Research evidence is often talked about in debates about health - but what actually counts as ‘evidence’ and how can we use this to make a real impact on people’s health and wellbeing?
This was the focus of the Third International Conference on Knowledge Exchange in Public Health which took place 27-28 April under the theme “Evidence to impact in public health” - organised by Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health.
Academics and other users of research from Australia, Canada, Europe and America gathered in Newcastle-Gateshead in North East England to exchange ideas, evidence and expertise. The event was co-sponsored by Tranzo (scientific centre for care and welfare) at Tilburg University in the Netherlands and the World Health Organization (WHO), Regional Office for Europe.
The presentations covered a variety of topics including the impact of evidence, information and research and reflected on questions such as: how acceptable are financial incentives for breastfeeding? Can participating in community music enhance wellbeing in people facing challenging circumstances? What works in the ‘real world’ to help prevent HIV in men who have sex with men? And how can evidence be used to prevent violence?
Attendees also heard from academics getting to grips with life in practice settings such as Local Authorities and found out how information could be made beautiful though data visualisation and interactive tools.
Keynote speakers included Dr Claudia Stein, Director of the Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation at WHO/Europe; Professor Hans van Oers, of Tilburg University in the Netherlands; Professor John Lavis of McMaster University in Canada; and Dr Bev Holmes of the Michael Smith Foundation, Canada. The international speakers joined Professor Rosemary Rushmer, from Teesside University, who led the organisation of the conference for Fuse.
The conference built on the success of the previous two conferences: Durham, UK in 2011 and Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands in 2013.