UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


UCL Centre for Outcomes Research and Effectiveness

The UCL Centre for Outcomes Research and Effectiveness has a strong commitment to the development, delivery and evaluation of training programmes for psychological interventions.

Research Themes

CORE has a strong commitment to the development, delivery and evaluation of training programmes for psychological interventions and evidence based medicine. The unit also welcomes applications from PhD students.

CORE was established in 1995 to promote effectiveness based research within applied psychology. The initial focus of the unit was on outcomes research led by Dr Paul Clifford. In 2000 Professor Steve Pilling became the Director, and since that time the unit has focused on four main areas:

1. The development of Clinical Guidelines, particularly in mental health

2. The evaluation of complex interventions in Mental Health

3. The evaluation and development of psychological interventions, in particular low intensity interventions

4. Competence frameworks for psychological interventions

CORE Data Lab

The CORE data lab is led by Dr Rob Saunders, Dr Joshua Buckman & Dr Ciarán O’Driscoll. It brings together expertise in data science and clinical research to better understand and inform the management of mental health problems, and improve treatment outcomes through the use of novel data analytic techniques.

The lab leads a range of projects, with a particular focus on developing methods for working with complex healthcare datasets that can inform clinical practice. This includes data from clinical trials, longitudinal cohort studies, and routine clinical and hospital datasets. CORE data lab has led national evaluations which have informed the roll-out of mental health interventions, including parent training programmes and integrated physical and mental health services. The lab is the home of the Dep-GP project and NCEL IAPT SIRN datasets which have been instrumental in developing individual patient and predictive modelling methodologies that might be applied in routine care.

The future aims of the CORE Data Lab are to further develop novel analytic methods such as the use of computer adaptive testing to support improved assessment, and the development of relapse prevention interventions in common mental health disorders. The Lab takes on a number of post-graduate students each year on data analytic projects, and has a strong record in student support and development.

National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH)

The National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health is a collaboration between the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Centre for Outcomes Research and Effectiveness at University College London. The NCCMH aims to promote the role of evidence synthesis in making informed judgments about healthcare policy. This work has been funded by the WHO, the World Bank, professional bodies  and national governments. It has been led by the NCCMH. The objectives of the programme have been, through appropriate education and training,  to enable  health care systems develop the capacity to develop and  implement  their own guidance. This  work has been undertaken in Italy, Georgia, Turkey, Ukraine, Korea  and the United States. The methodological work currently being undertaken in Ukraine will support the implementation of NICE 2021-2026 strategy through its methodological advances  in guideline development. The guideline development work in collaboration with colleagues at NICE and the National Guideline Alliance  has contributed to significant  methodological developments in the  use of network  meta-analysis  and the  application of health  economic modelling. This has influenced development of guidelines both nationally and  internationally and has resulted in several highly cited papers.

Find out more about the NCCMH here.

Open Dialogue: Development and Evaluation of a Social Network Intervention for Severe Mental Illness (ODDESSI)

ODDESSI is a large-scale programme of research into crisis and continuing mental health care within the NHS. This programme is directed by Professor Steve Pilling (UCL), funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and managed by North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT). The study will run from 2017-2022 in five NHS Trust research sites. The development of  methods and support structures to support the implementation of complex mental health interventions in international  health care systems.

Find out more about the ODDESSI trial here.

Key Collaborations

CORE has a number of key collaborations with groups internal and external to UCL. These include: