Population Health Intervention Research (PHIR) is a field of growing interest.
Indeed, PHIR and the evaluation of PHIR may become increasingly important for health systems* at many levels and also for public health policy.
What is PHIR and what is its impact?
‘Population health intervention research (PHIR) can be defined as the use of scientific research methods to produce knowledge on policy and intervention programs’ ‘Whether or not they are conducted in the context of the health system, these policies and programs have the potential to make an impact at the population level’
The complexity of the field of PHIR requires an interdisciplinary approach.
A highlight of 2019 for me and A Tree of Life Sciences® was to see the publication of 2 important papers of which I am proud to be a co-author.
One of the publications discusses the place of theories in PHIR, and addresses why theories can be useful, and how to choose and use the most relevant of them in evaluating PHIR. The other publication addresses the question of the place or role for pilot studies in PHIR because ‘pilot studies are well-established in biomedical research, but the situation is more ambiguous for PHIR, in which a pilot study could refer to different purposes’
These publications represent the culmination of a challenging and very interesting international project, involving experts from a number of different disciplines and fields. Position statements, further research directions, and recommendations are included in the publications.
I think that bearing in mind all the different possible approaches and methods a key point made is ‘the questions to be addressed should drive the approach and methods’.
Transcending borders and boundaries
I am very proud to have participated in the international workshop held in Paris (November 2016), and to have contributed to the development and the writing of subsequent papers and publications. It was very challenging and also very rewarding to be able to learn so much from the exchanges between researchers from different disciplines and fields, and from different countries including France, Canada and the UK.
Involvement in international collaborative projects and open access publication is in keeping with my personal values, and those of A Tree of Life Sciences® in “transcending borders and boundaries” in high value projects.
by Dr Julie Charlesworth
For further reading, these open access publications are available in Trials Journal BMC (part of Springer Nature):
Moore et al. Trials (2019) 20:285 https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-019-3383-7
Thabane et al. Trials (2019) 20:309 https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-019-3422-4
*Health systems are all organisations, people and actions whose primary intent is to promote, restore or maintain health. This includes efforts to influence determinants of health as well as more direct health-improving activities (World Health Organization definition).
Health systems can be viewed as the organisation of people, institutions, and resources that deliver health care services to meet the health needs of target populations (Wikipedia)