Prognosis research: concepts, methods and clinical application  

3-day programme: 20th – 22nd June 2017

 All lectures will include 10-15 min question time at the end of the lecture.

 Day 1 – Tuesday 20th June 2017

09.00 – 09.30 Registration and Coffee
09.30 – 09.40 Welcome
09.40 – 10.10 Lecture 1: An introduction to PROGnosis RESearch Strategy (PROGRESS) (RR)
10.10 – 10.50 Lecture 2: Basic principles of prognosis research (GP)
10.50 – 11.15 Coffee
11.15 – 12.00 Practical i: Basic principles of prognosis research (facilitators: PC, GP, GM, KS, DvdW)
12.00 – 12.45 Lecture 3: Fundamental statistics for prognosis research (RR)
12.45 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 14.00 Mad 30 minutes – part 1
14.00 – 15.00 Lecture 4: Overall prognosis research (DvdW)
15.00 – 15.30 Coffee
15.30 – 16.30 Practical ii: Overall prognosis research (facilitators: PC, GM, JE/DB, KS, DvdW)
16.30 – 17.30 Guest lecture 1: Prognosis research: Clinical and policy application  (AT)
17.30 – 18.00 Mad 30 minutes – part 2
19.30 Pub meal (Sneyd Arms)

Day 2 – Wednesday 21st June 2017 

Tea/coffee on arrival
09.00 – 10.00 Lecture 5: Prognostic factor research (RR)
10.00 – 11.00 Practical iii: Prognostic factor research (facilitators: PC, JE/DB, KM, RR, KS)
11.00 – 11.30 Coffee
11.30 – 12.30 Lecture 6: Prognostic model research (KM)
12.30 – 13.00 Mad 30 minutes – part 3
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.00 Practical iv: Prognostic model research (facilitators: PC, AM, KM, JE/DB, KS)
15.00 – 16.00 Lecture 7: Key statistical concepts for prognostic model research (KS)
16.00 – 16.30 Coffee
16.30 – 17.30 Practical v: Prognostic model research – understanding statistical approaches & interpretation of performance measures (facilitators: PC, AM, JE/DB, RR, KS)
18.30 Course dinner at Keele Hall (drinks reception in the Great Hall followed by dinner in the Salvin room)

Day 3 – Thursday 22nd June 2017

Tea/coffee on arrival
09.00 – 10.00 Lecture 8: Stratified medicine research (DvdW)
10.00 – 11.00 Practical vi: Stratified medicine research (facilitators: PC, AM, JE/DB, KS, DvdW)
11.00 – 11.30 Coffee
11.30 – 12.30 Guest lecture 2: Clinical example of stratified care research (JH)
12.25 – 12.30 Introduction to practical vii
12.30 – 13.00 Lunch
13.00 – 14.30 Practical vii: Design a prognosis study – (facilitators: PC, AM, JE/DB, KS, DvdW)
14.30 – 15.30 Group presentations
15.30 – 16.30 Lecture 9: Systematic reviews of prognosis research (RR)
16.30 – 17.00 Closing session and award ceremony
18.00 Dinner – Keele Hall (Terrace) (Optional)

Dates for 2017 PROGRESS Summer School Announced



As increasing numbers of people worldwide live with one or more health problems, the study of prognosis has never been more important. Prognosis research provides information crucial to understanding, explaining and predicting future clinical outcomes in people with existing disease or health conditions. It provides pivotal evidence to inform outcome prediction, clinical decision making, design and evaluation of stratified medicine (stratified care), and all stages of translational research from molecular biology to health policy.

This 3-day summer school is designed to introduce the key components and uses of prognosis research to health professionals and researchers, including:

  • a framework of four different prognosis research questions: overall prognosis, prognostic factors, prognostic models, and stratified medicine
  • key principles of study design and methods
  • interpretation of statistical results about prognosis
  • the use of prognosis research evidence at multiple stages on the translational pathway toward improving patient outcome
  • the limitations of current prognosis research, and how the field can be improved

The course consists of a mixture of seminars and lectures from a core faculty of epidemiologists, statisticians and clinical researchers, group work and discussion sessions. Please note that no computer practicals are included with the focus instead on interpretation of statistical concepts and results of analyses. Basic knowledge of epidemiology and statistics is assumed. The course is founded on the prognosis research framework introduced by the PROGRESS partnership, described in a series of 4 articles published in BMJ/PLoS Medicine in February 2013. The PROGnosis RESearch Strategy partnership is a collaboration led by Keele University (Richard Riley, Peter Croft, Danielle van der Windt), UCL (Harry Hemingway, Aroon Hingorani), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Pablo Perel, Ian Roberts), Bart’s Heart Centre (Adam Timmis) and the University of Oxford (Douglas Altman).

The course is hosted by the Keele Centre for Prognosis Research and will take place on the rural campus of Keele University. The course fee will be £795 when registering before 31st March 2017 (including meals and 4 nights’ accommodation), and £875 after 1st April 2017.

To book a place on the course please click here or for further information please contact Sue Weir: s.weir@keele.ac.uk.

Further details on how to get to Keele University can be found at http://www.keele.ac.uk/findus/.


Inaugural PROGRESS Summer School

We held our first Summer School in Prognosis Research in June. The course was fully booked, and we plan to develop the content further and hold another course next summer. There is now a registration of interest form available for the 2014 PROGRESS Summer School. Details about this year’s course can be found on the 2013 Summer School webpage.

Thanks to everyone who participated for making it such an interesting and enjoyable experience!

2013 PROGRESS Summer School participants and faculty

PROGRESS Series published

Two top medical journals have joined together to publish a series on the issues surrounding research into disease prognosis – the likely heath outcomes for people who have a particular disease or condition – in order to help improve the evidence base for the information given to patients about their disease and guide clinical decisions about treatment.

This series is a call to arms for better research to underpin major recent initiatives in health systems around the world. These initiatives include emphasis on measurable health outcomes, rather than just the receipt of care; for example the UK NHS reforms have introduced an Outcomes Framework. And better targeting of treatments to patients who will benefit most. This series identifies bottlenecks in research in each of these areas, and offers ways in which they may be overcome.

Today, PLOS Medicine and the BMJ are each publishing two articles in the PROGRESS series on prognosis research by a team of international researchers from the established PROGRESS group: PLOS Medicine is publishing the second and third articles in the series and the BMJ is publishing the first and fourth articles.

The joint collaboration highlights the importance of this area of research. More people now live with disease and conditions that impair health than at any other time in history and prognosis research provides crucial evidence for translating findings from the laboratory to humans, and from clinical research to clinical practice. Prognosis research also helps understand and improve future outcomes in people with a given disease or health condition but, according to the PROGRESS group, standards in prognosis research needs to be improved.

This authoritative series gives several recommendations for improving research into this important area of clinical decision-making that should ultimately improve outcomes for patients.

For example, in the second article in the series, the PROGRESS group highlights the current problems in the research into prognostic factors (measures that are linked to certain outcomes, which are important for decisions on clinical management) – such as publication bias, reporting biases, poor statistical analyses, and inadequate replication of initial findings – and recommend a way forward.

Professor Harry Hemingway, one of the lead authors of the series, says:

“It is a scandal of medical research that we have not had co-ordinated, sustained programmes of research into how and why diseases progress into the health outcomes that patients, clinicians and policy makers regard as important. This series offers a set of actions to remedy this situation.”

Dr Virginia Barbour, Chief Editor of PLOS Medicine says:

“We are pleased to be publishing this important series in collaboration with the BMJ. This series is the result of substantial collaboration between a number of academics and PLOS Medicine is pleased to have been part of this. We hope that these papers will lead to improvements in the quality of prognosis research, which in turn will lead to more informed decisions about the clinical management of patients with diverse diseases and conditions such as cancer, heart disease and head injuries.”

Links to all four papers are available on the Publications page.