Previous research has identified that a health equity (HE) focus is insufficiently embedded within public health research and practice. To address this gap, this project aims to support those involved in public health research in SPHR in two ways: by developing a shared understanding of the nature and causes of health inequalities and by developing ways to design and implement more equity sensitive studies that maximise the potential to generate evidence that can inform policy and practice to tackle health inequalities. We will also establish knowledge exchange processes that take the learning from the research into the wider public health training, policy and practice communities.
The project comprises four linked work-packages.
• Work-package 1 (WP1) will update a review of international English language academic and grey literature to identify existing resources that can support the development of a stronger equity focus in public health research.
• WP2 will integrate an intersectional perspective – a perspective that includes a focus on multiple intersecting dimensions of social inequalities including socio-economic, gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, etc – into the Health Inequalities Assessment Tool (HIAT) produced by the NIHR Collaboration in Applied Health Research and Care North West Coast (CLAHRC NWC) to help strengthen the focus on HE in their research.
• WP3 will use a participative action research (AR) approach with a small number of SPHR research teams including the public partners on these teams to investigate: (i) how health inequalities are understood and considered in these research projects; (ii) whether, and if so how, the revised HIAT and other resources/processes can be used to strengthen the equity focus of their research activities; and (iii) what the key lessons are from the AR process that could help SPHR and public health research in general to strengthen the equity focus of their research.
• WP4 will collate and share knowledge, generated in WPs 1-3. This will include producing an adapted HIAT and other outputs to support the production of more equity sensitive research evidence.