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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Clare Relton, BA Hons, FSHom, MSc, PhD


Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Public Health Trials

Telephone: +44 0207 882 6696


I joined QMUL in 2017 as a Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Public Health Trials.

My interest in health research began while training and then working as a homeopath. This led to me being awarded a Department of Health Fellowship at the University of Sheffield (ScHARR) and an MSc (Health Services Research) and PhD (Pragmatic Trial Design). Pragmatic trials aim to generate evidence of practical use to patients and clinicians. The principal output of my thesis was an innovative pragmatic trial design now known as Trials within Cohorts (TwiCs). The TwiCs design utilises cohorts (i.e. observational studies, routine health data sources) to recruit and/or collect outcome data for multiple randomised controlled trials and uses a Staged-and-Tailored approach to Informed Consent.  

I am interested in efficient pragmatic trial designs especially those which have the potential to help health systems become better ‘learning health systems’ e.g. Decision Architecture Randomisation Trial (DARTs), Embedded Point of Care Randomisation Trials (ePOCR) as well as TwiCs. I specialise in exploring ways to ensure that the Informed Consent and recruitment processes for these types of randomised intervention trials are practical, ethical and efficient.

I also design and evaluate Public Health Nutrition interventions that demonstrate the value of good food and support healthy equitable food systems e.g. vouchers for breastfeeding (NOSH) and vouchers locally supplied fruit and vegetables (Fresh Street).  


Current PhD students: Charis Xie and Beverley Nickolls  

Module contributor: Effective and Efficient Evaluation (MSc Health Data in Practice MRes)



Please click through to see a complete list of Clare’s publications


Relton C, O'Cathain A, Nicholl J, Torgerson D. Rethinking pragmatic randomised controlled trials: Introducing the "cohort multiple randomised controlled trial" design. BMJ 2010 340(7753):963-967

Relton, Clare; Strong, Mark; Renfrew, Mary J; et al; Cluster randomised controlled trial of a financial
incentive for mothers to improve breast feeding in areas with low breastfeeding rates: the NOSH study protocol.
 BMJ Open, 6, 4, e010158, 2016.

Relton C, Bissell P, Smith C, Blackburn J, Tod A, Copeland R, Young T, Cooper CL, Nichol J, Loban A, et al. South Yorkshire Cohort: a 'cohort trials facility' study of health and weight - protocol for the recruitment phase. BMC Public Health 11:640 2011

Relton C, O'Cathain A, Nicholl J, Strong M, Holdsworth M. Plastic food packaging encourages obesity. BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 344:3824, 2012

Viksveen P, Relton C. Nicholl JN. Depressed patients treated by homeopaths: a randomised controlled trial using the "cohort multiple randomised controlled trial" (cmRCT) design. Trials 2017, 18, 299. DOI 10.1186/s13063-017-2040-2

My page on Google Scholar

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