The Health Foundation is working with Dr Harry Rutter from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to develop a new model of evidence that will inform public health research, policy and practice.

As part of this work Dr Rutter and co-authors from the Health Foundation and around the world have published a new Viewpoint paper – The need for a complex systems model of evidence for public health – in The Lancet, which outlines the need for new approaches to designing and evaluating population-level interventions to improve health.

You can read the paper published in The Lancet (subscription access) or a publicly available version of the paper.

Key points

  • We are faced with many big health challenges in our society. Their complex nature is an ongoing problem for public health research and policy.
  • Such challenges often involve multiple factors operating over many decades in systems that adapt as changes occur. For example, the distribution of obesity in a population might be impacted by changes to food, employment, transport or economic systems.
  • The traditional linear model of research is not suited to tackling these challenges. This is because it focuses largely on changes in individuals, not the population as a whole, and because it tends to look at isolated interventions rather than the contexts in which they take place.
  • There is growing recognition that we need a new evidence model that looks at public health problems, and our potential responses, in terms of a complex systems approach.

Further reading

Comments

denise dougherty



wonderful to hear about your great new effort on complex systems. i tried to download the paper in the publicly available link but needed a userid and password which i don't have to the London School. Is there another option?

Thanks, Denise Dougherty



denise dougherty



wonderful to hear about your great new effort on complex systems. i tried to download the paper in the publicly available link but needed a userid and password which i don't have to the London School. Is there another option?

Thanks, Denise Dougherty



Tim Fielding



Very interesting project but I was unable to access the 'publicly available' paper. Any other options?



Melanie Andrews



The full article seems to be available via the lancet link :)



Clara Morrish



Thank you for your above comments.
The 'publicly available version of the paper' link has now been updated to link directly to the paper via the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine website.
We hope you enjoy reading the paper!

Best wishes,
Clara



Andy Reid



The 'publicly available' copy was a mistake by the Library: the manuscript is subject to a six-month embargo by the publishers, which has now been enforced, rather belatedly. There is no sign that it was published Open Access, so I'm afraid we have to enforce the publishers terms.

Andy Reid
Research Information Manager



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