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HSRU is funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates. The author accepts full responsibility for.

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Presentation on theme: "HSRU is funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates. The author accepts full responsibility for."— Presentation transcript:

1 HSRU is funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates. The author accepts full responsibility for this talk. Health Services Research Unit University of Aberdeen Teaching statistics to meet the needs of policy makers Marion Campbell

2 Health Services Research Unit Background Teaching statistics is a means to an end The end aim … to interpret data accurately and meaningfully to make inferences about the greater population Often the end user is a decision-maker – who has to make decisions on behalf of themselves/wider population As such … in addition to teaching the skills of doing statistics, we need to teach the skills of communicating statistics

3 Health Services Research Unit Who are the ‘decision makers’? Policy makers Health service managers Clinicians & health professionals Public & patients

4 Health Services Research Unit Policy makers Macro-level questions What types of services should be provided in the NHS? Should the NHS fund particular types of drugs/treatments? … what would be the impact of those decisions on the health & wealth of the nation? Societal perspective

5 Health Services Research Unit Health service managers Issues of … Local priorities and needs Cost-effectiveness of specific healthcare treatments How should services be delivered locally? How can the organisation be most efficient?

6 Health Services Research Unit Health professionals Questions about clinical effectiveness … Which treatments have the best outcomes for my patients? Eg Which procedure is better for knee replacement?

7 Health Services Research Unit Patients Questions about the patient journey & treatment choices … How long should I expect my recovery to take? What are the risks to undertaking different treatments?

8 Health Services Research Unit Policy makers and scientists (incl statisticians) are different Policy makers have a different agenda They have many conflicting sources of advice They are non-specialists They are busy They have different timescales Communicating with policy makers

9 Health Services Research Unit Differences: academia and policy Source: /

10 Health Services Research Unit ●Differs between academics and policymakers ●Academics: −‘evidence’ = academic research findings, RCTs, novel methods ●Policy-makers: often use and value other types of evidence: −public opinion, −political feasibility −knowledge of local contexts The concept of evidence

11 Health Services Research Unit Research evidence is most likely to be used by policy-makers when it meets the following needs: ●Relevant - addresses questions of interest to policy-makers ●Accessible - can be easily found and understood by policy- makers ●Immediate - evidence is provided in a timely manner for current problems ●Useful - information provides solutions to problems ●Quality - information is credible and scientifically rigorous ●Collaborative - early and sustained engagement with policy- makers will increase their understanding of the research and their confidence in using it ●Targeted - identifies a specific audience and key messages Engaging policy makers

12 The John Lavis model Full text Paragraph Sentence Headline Headline: Short & catchy Retain essence of overall message Headline: Short & catchy Retain essence of overall message Sentence (have 2 versions): 1.Highlight the research evidence 2.Highlight the implications for policy Sentence (have 2 versions): 1.Highlight the research evidence 2.Highlight the implications for policy Paragraph: Why is the issue important? What does the research tell us about the issue? To what extent does current decision-making differ from optimal decision-making? Who should act and what should be done? Paragraph: Why is the issue important? What does the research tell us about the issue? To what extent does current decision-making differ from optimal decision-making? Who should act and what should be done? Full report: Expand on paragraph points Full references Full report: Expand on paragraph points Full references

13 The 1:3:25 model Headline 25 page 3 page 1 page One pager: Main messages The “so what” not just the “what” One pager: Main messages The “so what” not just the “what” Three pager: Condensed version of findings More like newspaper rather than academic abstract Three pager: Condensed version of findings More like newspaper rather than academic abstract 25 pager: Plain language Anecdotes to convey messages Cover 7 categories 25 pager: Plain language Anecdotes to convey messages Cover 7 categories

14 Health Services Research Unit Seven sections for 25 pager Context Implications Approach Results Additional resources Further research References & bibliography

15 Health Services Research Unit Foster relationship with key policy makers to understand their needs – then target message Delivery should be in interactive forum if possible Focus on implications rather than information Policymaker more likely to act on research evidence if packaged as an actionable message So what else helps?

16 Health Services Research Unit “Lay the fundamentals bare, make the logic clear and get rid of the jargon” UK Government Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark Walport Words of wisdom

17 Health Services Research Unit Speak up! − Communicate your science. If you don’t, it’s as good as non-existent. Making science just for yourself does little good. Stand up! − Make yourself heard. Meet people. Introduce them to yourself and the work you do. Be proud of achievements. Modesty in moderation! Gang up! − Consensus is important. Even if it exists at moderate levels, build on it. It makes the scientist’ voice stronger in the eyes of the outside community. A rallying call! Anne Glover Chief Scientific Adviser to the EU

18 Health Services Research Unit Canadian Institute for Health Information. You say ‘to-may-to(e)’ and I say ‘to-mah- to(e)’” Bridging the Communications Gap Between Researchers and Policy-Makers. CIHI, 2004 Canadian Health Services Research Foundation. “Reader-Friendly Writing—1:3:25,” Communication Notes (2001) ww.chsrf.ca/knowledge_transfer/pdf/cn-1325_e.pdf Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN. Communicating with policymakers - Presenting information to policymakers. Useful references

19 Health Services Research Unit Marion Campbell, HSRU, University of Contact details


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