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Prof John Forbes

John Forbes is Professor of Health Economics at the University of Limerick. Born and educated in California, he studied economics at the University of California at Berkeley. He received his MSc at the University of York and PhD at the University of Glasgow. John started his research career at the University of Aberdeen, and has worked at the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow and the Usher Institute of Public Health at the University of Edinburgh. Prior to joining Limerick he held a Readership in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.

John's research interests include the analysis of treatment effects in health and health care, economic analysis within randomised experiments and the microeconometric analysis of health data. His research has been supported by the Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research, the Health Technology Assessment Programme, the Scottish Executive and major medical charities.

He is a member of the American Economic Association and the Royal Economic Society and is affiliated with the Scottish Institute for Research in Economics, the School of Economics at the University of Edinburgh and the Health Econometrics and Data Group at the University of York. He has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the World Health Organisation and numerous public and private sector agencies.


Publication Record: 


Smith J, Channon K, Kiparoglou, Forbes J, Gray A. Estimating the Return on Investment of Early-Phase Biomedical Research: A Macroeconomic Assessment of the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre. PLoS One 2018 (under review).
Adamson PD, Hunter A, Shah ASV, McAllister D, Pawade TA, Williams MC , Smith J, Berry C, Boon NA, Clark E, Flather M, Forbes J, McLean S, Roditis G, Timmis AD, Edwin van Beek EJR, Mills NL, Newby DE; SCOT-HEART Investigators. High-sensitivity cardiac troponin I and the diagnosis of coronary artery disease in patients with suspected angina pectoris.  Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 2018 (in press).



Graham C, Lewis S, Forbes J, Mead G, Hackett ML, Hankey GJ, Gommans J, Nguyen  HT, Lundström E, Isaksson E, Näsman P, Rudberg AS, Dennis M. The FOCUS, AFFINITY  and EFFECTS trials studying the effect(s) of fluoxetine in patients with a recent stroke: statistical and health economic analysis plan for the trials and for the  individual patient data meta-analysis. Trials. 2017 Dec 28;18(1):627.
Williams MC, Hunter A, Shah A, Assi V, Lewis S, Mangion K, Berry C, Boon NA, Clark E, Flather M, Forbes J, McLean S, Roditi G, van Beek EJ, Timmis AD, Newby DE; Scottish COmputed Tomography of the HEART (SCOT-HEART) Trial Investigators. Symptoms and quality of life in patients with suspected angina undergoing CT coronary angiography: a randomised controlled trial. Heart. 2017 Jul;103(13):995-1001.
Adamson PD, Hunter A, Williams MC, Shah AS, McAllister DA, Pawade TA, Dweck MR, Mills NL, Berry C, Boon NA, Clark E, Flather M, Forbes J, McLean S, Roditi G, van Beek EJ, Timmis AD, Newby DE. Diagnostic and prognostic benefits of computed  tomography coronary angiography using the 2016 National Institute for Health and  Care Excellence guidance within a randomised trial. Heart. 2017 Aug 27. pii: heartjnl-2017-311508.
Adamson, P., Hunter, A., Shah, A., McAllister, D., Pawade, T., Williams, M., Berry, C., Flather, M., Forbes, J., McLean, S., Roditi, G., Timmis, A., Van Beek, E., Dweck, M., Mills, N. and Newby, D.  High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin I and the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease in Patients with Suspected Angina Pectoris. Heart, Lung and Circulation, 2017; 26 (Supplement 2). S79.


Griffith DM, Lewis S, Rossi AG, Rennie J, Salisbury L, Merriweather JL, Templeton K, Walsh TS; RECOVER Investigators. Systemic inflammation after critical illness: relationship with physical recovery and exploration of potential mechanisms. Thorax. 2016 Sep;71(9):820-9.
Williams MC, Hunter A, Shah AS, Assi V, Lewis S, Smith J, Berry C, Boon NA,Clark E, Flather M, Forbes J, McLean S, Roditi G, van Beek EJ, Timmis AD, Newby DE; SCOT-HEART Investigators. Use of Coronary Computed Tomographic Angiography to Guide Management of Patients With Coronary Disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016 Apr 19;67(15):1759-68.
Berge E, Cohen G, Roaldsen MB, Lundström E, Isaksson E, Rudberg AS, Slot KB, Forbes J, Smith J, Drever J, Wardlaw JM, Lindley RI, Sandercock PA, Whiteley WN;  IST-3 Collaborative Group. Effects of alteplase on survival after ischaemic stroke (IST-3): 3 year follow-up of a randomised, controlled, open-label trial. Lancet Neurol. 2016 Sep;15(10):1028-34.
Willams MC, Newby, DE, SCOT-HEART Investigators. Enhanced Prevention Therapies With Coronary Computed Tomographic Angiography: Added Value Beyond Simple Risk Calculators? AND Primum Non Nocere: Old Principle Revisited. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016;68(14):1604-1605.


Smith J, Banks H, Campbell H, Douglas A, Fletcher E, McCallum A, Moger TA, Peltola M, Sveréus S, Wild S, Williams LJ, Forbes J; EuroHOPE study group. Parameter Heterogeneity In Breast Cancer Cost Regressions - Evidence From Five European Countries. Health Econ. 2015 Dec;24 Suppl 2:23-37.

Dennis, M., Graham, C., Smith, J., Forbes, J. and Sandercock, P. (2015) 'Which stroke patients gain most from intermittent pneumatic compression: further analyses of the CLOTS 3 trial', Int J Stroke.

Dennis, M., Sandercock, P., Graham, C., Forbes, J on behalf of the CLOTS (Clots in Legs Or stockings after Stroke) Trials Collaboration. (2015) 'The CLOTS 3 trial: a randomised controlled trial to determine whether intermittent pneumatic compression reduces the risk of post stroke deep vein thrombosis', Health Technology Assessment, 19(10).

Dennis M, G. C., Smith J, Forbes J, Sandercock P.  (2015) 'Which stroke patients gain most from intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC): further analyses of the CLOTS 3 trial', International Journal of Stroke.

Healy, D., Clarke-Moloney, M., Gaughan, B., O'Daly, S., Hausenloy, D., Sharif, F., Newell, J., O'Donnell, M., Grace, P., Forbes, J. F., Cullen, W., Kavanagh, E., Burke, P., Cross, S., Dowdall, J., McMonagle, M., Fulton, G., Manning, B. J., Kheirelseid, E. A. H., Leahy, A., Moneley, D., Naughton, P., Boyle, E., McHugh, S., Madhaven, P., O'Neill, S., Martin, Z., Courtney, D., Tubassam, M., Sultan, S., McCartan, D., Medani, M. and Walsh, S. (2015) 'Preconditioning Shields Against Vascular Events in Surgery (SAVES), a multicentre feasibility trial of preconditioning against adverse events in major vascular surgery: Study protocol for a randomised control trial', Trials, 16(1), 185.

Newby D, W. M., Hunter A, Pawade T, Shah A, Flapan A, Forbes J, Hargreaves A, Leslie S, Lewis S, McKillop G, McLean S, Reid J, Spratt J, Uren N (2015) 'CT coronary angiography in patients with suspected angina due to coronary heart disease (SCOT-HEART): an open-label, parallel-group, multicentre trial', The Lancet.

Walsh, T. S., Salisbury, L. G., Merriweather, J. L., Boyd, J. A., Griffith, D. M., Huby, G., Kean, S., Mackenzie, S. J., Krishan, A., Lewis, S. C., Murray, G. D., Forbes, J. F., Smith, J., Rattray, J. E., Hull, A. M. and Ramsay, P. (2015) 'Increased Hospital-Based Physical Rehabilitation and Information Provision After Intensive Care Unit Discharge: The RECOVER Randomized Clinical Trial', JAMA Intern Med.



Bhopal, R. S., Douglas, A., Wallia, S., Forbes, J. F., Lean, M. E. J., Gill, J. M. R., McKnight, J. A., Sattar, N., Sheikh, A., Wild, S. H., Tuomilehto, J., Sharma, A., Bhopal, R., Smith, J. B. E., Butcher, I. and Murray, G. D. (2014) 'Effect of a lifestyle intervention on weight change in south Asian individuals in the UK at high risk of type 2 diabetes: A family-cluster randomised controlled trial', The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, 2(3), 218-227.

Forbes, J. F. (2014) 'Effect of intermittent pneumatic compression on disability, living circumstances, quality of life, and hospital costs after stroke: secondary analyses from CLOTS 3, a randomised trial', The Lancet Neurology, 13(12), 1186-1192.

Morrison, Z., Douglas, A., Bhopal, R., Sheikh, A., Forbes, J. F. and investigators, o. b. o. t. t. (2014) 'Understanding experiences of participating in a weight loss lifestyle intervention trial: a qualitative evaluation of South Asians at high risk of diabetes', BMJ Open, 4(6).

Ramsay, P., Salisbury, L. G., Merriweather, J. L., Huby, G., Rattray, J. E., Hull, A. M., Brett, S. J., Mackenzie, S. J., Murray, G. D., Forbes, J. F. and Walsh, T. S. (2014) 'A rehabilitation intervention to promote physical recovery following intensive care: A detailed description of construct development, rationale and content together with proposed taxonomy to capture processes in a randomised controlled trial', Trials, 15(1), 38.



Dennis, M., Sandercock, P., Murray, G. and Forbes, J. (2013) 'Does intermittent pneumatic compression reduce the risk of post stroke deep vein thrombosis? The CLOTS 3 trial: Statistical analysis plan', Trials, 14(66).

Dennis, M., Sandercock, P., Murray, G. and Forbes, J. (2013) 'Intermittent pneumatic compression in patients with stroke--authors' reply', Lancet,382(9903), 1481-2.

Dennis, M., Sandercock, P., Reid, J., Graham, C., Forbes, J. and Murray, G., on behalf of The CLOTS Trials Collaboration. (2013) 'Effectiveness of intermittent pneumatic compression in reduction of risk of deep vein thrombosis in patients who have had a stroke (CLOTS 3): a multicentre randomised controlled trial', The Lancet, 382(9891), 516-524.

Douglas, A., Bhopal, R. S., Bhopal, R., Forbes, J. F., Gill, J. M. R., McKnight, J., Murray, G., Sattar, N., Sharma, A., Wallia, S., Wild, S. and Sheikh, A. (2013) 'Design and baseline characteristics of the PODOSA (Prevention of Diabetes & Obesity in South Asians) trial: A cluster, randomised lifestyle intervention in Indian and Pakistani adults with impaired glycaemia at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes', BMJ Open, 3(2).

Walsh, T. S., Boyd, J. A., Watson, D., Hope, D., Lewis, S., Krishan, A., Forbes, J. F., Ramsay, P., Pearse, R., Wallis, C., Cairns, C., Cole, S. and Wyncoll, D. (2013) 'Restrictive versus liberal transfusion strategies for older mechanically ventilated critically ill patients: A randomized pilot trial', Critical Care Medicine,41(10), 2354-2363.