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Research briefings

Improving knowledge exchange in public health

The aim of this research was to co-create an agreed set of theoretically and empirically-informed knowledge sharing principles to inform the SPHR research programme with an aim of reducing the knowledge-to-action gap throughout SPHR.

Improved use of routine data to assess and evaluate food environments

Around half of local authorities have a planning policy to control the numbers of takeaway and fast food outlets in their localities. Typically, this restricts the number of new outlets in an area, such as within 400 metres of a school. However, there is currently no evidence on how effective these restrictions are in improving health or reducing health inequalities.
Fuse/SPHR researchers used data from the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) in North East England held by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to find out if it could be used by public health teams and researchers to address this gap.

School-based sex and relationship education (SRE): Evidence-based, best practice criteria

These criteria are designed to help educators of both primary and secondary school children to design and deliver effective and acceptable sex and relationship education (SRE).They are evidence based, and have been developed following a comprehensive study that involved both qualitative and quantitative research conducted in the UK as well as drawing on data from all over the world. The research data include the views of young people who have had SRE, as well as professionals involved in commissioning and delivering SRE.

What makes a ‘successful’ collaborative research project between public health practitioners and academics?

The Public Health Practitioner Evaluation Scheme (PHPES) is a national, competitive scheme that offers practitioners support to evaluate local interventions in collaboration with NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) researchers. This research was funded by SPHR to evaluate the scheme and make recommendations for the future.

Associations between different methods of commuting and death from any cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer, and cancer incidence

Active travel is increasingly recognised as an important source of physical activity. This research aimed to identify associations between the different ways of commuting and death from any cause, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and cancer incidence.

Evaluating the causal impact of individual alcohol licensing decisions on local health and crime using natural experiments with synthetic controls

Robust evaluations of the impact of individual licensing decisions could potentially inform end improve local decision-making, but it is not feasible to conduct randomized experiments. Together with local practitioners we identified three case studies of local alcohol licensing decisions, and used a novel methodology to evaluate the impact of each of these decisions on local health and crime in the affected English local areas (1,000 – 15,000 people).

Addressing health inequity: Increasing participation and influence in local decision-making

A systematic review of the evidence on the effects of initiatives to increase peoples’ influence in local decision-making, and what the outcomes are in terms of influence and other determinants of health.

Young People's Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic

In March 2020, the UK was placed in lockdown in an effort to help slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID19). This project wanted to know: what was the impact of lockdown on adolescent mental health and wellbeing, social connections, and social media activity? Who are the vulnerable groups that will need additional support post-lockdown? What will schools need to consider when students return?

Ethnic Minority adults: a scoping review of UK mental health and wellbeing community interventions

Ethnic minority communities in the United Kingdom (UK) are disproportionately affected by poor mental health and by the social determinants of mental illness. A scoping review was undertaken to identify academic papers published since 1990 evaluating community interventions to improve the mental health and wellbeing of ethnic minority adults in the UK.

The Community-based Prevention of Diabetes (ComPoD) trial of a voluntary sector-led programme

The ComPoD trial was funded to provide robust evidence on the effectiveness of a ‘real-world’ diabetes prevention programme in the UK.

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