Evaluation and evidence-based public health practices: their use, usability and usefulness in physical activity interventions.

Fynn, Judith (2021) Evaluation and evidence-based public health practices: their use, usability and usefulness in physical activity interventions. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Evidence-based public health ensures that actions to safeguard and improve the health of populations are based on sound evidence. This requires three processes: evaluation to generate evidence, dissemination, and use of evidence. This thesis aimed to improve understanding of these processes within multi-agency public health interventions; the research focuses on interventions promoting physical activity, which is a public health priority. Such interventions are challenging to implement and to evaluate, yet to achieve sustainable change to address the health of the population, evaluation is needed to understand their complexity and effectiveness. By exploring current practices, the thesis applied the insights gained to develop recommendations to improve practice and contribute to the underlying aim of closing the research-practice gap.
A scoping review was conducted to identify evaluation frameworks that could be used in evaluating physical activity interventions, and to appraise their applicability to different evaluation objectives and contexts. Secondly, a systematic review appraised the use and reporting of evaluation frameworks in physical activity evaluation studies. A collective case study approach was then applied to explore the use of strategies to support evidence-based practices within an applied context. This was based on a national physical activity programme, Sport England’s Get Healthy Get Active programme. Multiple sources of evidence were analysed to explore influences on evaluation practice, knowledge exchange and the capacity to conduct and use evaluation.
This research highlighted the complex interconnections and context-specific nature of influences on evidence-based practices. Where systematic approaches, such as evaluation frameworks, are applied appropriately, these can improve evaluation and reporting. Yet, there are gaps in guidance, limitations in use and reporting of frameworks, and limited use made of evidence generated. Research-practice partnerships and networks can improve practice, but organisational structures and systems are needed to facilitate their implementation. The thesis considers implications of these findings for researchers and decision makers, who play a pivotal role in shaping the future of evidence-based public health.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2021 09:33
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 09:33
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/80302
DOI:

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