Christine Godfrey

Professor of Health Economics
Christine Godfrey is the Head of the Department of Health Sciences and a Professor of Health Economics at the University of York. She leads the Addiction Research Team which consists of psychologists, statisticians, trial specialists and information scientists as well as other health economists researching into alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug interventions and policies. She is a past president of the Society for the Study of Addiction, and is currently a member of the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. She has a number of national policy links including previously acting as an economic advisor to the Home Office, being a member of the Scientific Committee of Tobacco and Health at the Department of Health and is currently acting as an advisor to the House of Commons Health Select Committee for their inquiry on alcohol. Current research projects includes three linked randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of implementing screening and brief interventions for hazardous alcohol consumption in primary care, accident and emergency departments and criminal justice settings as part of a Department of Health funded SIPS project, a randomised controlled trial funded by the NIHR HTA programme on stepped care for older hazardous alcohol users and a further RCT on the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of two internet interventions to reduce hazardous alcohol use. She is the academic lead of the Physical Health and Addiction research theme of the newly established NHS Leeds, York and Bradford CLAHRC and a member of the AMPHORA project, a large group of European researchers building up the evidence base for alcohol policies across Europe. Research into smoking includes building epidemiological and economic models which can be used with on-going trials to estimate the relative cost-effectiveness of tobacco control measures compared to other NHS and public health interventions.

The ethics of the evaluation process: the interests of the patient, funding and publishing

Researchers undertaking evaluation research generally have a clear interest in maintaining the validity of their design. However, the researchers views on measures of effectiveness may conflict with the values patients give to different elements of the intervention delivered. Researchers are often cautious about the conclusions that can be drawn from their studies but this can leave practitioners in some doubt about how relevant findings are for their ownpractice. Publishers have been in the forefront of developing ethical guidelines but biases remain towards favouring the publication of studies with positive rather than negative results. For studies of alcohol, tobacco and other drug interventions some other interesting ethical issues emerge.