Dr Suzanne Freeman

Lecturer in Biostatistics

School/Department: Population Health Sciences, Department of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 3216



I am a Lecturer in Biostatistics based in the Department of Population Health Sciences. My main research interests include network meta-analysis, individual participant data meta-analysis and synthesis of continuous and time-to-event outcomes. 

I hold an NIHR Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship investigating evidence synthesis methods for continuous and time-to-event outcomes with the aim to improve the proportion of clinical evidence that informs health technology assessments and improve the reliability of downstream decision making.

I am a member of the NIHR Evidence Synthesis Group@CRSU and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I currently teach on the MSc in Medical Statistics. 


My main research areas are:
- Network meta-analysis
- Component network meta-analysis
- Individual participant data meta-analysis and network meta-analysis
- Synthesis of time-to-event and continuous outcomes
- Health technology assessment
- Bayesian analysis
- Clinical Trials


Selected publications:

  1. Broomfield J, Abrams K, Freeman SC, Latimer N, Rutherford M, Crowther MJ. Modelling the multi-state natural history of rare diseases with heterogeneous individual patient data: a simulation study. Statistics in Medicine 2024; 43: 184, DOI: 
  2. Cooper NJ, Germeni E, Freeman SC, Jaiswal N, Nevill CR, Sutton AJ, Taylor-Rowan M, Quinn TJ. New horizons in evidence synthesis for older adults. Age & Ageing 2023; 52: 1-10, DOI:
  3. Freeman SC, Saeedi E, Ordóñez-Mena JM, Nevill C, Hartmann-Boyce J, Caldwell D, Welton NJ, Cooper NJ, Sutton AJ. Data visualisation approaches for component network meta-analysis: visualising the data structure. BMC Medical Research Methodology 2023; 23: 208, DOI:
  4. Lindson N, Theodoulou A, Ordóñez-Mena JM, Fanshawe TR, Sutton AJ, Livingstone-Banks J, Hajizadeh A, Zhu S, Aveyard P, Freeman SC, Agrawal S, Hartmann-Boyce J. Pharmacological and electronic cigarette interventions for smoking cessation in adults: component network meta-analyses. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2023, Issue 9. DOI:
  5. Hartmann-Boyce J, Ordóñez-Mena JM, Theodoulou A, Butler AR, Freeman SC, Sutton AJ, Jebb SA, Aveyard P. Impact of program characteristics on weight loss in adult behavioural weight management interventions: systematic review and component network meta-analysis. Obesity 2022; 30(9): 7778-1786, DOI:
  6. Freeman SC, Cooper NJ, Sutton AJ, Crowther MJ, Carpenter JR, Hawkins N. Challenges of Bayesian modelling approaches for network meta-analysis of time-to-event outcomes to aid decision making: application to a melanoma network. Statistical Methods in Medical Research 2022; 31(5): 839-861, DOI:
  7. Hartmann-Boyce J, Livingstone-Banks J, Ordóñez-Mena JM, Fanshawe TR, Lindson N, Freeman SC, Sutton AJ, Theodoulou A, Aveyard P. Behavioural programmes for cigarette smoking cessation: Investigating interactions between behavioural, motivational, and delivery components in a systematic review and component network meta-analysis. Addiction 2022; 117(8): 2145-2156. DOI:
  8. Bernhardt L, Brady EM, Freeman SC, Polmann H, Réus J, De Luca Canto G, Robertson N, Squire I. Diagnostic accuracy of screening questionnaires for obstructive sleep apnoea in adults within different clinical cohorts: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep and Breathing 2022; 26: 1053-1078 DOI:
  9. Burton JK, Craig LE, Yong SQ, Siddiqi N, Teale EA, Woodhouse R, Barugh AJ, Shepherd AM, Brunton A, Freeman SC, Sutton AJ, Quinn TJ. Non-pharmacological interventions for preventing delirium in hospitalised non-ICU patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2021, Issue 7. DOI:
  10. Doleman B, Mathiesen O, Jakobsen JC, Sutton AJ, Freeman SC, Lund J, Williams J. Methodologies for systematic reviews with meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials in pain, anaesthesia, and perioperative medicine. British Journal of Anaesthesia. 2021; 126: 903-911, DOI:
  11. Quinn T, Burton JK, Carter B, Cooper NJ, Dwan K, Field R, Freeman SC, Geue C, Hsieh PH, McGill K, Nevill CR, Rana D, Sutton A, Rowan MT, Xin, Y. Following the Science? Comparison of the methodological and reporting quality of covid-19 and other research. BMC Medicine 2021; 19: 46, DOI:
  12. Walsh T, Macey R, Ricketts D, Carrasco Labra A, Worthington H, Sutton AJ, Freeman SC, Glenny AM, Riley P, Clarkson J, Cerullo E. Enamel caries detection and diagnosis: An analysis of systematic reviews. Journal of Dental Research 2021; 101(3): 261-269, DOI:
  13. Hartmann-Boyce J, Livingstone-Banks J, Ordonez-Mena JM, Fanshawe TR, Lindson N, Freeman SC, Sutton AJ, Theodoulou A, Aveyard P. Behavioural interventions for smoking cessation: An overview and network meta-analysis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020, Issue 12. DOI:
  14. Freeman SC, Sutton AJ, Cooper NJ. Uptake of methodological advances for synthesis of continuous and time-to-event outcomes would maximise use of the evidence base. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 2020; 124: 94-105, DOI:
  15. Doleman B, Freeman SC, Lund JN, William JP, Sutton AJ. Funnel plots may show asymmetry in the presence of publication bias with continuous outcomes dependent on baseline risk: presentation of a new publication bias test. Research Synthesis Methods. 2020; 11: 522-534, DOI:
  16. Freeman SC, Fisher D, Carpenter JR, White I. Identifying inconsistency in network meta-analysis: Is the net heat plot a fake friend? Statistics in Medicine. 2019; 38: 5547-5564, DOI:
  17. Freeman SC, Kerby CR, Patel A, Cooper NJ, Quinn T, Sutton AJ. Development of an interactive web-based tool to conduct and interrogate meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy studies: MetaDTA. BMC Medical Research Methodology. 2019; 19: 81, DOI:
  18. Freeman SC, Scott NW, Powell R, Johnston M, Sutton AJ, Cooper NJ. Utilising component network meta-analysis to identify the most effective components of psychological preparation for adults undergoing surgery under general anaesthesia. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2018; 98: 105, DOI:
  19. Freeman SC, Fisher D, Tierney JF, Carpenter JR. A framework for identifying treatment-covariate interactions in individual participant data network meta-analysis. Research Synthesis Methods 2018; 9: 393-407, DOI:
  20. Freeman SC, Carpenter JR. Bayesian one-step IPD network meta-analysis of time-to-event data using Royston-Parmar models. Research Synthesis Methods 2017; 8: 451, DOI:
  21. Fisher D, Carpenter J, Morris T, Freeman SC, Tierney J. Meta-analytical methods to identify who benefits most from treatments: daft, deluded, or deft approach? BMJ 2017; 356; j573, DOI:


I currently supervise three PhD students:

- Mark Edmondson-Jones: Informing best-practice in the flexible use of individual patient-level data in network meta-analyses of multiple time-to-event outcomes to support the assessment of health interventions

- Clareece Nevill: Development and Evaluation of Synthesis Methods for Living Systematic Reviews including an Interactive Platform for Analysis, Updating and Dissemination: An Application to Electronic Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation

- Jonathan Broomfield: Modelling the Natural History of Rare Diseases Using Disparate Data Sources: Application to Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy


I have one completed PhD student:

- Ellesha Smith - Complex evidence synthesis using network meta-analysis, individual participant data and multiple outcomes

I can supervise PhD students in the areas of:

- Network meta-analysis
- Component network meta-analysis
- Individual participant data meta-analysis and network meta-analysis
- Synthesis of time-to-event and continuous outcomes
- Clinical Trials


As part of the MSc in Medical Statistics I currently teach on the following modules: Advanced Statistical Modelling.

Press and media

Evidence synthesis methodology


Selected conferences:

Freeman SC, Cooper, NJ, Sutton AJ, Crowther MJ, Carpenter, JR, Hawkins N. Evidence synthesis of time-to-event outcomes in the presence of non-proportional hazards. International Society of Clinical Biostatistics, 2021

Freeman SC, Patel A, Kerby CR, Cooper NJ, Quinn T, Sutton AJ. MetaDTA: An interactive web-based tool for meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy studies. Evidence Synthesis & Meta-Analysis in R, 2021

Patel A, Cooper, NJ, Freeman SC, Sutton AJ. Graphical enhancements to summary receiver operating characteristic plots to facilitate diagnostic test accuracy meta-analysis. Methods for Evaluation of Medical Prediction Models, Tests and Biomarkers, 2020

Freeman SC, Sutton AJ, Cooper NJ. A review of the methodology used to synthesise continuous and time-to-event outcomes for clinical and cost-effectiveness. Health Technology Assessment International, 2020

Freeman SC, Kerby C, Cooper NJ, Sutton AJ. An interactive web application to aid diagnostic test accuracy meta-analysis. Cochrane Colloquium, 2018


Selected Workshops:

MetaDTA and MetaBayesDTA: Interactive web applications to conduct meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy studies, Cochrane Colloquium, London, September 2023

Evaluation of complex and multi component interventions, NIHR Complex Reviews Support Unit webinar, September 2021

Right questions, right methods, right now. Cochrane UK & Cochrane Ireland, 21st April 2021

Not a giant leap, but a small step from pairwise to network meta-analysis. Cochrane Ireland & Cochrane UK Symposium, 21st April 2020

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