Solutions Focussed Research Theme
Our vision is to be a world-leading centre of excellence in the development, evaluation and implementation of interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and populations and to reduce inequalities.
What we do
What we do:
We bring together expertise from across the Institute in the development, evaluation and implementation of interventions to improve population health nationally and globally.
We promote interdisciplinary research in the following areas:
• Understanding the problem
• Theorising interventions
• Developing and refining interventions
• Evaluating the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of interventions
• Using process evaluations to understand how, why and for whom interventions work/do not work
• Post-research implementation and transferability of interventions
We have a particular interest in novel methods for the development and evaluation of complex interventions, health economics, treatment and prevention, evidence synthesis and systematic reviews.
How we do it:
To achieve this vision, key priorities include:
• bringing together multidisciplinary teams and facilitating collaboration;
• sharing expertise from within the IHW’s various departments;
• exploiting the IHW’s key areas of expertise;
• utilising cutting edge methodologies;
• developing and sharing novel methods and capacity in behavioural science, health economics, health technology assessment, trials methodology, trials informatics and biostatistics;
• developing early career researchers and postgraduate teaching;
• developing the SPHSU Population Health Research Facility as an Institute resource working in partnership with the Robertson Centre;
• engaging in knowledge exchange, public engagement and co-production activities.
Examples of our work
(i) Research Studies
Exemplar studies led by theme staff and supported by the Robertson Centre and HEHTA:
- European Fans In Training (EuroFIT), an EU funded project (>5.9M euros) designed to harness the personal connection, loyalty and attachment many men feel to football and their club to attract them to health-promoting lifestyle change programmes.
- A decision support system to improve self-management of non-specific low back pain (selfBACK), a pan European low back pain trial (£3.6M, Horizon 2020).
- The Best Services Trial: Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the New Orleans Intervention Model for Infant Mental Health (BeST?) (£3.9M NIHR)
- Effectiveness of Intravenous iron treatment vs standard care in patients with heart failure and iron deficiency: a randomised, open-label multicentre trial (IRON-MAN) (£1.7M, British Heart Foundation).
(ii) Guidance documents
The work of the theme includes authorship of:
- The MRC guidance on Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions. The current update [hyperlink to project page under Complexity programme] is being led by our MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit and is due for publication in late 2019.
- The MRC guidance on Using Natural Experiments to Evaluate Population Health Interventions.
- The MRC guidance on Process Evaluation of Complex Interventions.
- We are also involved in developing further specific guidance on: (1) the importance of context; (2) exploratory trials; and (3) health economic evaluation of complex interventions.
(iii) Research Development Groups
We have multidisciplinary research networks working towards solutions focused research. Examples include:
Vision: To develop realistic and sustainable lifestyle interventions for the primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases, taking account of the wider determinants of health with a programmatic multidisciplinary approach, capitalising on emerging technologies and big data, and focusing on inequalities.
SFRT executive group
SFRT management group