Evidencing the impacts of health research: Insights from trials reported in the 2018 Australian Engagement and Impact Assessment

Prowse, S. R., Treweek, S., Kiezebrink, K. and Hanna, C. (2023) Evidencing the impacts of health research: Insights from trials reported in the 2018 Australian Engagement and Impact Assessment. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, (doi: 10.1002/hpja.772) (PMID:37493241) (Early Online Publication)

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Issue Addressed: While definitions of impact may vary, they often refer to the wider benefits of research evidenced beyond academia. We evaluated case studies featuring randomised trials from the 2018 Engagement and Impact Assessment to better understand how the impacts of health research are evidenced and assessed within Australia. Methods: We collated and evaluated ‘high’ scoring case studies submitted by higher education institutions with a focus on randomised trials across all areas of health research. A qualitative coding system was used for manual content analysis to assess the key characteristics of trials reported, subsequent impacts and the methods used to evidence impacts. Results: A total of 14 case studies were identified citing 35 clinical trials. The majority of interventions were behavioural with a focus on mental, behavioural or neurodevelopmental disorders. Most trials were phase III, focused on the treatment of the indication and were funded by industry. Contribution to clinical guidelines was the highest cited research impact. While there was evidence of researchers seeking to maximise trial impact, case studies lacked details on the role of trial participants and other beneficiaries in generating impact. Conclusions: The impacts of health research can be improved through a better understanding of the priorities and agendas of funders, providing evidence of tangible impact rather than information that is contextual or predictive, and through the early development of impact strategies involving both researchers and beneficiaries. So What? Large-scale impact exercises intended for a broad range of disciplines may not be reflective of the depth and scope of health sciences research including trials.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hanna, Catherine
Authors: Prowse, S. R., Treweek, S., Kiezebrink, K., and Hanna, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Health Promotion Journal of Australia
ISSN (Online):2201-1617
Published Online:26 July 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Health Promotion Journal of Australia 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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