Although it is well documented that regular exercise and reduced sitting has positive health benefits, the number of people regularly exercising remains low and sitting time remains high.
November 2012 - March 2015
Evidence beyond the health sector
Research Team: Professor Karen Lock, Professor Mark Petticrew, Dr Matt Egan, Professor Judith Green, Dr Theo Lorenc, Dr Fred Martineau, Dr Sarah Milton, Dr Lesley Mountford, Elizabeth McGill, Dr Gemma Phillips, Dr Rebecca Steinbach, Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead & Steven Duffy
Who's involved: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine & LiLaC
June 2012 - November 2013
Decisions made in many different policy sectors may have important impacts on population health outcomes. This is particularly true of sectors relating to the built environment, such as transport, housing and urban planning.
While considerable research has been done on evidence use in healthcare and public health, cultures of evidence in these other sectors are much less well understood, and may be very different to those in health-related fields.
There is a need to understand how decision-makers understand evidence in their own terms, as well as what factors influence their use of research evidence. To this end, researchers conducted a number of linked studies that aim to improve our understanding of how evidence is understood, accessed, used and valued by decision makers working beyond health areas, in sectors that potentially impact upon people’s health and wellbeing.
These studies include:
The findings indicate that although cultures of evidence in non-health sectors are similar to those in health in some ways, there are some key differences, particularly as regards the political context of decision-making.
The findings suggest there are key areas that researchers should consider in relation how local practitioners think about and use evidence. This includes the understanding of ‘evidence’, priorities and expectations in relation to immediate outputs and intermediate outcomes and the importance of local knowledge.
Academics can meaningfully impact on local decision-making by co-producing research with local practitioners, in developing geographical data at local authority level, and by improving local evaluation and research capacity through training.
SPHR final report: Evidence beyond the health sector
Lorenc T, Tyner EF, Petticrew M, Duffy S, Martineau FP, Phillips G, Lock, K.. Cultures of evidence across policy sectors: systematic review of qualitative evidence. The European Journal of Public Health. 2014 24:6.
Gorsky M, Lock K, Hogarth S. Public health and English local government: historical perspectives on the impact of ‘returning home’. Journal of Public Health 2014 36:1.
Petticrew M, McKee M, Lock K, Green J, Phillips G. In Search of Social Equipoise. BMJ. 2013 347:f4016
G Phillips, J Green. Working for the public health: politics, localism and epistemologies of practice. Sociology of Health and Illness 37:4.
S Milton, M Petticrew, J Green. Why do local authorities undertake controlled evaluations of health impact? A qualitative case study of interventions in housing . Public Health 2014 128:12.
McGill E, Egan M, Petticrew M, Mountford L, Milton S, Whitehead M, Lock K. Trading quality for relevance: non-health decision makers’ use of evidence on the social determinants of health. BMJ Open 5:4: e007053.
SPHR project poster: Cultures of evidence beyond health sector
Collaborative research briefing: Housing improvement and safety