Statistics; Cluster Randomised Trials
Obi is a medical statistician in the University of Exeter College of Medicine and Health and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration South West (PenARC). He collaborates as statistical lead on health research studies in PenARC and the wider University. He teaches statistics to undergraduate and postgraduate students and on PenARC’s Making Sense of Evidence (critical appraisal) and Statistics workshops, delivered to health care staff, managers and members of the public.
His research track record reflects contributions to medical and non-medical health research in the areas of child mental health and primary/community care. His area of expertise is the design, conduct and analysis of cluster randomised controlled trials where entire clusters of participants are allocated to the trial groups. In recent years he has been the statistical lead on school-based cluster randomised trials where schools are allocated, with outcomes measured on individual pupils. A recently published example is the “STARS” trial of an intervention for improving teachers’ skills for managing disruptive behaviour of pupils in a primary school setting (funded by the National Institute for Health Research). He is currently the statistical lead on three school-based cluster randomised trials, including the “MYRIAD” trial of mindfulness training to improve the well-being of secondary school children (funded by a Wellcome Trust programme grant) and the “iCATS” trial of an intervention for identifying primary school children with anxiety problems and delivering online advice to parents to resolve these (funded by a National Institute for Health Research programme grant). One of his PhD students (Kitty Parker – supported by a studentship funded by PenARC) is doing her thesis on methodological challenges in cluster randomised trials.
He is a statistical adviser and member of the editorial boards of the British Journal of General Practice (since 2011) and BJGP Open (since 2020). Since 2020, he has been a panel member of the Stage 2 sub-committee B for the National Institute for Health Research Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) funding stream.