A new CLAHRC publication offers valuable insight into the types of evidence used by decision-makers working in public health. In 2013, responsibility for public health services and planning shifted from the “health” boundary to local authority control. These services can range from health checks to open access sexual health.
CLAHRC researchers examined English local public health decision-making in a new review of what evidence is used and how by those planning, designing and commissioning services.
The review, published in a new paper in the Journal Implementation Science identifies three clear trends in evidence use
- the primacy of local evidence
- the important role of local experts in providing evidence and knowledge, and
- the high value placed on local evaluation evidence despite the varying methodological rigour.
Barriers to the use of research evidence included issues around access and availability of applicable research evidence, and indications that the use of evidence could be perceived as a bureaucratic process.
This is part of a wider project entitled Exploring decision-making processes and knowledge requirements in public health
Read the full paper
Kneale et al. Implementation Science (2017) 12:53
The use of evidence in English local public health decision-making: a systematic scoping review
Helen is a consultant in public health medicine and a health services researcher. She is a member of the CLAHRC research partnership team, and Deputy Director of the CLAHRC Academy. Her research uses qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate health care and public health services.
Antonio holds a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Research Methods and Implementation in Psychology and Health, both from the University of Granada, Spain. He has also been awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Granada, for his work in the Andalusian School of Public Health. During this time, he was part of several research projects, mostly focused on health inequalities and health systems, prior to joining UCL. Antonio has particular interest in research methods in health, mostly systematic reviews and meta-analysis.
Dylan completed an ESRC-funded PhD at the Institute of Education (UCL) examining transitions to parenthood and a Postdoctoral Fellowship examining housing transitions, both using birth cohort data. Prior to returning to the IOE in late 2014, he was Head of Policy and Research at Relate (a charity specialising in the delivery of counselling and promotion of mental wellbeing) and Head of Research at the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK), a think-tank exploring the implications of an ageing society. At the IOE, his research broadly involves synthesising evidence for social policy and developing methods to enhance the use of evidence in decision-making, including exploring the potential of large datasets in informing social policy. Substantively he is interested in issues encompassing demography, public health and social exclusion.
Ruth’s PhD is exploring whether using new educational technologies, such as online simulation, can improve the teaching of clinical reasoning skills for medical students. Ruth, along with her supervisors and medical experts has developed an electronic clinical reasoning educational simulation tool (eCREST). ECREST shows patients in general practice, all patients presenting with vague, non-specific respiratory symptoms, which could be indicative of serious conditions that are often missed in primary, such as lung cancer. This will allow students to practise gathering information from a patient, interpret that information and make informed decisions on diagnosis and management. Ruth is currently conducting a feasibility randomised controlled trial at three medical schools, to see whether it can improve clinical reasoning skills, and a qualitative think aloud interview study, to explore how eCREST can help students to learn clinical reasoning skills. This PhD aims to improve future doctors’ awareness of the presentation of potentially serious conditions, such as lung cancer in primary care, to help reduce future diagnostic errors.