Policy and practice impacts of applied research: a case study analysis of the New South Wales Health Promotion Demonstration Research Grants Scheme 2000–2006

Milat, Andrew J. and Laws, Rachel and King, Lesley and Newson, Robyn and Rychetnik, Lucie and Rissel, Chris and Bauman, Adrian E. and Redman, Sally and Bennie, Jason (2013) Policy and practice impacts of applied research: a case study analysis of the New South Wales Health Promotion Demonstration Research Grants Scheme 2000–2006. Health Research Policy and Systems , 11 (5). pp. 1-15.

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Abstract

Background

Intervention research provides important information regarding feasible and effective interventions for health policy makers, but few empirical studies have explored the mechanisms by which these studies influence policy and practice. This study provides an exploratory case series analysis of the policy, practice and other related impacts of the 15 research projects funded through the New South Wales Health Promotion Demonstration Research Grants Scheme during the period 2000 to 2006, and explored the factors mediating impacts.

Methods

Data collection included semi-structured interviews with the chief investigators (n = 17) and end-users (n = 29) of each of the 15 projects to explore if, how and under what circumstances the findings had been used, as well as bibliometric analysis and verification using documentary evidence. Data analysis involved thematic coding of interview data and triangulation with other data sources to produce case summaries of impacts for each project. Case summaries were then individually assessed against four impact criteria and discussed at a
verification panel meeting where final group assessments of the impact of research projects were made and key influences of research impact identified.

Results

Funded projects had variable impacts on policy and practice. Project findings were used for agenda setting (raising awareness of issues), identifying areas and target groups for interventions, informing new policies, and supporting and justifying existing policies and programs across sectors. Reported factors influencing the use of findings were: i) nature of the intervention; ii) leadership and champions; iii) research quality; iv) effective partnerships; v) dissemination strategies used; and, vi) contextual factors.

Conclusions

The case series analysis provides new insights into how and under what circumstances intervention research is used to influence real world policy and practice. The findings highlight that intervention research projects can achieve the greatest policy and practice impacts if they address proximal needs of the policy context by engaging end-users from the inception of projects and utilizing existing policy networks and structures, and using a range of strategies to disseminate findings that go beyond traditional peer review publications.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 05:32
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2017 05:32
Uncontrolled Keywords: Government; Health promotion; Intervention research; Policy
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160508 Health Policy
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920208 Health Policy Evaluation
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1186/1478-4505-11-5
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/33384

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