From February 2017, information about the work of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow is available and updated on the University of Glasgow website.

Understanding, using and transferring research into policy and practice

There has been much debate in recent years about how research evidence can be made more useful to public health policymakers and practitioners, for example by providing syntheses of research (such as systematic reviews or other summaries). We have carried out a number of projects that produced syntheses of research on the health effects of social policies, and that explore how policymakers, both nationally and internationally, perceive and use research evidence to inform decision-making. Within this theme we have attracted PHSRN-funding for several research projects. These include exploring how MRC Units approach the dissemination of their research, examining the issues for practitioners of communicating about research evidence in practice (CHIRPP), and currently, we are developing an electronic toolkit to help people distinguish good population health science from bad. We aim to develop practical ways to make research evidence more useful and accessible to users in order to promote the timely translation of scientific knowledge into public benefit.

Within this theme we also aim to develop understandings of participation and engagement in health research. It has been well documented that participation rates for biomedical and epidemiological studies have been declining over the past decades. The existing literature has tended to focus on the barriers and facilitators to recruitment and retention. An area that has received less attention has been to examine participation within broader discourses about science. One possible factor in attrition has been that studies may fail to have personal salience, and this, coupled with reports of a growing disillusionment with science, may raise questions for the public about the importance of participation in research. Public engagement with research describes a myriad of ways in which the activities and benefits of higher education and research can be shared with the public for generating mutual benefit. However, whilst of huge strategic importance to the MRC and other Research Councils, there is currently a lack of empirical evidence on how this vision is being put into practice or whether there is a shared understanding of this vision among the academic community. We aim to further scientific understandings about public participation in research and engagement with health research to promote wider public involvement, engagement and support for biomedical, social and public health research.

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Publications

2015

Katikireddi SV, Hilton S. How did policy actors use mass media to influence the Scottish alcohol minimum unit pricing debate? Comparative analysis of newspapers, evidence submissions and interviews. Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy 2015;22:125-134

open access  

2014

Katikireddi SV, Bond L, Hilton S. Changing policy framing as a deliberate strategy for public health advocacy: a qualitative policy case study of minimum unit pricing of alcohol. Milbank Quarterly 2014;92:250-83

open access  

Katikireddi SV, Bond L, Hilton S. Perspectives on econometric modelling to inform policy: a UK qualitative case study of minimum unit pricing of alcohol. European Journal of Public Health 2014;24:490-495

open access  

Katikireddi SV, Hilton S, Bonell C, Bond L. Understanding the development of Minimum Unit Pricing of alcohol in Scotland: a qualitative study of the policy process. PLoS One 2014;9:e91185

open access  

Katikireddi SV, Smith KE. Minimum unit pricing of alcohol in Scotland. In: Hill M, editor Studying public policy: an international approach. Bristol: Policy Press, 2014.

van Bekkum J, Hilton S. UK research funding bodies' views towards public participation in health-related research decisions: an exploratory study. BMC Health Services Research 2014;14:318

open access  

2013

Fergie G, Hunt K, Hilton S. What young people want from health-related online resources: a focus group study. Journal of Youth Studies 2013;16:579-596

open access  

Lewis C, Clotworthy M, Hilton S, Magee C, Robertson MJ, Stubbins LJ, Corfield J. Consent for the use of human biological samples for biomedical research: a mixed methods study exploring the UK public’s preferences. BMJ Open 2013;3:e003022

open access  

Lewis C, Clotworthy M, Hilton S, Magee C, Robertson MJ, Stubbins LJ, Corfield J. Public views on the donation and use of human biological samples in biomedical research: a mixed methods study. BMJ Open 2013;3:e003022

open access  

van Bekkum JE, Hilton S. Primary care nurses' experiences of how the mass media influence frontline healthcare in the UK. BMC Family Practice 2013;14:178

open access  

van Bekkum JE, Hilton S. The challenges of communicating research evidence in practice: perspectives from UK health visitors and practice nurses. BMC Nursing 2013;12:17

open access  

2012

Craig P, Cooper C, Gunnell D, Haw S, Lawson K, Macintyre S, Ogilvie D, Petticrew M, Reeves B, Sutton M, Thompson S. Using natural experiments to evaluate population health interventions: new Medical Research Council guidance. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2012;66:1182-1186

pubmed  open access  

Katikireddi SV, Mclean JA. Introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol in Scotland: considerations under European law and the implications for European public health [commentary]. European Journal of Public Health 2012;22:457-458

open access  

Macintyre S. Evidence in the development of health policy. Public Health 2012;126:217-219

pubmed  open access  

Roberts H, Petticrew M, Macintyre S, Liabo K. The Anglo-Saxon disease: a pilot study of the barriers and facilitators to the use of randomised controlled trials of social programmes in an international context. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2012;66:1025–1029

pubmed  open access  

Smith KE, Katikireddi SV. A glossary of theories for understanding policymaking. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2012;67:198-202

pubmed  open access  

2011

Craig P, Cooper C, Gunnell D, Haw S, Lawson K, Macintyre S, Ogilvie D, Petticrew M, Reeves B, Sutton M, Thompson S. Using natural experiments to evaluate population health interventions. Glasgow, 2011

open access  

Douglas MJ, Carver H, Katikireddi SV. How well do strategic environmental assessments in Scotland consider human health?. Public Health 2011;125:585-91

pubmed  

Higgins M, Katikireddi SV, Conaglen P, Jones C, Douglas M. UK Public Accounts Committee report on health inequalities [letter]. The Lancet 2011;377ID - 253:206-7

open access  

Katikireddi SV, Higgins M, Bond L, Bonell C, Macintyre S. How evidence based is English public health policy?. BMJ 2011;343:d7310

pubmed  open access  

Lorimer K, Gray CM, Hunt K, Wyke S, Anderson A, Benzeval M. Response to written feedback of clinical data within a longitudinal study: a qualitative study exploring the ethical implications. BMC Medical Research Methodology 2011;11:10

pubmed  open access  

Macintyre S. Good intentions and received wisdom are not good enough: the need for controlled trials in public health. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2011;65:564-7

pubmed  open access  

2010

Wilson P M, Petticrew M, Calnan M, Nazareth I. Disseminating research findings: what should researchers do? A systematic scoping review of conceptual frameworks. Implementation Science 2010;5:91

pubmed  open access  

Wilson P M, Petticrew M, Calnan M, Nazareth I. Does dissemination extend beyond publication: a survey of a cross section of public funded research in the UK. Implementation Science 2010;5:61

pubmed  open access  

Wilson P M, Petticrew M, Calnan M, Nazareth I. Effects of a financial incentive on health researchers’ response to an online survey: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2010;12:e13

pubmed  open access  

2009

Hilton S, Bedford H, Calnan M, Hunt K. Competency, confidence and conflicting evidence: key issues affecting health visitors’ use of research evidence in practice. BMC Nursing 2009;8:4

pubmed  open access  

Hilton S, Hunt K, Langan M, Hamilton V, Petticrew M. Reporting of MMR evidence in professional publications:1988-2007. Archives of Disease in Childhood 2009;94:831-3

pubmed  open access  

Wilson P, Petticrew M, Booth A. After the gold rush? A systematic and critical review of general medical podcasts. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 2009;102:69-74

pubmed  open access  

2008

Roberts H, Petticrew M, Macintyre S, Liabo K, Stevens M. Randomised controlled trials of social interventions: report of a pilot study of barriers and facilitators in an international context. MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit Occasional Paper no. 19, Glasgow, 2008

Wilson P, Petticrew M, on behalf of the Medical Research Council's Population Health Sciences Research Network Knowledge Transfer Project team , Calnan M, Nazareth I. Why promote the findings of single research studies?. BMJ 2008;336:722-3

pubmed  

2006

Wimbush E, Harper H, Wight D, Gruer L, Lowther M, Fraser S, Gordon J. Evidence, policy and practice: developing collaborative approaches in Scotland. In: Killoran A , Swann C , Kelly M, editors Public health evidence: tackling health inequalities. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006:201-216.

2005

Harper H. The role of research in policy development: school sex education policy in Scotland since devolution [PhD], MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit 2005.

open access  

Wimbush E, Harper H, Wight D, Gruer L, Lowther M, Fraser S, Gordon J. Evidence, policy and practice: developing collaborative approaches in Scotland. Evidence & Policy 2005;1:391-407

2004

Petticrew M, Whitehead M, Macintyre S, Graham H, Egan M. Evidence for public health policy on inequalities: 1: the reality according to policymakers. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2004;58:811-816

pubmed  open access  

Whitehead M, Petticrew M, Graham H, Macintyre S, Bambra C, Egan M. Evidence for public health policy on inequalities 2: assembling the evidence jigsaw. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2004;58:817-821

pubmed  open access  

2003

Carter S, Michael M. Signifying across time and space: a case study of biomedical educational texts. Sociology of Health & Illness 2003;25:232-259

2001

Hunt K, Emslie C. Commentary: the prevention paradox in lay epidemiology- Rose revisited. International Journal of Epidemiology 2001;30:442-446

pubmed  open access  

1999

Kitzinger J, Farquhar C. The analytical potential of 'sensitive moments' in focus group discussions. In: Barbour R, Kitzinger J, editors Developing focus group gesearch: politics, theory and practice. London: Sage, 1999:156-172.