Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

William Leung, Department of Public Health

BA (Econ), MSc (Op Res), MSc (Comp Sci), MSc (Health Econ) 

Senior lecturer in health economics
Postgraduate course director (CPH, DPH & Diploma in Health Management)

Contact details

Tel +64 4 918 4617
Email william.leung@otago.ac.nz

Research interests and activities

William is the University of Otago, Wellington School of Medicine’s health economist. Recent projects have included meta-analyses of the effect of calcium intake on fracture and bone mineral density (with Distinguished Professor Ian Reid), and within-trial and decision-analytic cost-effectiveness analyses in areas such as CVD, diabetes, mental health, oncology, physical activity, respiratory disease, smoking cessation, and sun safety. He is leading the economic component of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Southern Hemisphere Influenza and Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance (SHIVERS) multi-agency project (Professor Michael Baker), and is part of several international health economics collaborations eg Single Pill to Avert Cardiovascular Events, multiple sclerosis, neuro-endocrine tumours, and rheumatic fever.

Within New Zealand, he is involved with external consultancy work for government agencies, often with health economist colleagues in Dunedin campus, where he is a consulting health economist. For example, The Royal Society of New Zealand’s 2017 evidence update of antimicrobial resistance, and peer reviewing, for the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (Families Commission), PwC’s economic evaluation of the Prime Minister’s $64m Youth Mental Health Project.

Before training as a health economist at the University of York, he was an operational research analyst (working with Professor Val Belton, Dr. Mark Elder and others) in the British National Health Service applying discrete-event simulation and other tools to modelling cancer treatment pathways.

Teaching and service

William is the postgraduate course director for the CPH, DPH, and Diploma in Health Management. His term as chair of the tri-campus Public Health Academic Committee, which has operational/academic oversight of the taught programmes, ended in January 2019; the current chair is Dr Trudy Sullivan.

He teaches PUBH 735 “The Economics of Health Policy Decision Making” (Dr Brian Easton in 2019), PUBH 736 “Economic Evaluation” (overall convenor), and contributed to the undergraduate medical programme.

In partnership with one of the global Big Four accounting firms, William has offered students paid internships and placements with them.

Student supervision

“Observations, and cost-effectiveness, of sun protection in schools”.
Primary supervisor of Ryan Gage’s MPH in the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit. Data from Professor Louise Signal’s Kids’Cam project were used. The thesis was published in the following international journals: Health Education & Behavior; Health Promotion International; and Photochemistry & Photobiology.

“The Waikōura Framework: A bicultural systems model for management of Lake Rotorua”.
Co-supervisor of Mereana Wilson’s extramural MPH in the Health Environment and Infection Research Unit. In collaboration with the Ministry for the Environment, Professor Graeme Doole, and Dr Paul Blaschke, a system dynamics model was designed and built to estimate the impact various freshwater management interventions have on lake health from a Māori and standard scientific perspective. Awarded a distinction-level pass.

^ Top of page

Publications

Leung, W., Roberts, V., Gordon, L. G., Bullen, C., McRobbie, H., Prapavessis, H., … Maddison, R. (2017). Economic evaluation of an exercise-counselling intervention to enhance smoking cessation outcomes: The Fit2Quit trial. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 15, 21. doi: 10.1186/s12971-017-0126-y

Leung, W., Kvizhinadze, G., Nair, N., & Blakely, T. (2016). Adjuvant trastuzumab in HER2-positive early breast cancer by age and hormone receptor status: A cost-utility analysis. PLoS Medicine, 13(8), e1002067. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002067

Bolland, M. J., Leung, W., Tai, V., Bastin, S., Gamble, G. D., Grey, A., & Reid, I. R. (2015). Calcium intake and risk of fracture: Systematic review. BMJ, 351, h4580. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h4580

Tai, V., Leung, W., Grey, A., Reid, I. R., & Bolland, M. J. (2015). Calcium intake and bone mineral density: Systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ, 351, h4183. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h4183

Maddison, R., Pfaeffli, L., Whittaker, R., Stewart, R., Kerr, A., Jiang, Y., … Leung, W., … Rawstorn, J. (2015). A mobile phone intervention increases physical activity in people with cardiovascular disease: Results from the HEART randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 22(6), 701-709. doi: 10.1177/2047487314535076

Working Paper; Discussion Paper; Technical Report

Cook, G., French, N., Hawke, G., Heinemann, J., Hendrickson, H., Le Heron, R., Leung, W., … Sullivan, T., … Williamson, D. (2017). Antimicrobial resistance: Implications for New Zealanders: Evidence update. Wellington, New Zealand: Royal Society Te Apārangi. 18p.

^ Top of page

Journal - Research Article

Anderson, Y. C., Leung, W., Grant, C. C., Cave, T. L., Derraik, J. G. B., Cutfield, W. S., … Sullivan, T. A. (2018). Economic evaluation of a multi-disciplinary community-based intervention programme for New Zealand children and adolescents with obesity. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.orcp.2018.04.001

Nghiem, N., Cleghorn, C. L., Leung, W., Nair, N., van der Deen, F. S., Blakely, T., & Wilson, N. (2018). A national quitline service and its promotion in the mass media: Modelling the health gain, health equity and cost-utility. Tobacco Control, 27(4), 434-441. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2017-053660

Gage, R., Leung, W., Stanley, J., Reeder, A., Mackay, C., Smith, M., Barr, M., Chambers, T., & Signal, L. (2018). Sun protection among New Zealand primary school children. Health Education & Behavior, 45(5), 800-807. doi: 10.1177/1090198117741943

Gage, R., Barr, M., Stanley, J., Reeder, A., Mackay, C., Smith, M., Chambers, T., Leung, W., & Signal, L. (2018). Sun protection and shade availability in New Zealand's outdoor recreation spaces. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131(1484), 30-37. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Gage, R., Leung, W., Stanley, J., Reeder, A., Mackay, C., Chambers, T., Smith, M., Barr, M., & Signal, L. (2017). Studying third-parties and environments: New Zealand sun-safety research. Health Promotion International. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/heapro/dax094

Leung, W., Roberts, V., Gordon, L. G., Bullen, C., McRobbie, H., Prapavessis, H., … Maddison, R. (2017). Economic evaluation of an exercise-counselling intervention to enhance smoking cessation outcomes: The Fit2Quit trial. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 15, 21. doi: 10.1186/s12971-017-0126-y

Gage, R., Leung, W., Stanley, J., Reeder, A., Barr, M., Chambers, T., Smith, M., & Signal, L. (2017). Clothing protection from ultraviolet radiation: A new method for assessment. Photochemistry & Photobiology, 93(6), 1513-1518. doi: 10.1111/php.12803

Leung, W., Kvizhinadze, G., Nair, N., & Blakely, T. (2016). Adjuvant trastuzumab in HER2-positive early breast cancer by age and hormone receptor status: A cost-utility analysis. PLoS Medicine, 13(8), e1002067. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002067

Maddison, R., Pfaeffli, L., Whittaker, R., Stewart, R., Kerr, A., Jiang, Y., … Leung, W., … Rawstorn, J. (2015). A mobile phone intervention increases physical activity in people with cardiovascular disease: Results from the HEART randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 22(6), 701-709. doi: 10.1177/2047487314535076

Bolland, M. J., Leung, W., Tai, V., Bastin, S., Gamble, G. D., Grey, A., & Reid, I. R. (2015). Calcium intake and risk of fracture: Systematic review. BMJ, 351, h4580. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h4580

Tai, V., Leung, W., Grey, A., Reid, I. R., & Bolland, M. J. (2015). Calcium intake and bone mineral density: Systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ, 351, h4183. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h4183

Maddison, R., Roberts, V., McRobbie, H., Bullen, C., Prapavessis, H., Glover, M., … Leung, W., … Tsai, M. (2014). Exercise counseling to enhance smoking cessation outcomes: The Fit2Quit Randomized Controlled Trial. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 48, 194-204. doi: 10.1007/s12160-014-9588-9

North, N., Leung, W., & Lee, R. (2014). New graduate separations from New Zealand's nursing workforce in the first 5 years after registration: A retrospective cohort analysis of a national administrative data set 2005-2010. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(8), 1813-1824. doi: 10.1111/jan.12339

North, N., Leung, W., & Lee, R. (2014). Aged over 50 years and practising: Separation and changes in nursing practice among New Zealand's older Registered Nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(12), 2779-2790. doi: 10.1111/jan.12426

Milsom, S., Leung, W., Twigden, V., Mitchell, P., Nowitz, M., & Cornish, J. (2013). Does insufficient access to dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) stifle the provision of quality osteoporosis care in New Zealand? Archives of Osteoporosis, 8, 120. doi: 10.1007/s11657-013-0120-9

North, N., Leung, W., Ashton, T., Rasmussen, E., Hughes, F., & Finlayson, M. (2013). Nurse turnover in New Zealand: Costs and relationships with staffing practises and patient outcomes. Journal of Nursing Management, 21(3), 419-428. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2012.01371.x

Leung, W., Ashton, T., Kolt, G. S., Schofield, G. M., Garrett, N., Kerse, N., & Patel, A. (2012). Cost-effectiveness of pedometer-based versus time-based Green Prescriptions: The Healthy Steps Study. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 18(3), 204-211. doi: 10.1071/PY11028

Brown, P., McNeill, R., Leung, W., Radwan, E., & Willingale, J. (2011). Current and future economic burden of osteoporosis in New Zealand. Applied Health Economics & Health Policy, 9(2), 111-123.

^ Top of page

Journal - Research Other

Sarfati, D., McLeod, M., Stanley, J., Signal, V., Stairmand, J., Krebs, J., Dowell, A., Leung, W., Davies, C., & Grainger, R. (2018). BetaMe: Impact of a comprehensive digital health programme on HbA1c and weight at 12 months for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 19, 161. doi: 10.1186/s13063-018-2528-4

Wilson, N., Selak, V., Blakely, T., Knight, J., Nghiem, N., Leung, W., … Jackson, R. (2016). Decision-making in an era of cancer prevention via aspirin: New Zealand needs updated guidelines and risk calculators. New Zealand Medical Journal, 129(1431), 85-92. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Patel, R., Sulzberger, L., Li, G., Mair, J., Morley, H., Ng-Wai Shing, M., O'Leary, C., Prakash, A., Robilliard, N., Rutherford, M., Sharpe, C., Shie, C., Sritharan, L., Turnbull, J., Whyte, I., Yu, H., Cleghorn, C., Leung, W., & Wilson, N. (2015). Smartphone apps for weight loss and smoking cessation: Quality ranking of 120 apps. New Zealand Medical Journal, 128(1421). Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

^ Top of page

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Devan, H., Perry, M., Shipton, E., Dowell, T., Jones, B., Ingham, T., Gray, A., Leung, W., Hoermann, S., … Hale, L., & Grainger, R. (2017). Co-creating a self-management eHealth resource by the people and for the people with persistent pain: iSelf-help. Proceedings of the Health Informatics New Zealand (HiNZ) Conference. (pp. 24). Retrieved from http://www.hinz.org.nz/

Gage, R., Leung, W., Signal, L., Stanley, J., Reeder, T., & Mackay, C. (2017). The lifetime cost-effectiveness of preventing skin cancer through shade construction in schools. Proceedings of the 15th World Congress on Public Health. Retrieved from https://wcph2017.entegyapp.com/Page/28/564/26/1459

Wilson, N., Nghiem, N., Leung, W., Cleghorn, C., Nair, N., van der Deen, F. S., & Blakely, T. (2017). Mass media and quitline combined: Modelling the health gain (QALYS), equity impacts and health cost savings. Proceedings of the 23rd Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco (SRNT) Annual Meeting. (pp. 305-306). Retrieved from http://www.srnt.org/

Gage, R., Signal, L., Leung, W., Stanley, J., Reeder, T., & Mackay, C. (2016). No hat, no play? An objective evaluation of sun-safety practices in New Zealand primary and intermediate schools. Proceedings of the 3rd Aotearoa New Zealand Childhood Studies Colloquium: Children and Childhoods: Agency, Participation and Contribution. (pp. 8-9). Retrieved from https://www.ivvy.com/event/A1ZAMK/

Kolt, G. S., Leung, W., Ashton, T., Schofield III, G. M., Garrett, N., Kerse, N., & Patel, A. (2012). Cost-effectiveness of a pedometer-based versus time-based physical activity prescription program: The Healthy Steps study. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 44(Suppl. 2(5S)), (pp. 847). [Abstract]

^ Top of page

Conference Contribution - Poster Presentation (not in published proceedings)

Anderson, Y. C., Leung, W., Grant, C. C., Cave, T. L., Derraik, J. G. B., Cutfield, W. S., … Sullivan, T. A. (2017, November). Economic evaluation of a multi-disciplinary community-based intervention programme for New Zealand children and adolescents with obesity. Poster session presented at the Paediatric Society of New Zealand 69th Annual Scientific Meeting, Christchurch, New Zealand.

More publications...