping with the study design, writing the protocol, supervising the data collection, analysis, interpretation and the reporting of the results in academic journal articles. 

Due to her pivotal role with the Cochrane Oral Health Group, Cochrane Collaboration Oral Health Review Group, which is based at Manchester,  Professor Worthington has a strong international reputation as a proponent of evidence based oral care.  This follows from her strong background in medical statistics and expertise in the dental field.  The Cochrane reviews provide the international evidence base for oral health, and are considered the world ‘gold standard’. The Cochrane Oral Health Group is one of the 24 review groups in the UK and receives the highest band (out of three) of funding due to their productivity, in the new funding from 2015- 2020. Through her role with the Cochrane Oral Health Group, Professor Worthington has developed strong links with guideline development groups, both nationally and internationally. In order to enhance such links to improve the uptake of reviews and ensure efficient use of resources Professor Worthington and Professor Jan Clarkson have initiated an international prioritisation process.  This process enables relevant stakeholders, including the public, to identify the most important reviews in oral health that require undertaking/updating. They are currently collaborating with WHO in updating their fluoride toolkit.

Several of the Cochrane reviews that Professor Worthington is an author on have received much publicity.  The review on powered versus manual toothbrushes was on the front page of the Observer newspaper, and hit the new headlines across the world.  More recently the xylitol review showing no evidence that using xylitol containing chewing gum or sweets prevents dental caries has also received much publicity. The publication of the Cochrane water fluoridation review in 2015 is already causing much publicity and controversy.

Currently Professor Worthington is a member of: the BDA, Health and Science Committee, and is on the editorial board of BioMed Oral Health and Community Dental Health. She also chairs the IDMEC of two NIHR HTA trials and chairs the TSC of a trial on helping children who have received a general anesthetic for removing carious teeth.

Biography

Helen Worthington is Professor of Evidence Based Care (since 2003) and Co-ordinating Editor of the international Cochrane Oral Health Group (since 1997). She combines these roles with her School of Dentistry role as Director of Evidence for Practice. 

Helen Worthington joined the School of Dentistry at the University of Manchester  in 1975 as a Research Associate giving statistical advice to students and staff. Now as a strong international researcher most of her present research time is spent as a member of several research teams, where she plays a major part in each, helping with the study design, writing the protocol, supervising the data collection, analysis, interpretation and the reporting of the results in academic journal articles. 

Due to her pivotal role with the Cochrane Oral Health Group, Cochrane Collaboration Oral Health Review Group, which is based at Manchester,  Professor Worthington has a strong international reputation as a proponent of evidence based oral care.  This follows from her strong background in medical statistics and expertise in the dental field.  The Cochrane reviews provide the international evidence base for oral health, and are considered the world ‘gold standard’. The Cochrane Oral Health Group is one of the 24 review groups in the UK and receives the highest band (out of three) of funding due to their productivity, in the new funding from 2015- 2020. Through her role with the Cochrane Oral Health Group, Professor Worthington has developed strong links with guideline development groups, both nationally and internationally. In order to enhance such links to improve the uptake of reviews and ensure efficient use of resources Professor Worthington and Professor Jan Clarkson have initiated an international prioritisation process.  This process enables relevant stakeholders, including the public, to identify the most important reviews in oral health that require undertaking/updating. They are currently collaborating with WHO in updating their fluoride toolkit.

Several of the Cochrane reviews that Professor Worthington is an author on have received much publicity.  The review on powered versus manual toothbrushes was on the front page of the Observer newspaper, and hit the new headlines across the world.  More recently the xylitol review showing no evidence that using xylitol containing chewing gum or sweets prevents dental caries has also received much publicity. The publication of the Cochrane water fluoridation review in 2015 is already causing much publicity and controversy.

Currently Professor Worthington is a member of: the BDA, Health and Science Committee, and  is on the editorial board of BioMed Oral Health and Community Dental Health. She also chairs the IDMEC of two NIHR HTA trials and chairs the TSC of a trial on helping children who have received a general anesthetic for removing carious teeth.

Qualifications

  • BSc in Mathematics (1st class Hon) (University of Sheffield) 1973
  • MSc in Statistics (University of Manchester) 1975
  • PhD (University of Manchester) 1994
  • CStat (Fellow of Royal Statistical Society)

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Joint co-ordinating Editor, Cochrane Oral Health Group
  • Core reviewer to BioMed Central Oral Health
  • Member of BDA, Health and Science Committee
  • Editorial Board of Community Dental Health

Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) Domains

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