Angles to be addressed by any initiative in population-based health intervention research

Participants in a January 2013  workshop in Toronto on designing new initiatives in population-based health intervention research were asked in a session that I facilitated to identify six principles or questions to be addressed by any initiative.  I discerned the categories below in the responses and extract some quotes to illustrate, suggesting that any initiative would need to make room for development in each category and for cross-challenges among them.

  • Knowledge
    • e.g., “Starting point must be full understanding of existing evidence”
  • Infrastructure
    • “Build upon or leverage existing infrastructure which includes cohorts” / “Encourage collaboration across sectors and disciplines to help garner the infrastructure and support needed for large nested RCT cohorts.”
  • Objectives
    • “Address a significant health issue”
  • Methods & conceptualization
    • “Can built environment and other contextual variables be creatively translated into experiments? (What exemplars are there to learn from?)”
  • Audience/motivation
    • “Practitioners and policy makers (decision makers) should be involved in setting priorities” / “An honest account of the formation of Ontario Health Study (and how it has not yet included an intervention arm) would help clarify what needs to be done to get an intervention agenda adopted and funded.”
  • Participants
    • “Can intervention studies be a way to empower cohort study participants? (Passivity -> activity)”
  • Multi-dimensionality
    • “Encourage collaboration across sectors and disciplines to help garner the infrastructure and support needed for large nested RCT cohorts.”
  • Social health
    • “Equity concerns and impact should be built into any intervention study designs – e.g. differential impact of interventions.”
  • Scale
    • (pilot community projects not at scale to have power)
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