Trends in evidence use in public health decision-making

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
DOI 10.1186/s13012-017-0577-9
The use of evidence in English local public health decision-making: a systematic scoping review

Professor Martin Utley

Professor Utley has experience of working on a wide variety of problems in health and health care, spanning many clinical areas. He is committed to assisting those planning, delivering or evaluating health services by developing, adapting and applying operational research techniques. Martin also acts as scientific advisor to the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) and is editor of the journal Operations Research for Health Care.

Andrew Hutchings

Andrew studied management science (operational research) at Lancaster University. He has worked in industry and spent five years at the Audit Commission. He joined the Department of Health Services Research and Policy at LSHTM after completing a MSc in Medical Statistics. His main research interests are in the area of health care quality improvement, service delivery and organisational research. Recent research has included work examing the routine use of patient reported outcomes measures (PROMs) in elective surgery and TABUL, a NIHR HTA-funded study comparing the performance of ultrasonography and temporal artery biopsy for diagnosing giant cell arteritis.

Dr Jordana Peake

Jordana is a research associate at the Louis Dundas Centre for Children’s Palliative Care, Institute of Child Health (ICH). She recently completed her PhD at ICH which looked at the epidemiology and decision making for neural tube defect affected pregnancies within different ethnic communities. She is currently working on a project which aims to improve access and participation in research with children and young people with life-limiting conditions or life-threatening illnesses and their families, including a study of chief investigators and a study of research ethics committees. Jordana is also involved with research on clinical outcomes, including preferred place of death and the evaluation of outpatient clinics for children with life-limiting conditions.