Sally Redman | Early findings from SPIRIT


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Professor Sally Redman AM, CEO of the Sax Institute, recently addressed a CIPHER forum to share how the SPIRIT trial is testing a program designed to increase the use of research in policy and programs.

CIPHER, the Centre for Informing Policy in Health with Evidence from Research, is an Australian collaborative research centre managed by the Sax Institute, that is investigating the tools, skills and systems that might contribute to an increased use of research evidence in policy.

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Sally Redman | Early findings from SPIRIT

  1. 1. Sally Redman on behalf of the CIPHER team Perspectives: Early findings from SPIRIT
  2. 2. SPIRIT Stepped wedge trial in 6 agencies • Agency for Clinical Innovation • Clinical Excellence Commission • Ministry of Health (Centre for Population Health) • Justice Health • Cancer Institute NSW • A national agency Testing a multifaceted program designed to increase the use of research in policy and programs
  3. 3. Organisations are incredibly different: Policy agencies value research • 79% said in their organisation leaders believe it is important to use research in policy or program development • 95% believed it is valuable to use research in policy or program work to decide about content or direction of a policy or program
  4. 4. Organisational approaches differ Do your policies on how to develop policies or programs encourage or require research use? Yes, very much so Yes, to some extent No Does your organisation provide access to training for staff in how to access research, appraise and apply research? No Yes, very much so No In the last 6 months, has your organisation undertaken internal research to support policy development, implementation, evaluation? No Yes, very much so Yes, very much so
  5. 5. Staff views differ % % % It is usually or always expected that policies or programs will be evaluated 89 93 34 Interaction with researchers or research organisations is usually or always encouraged 96 25 44
  6. 6. Complex agencies, complex problem solving
  7. 7. Tailored solutions based on how each agency engages with and uses research Tools to measure and feedback current practice - what do staff do - what does the organisation do - how is research used in policy products Range of strategies that are highly flexible Making research work will require….
  8. 8. • All agencies flagged evaluation as a priority area for capacity development • Five of six agencies requested a session to build staff skills in evaluation • 12% of staff very confident in their skills in evaluation Evaluation is a major priority
  9. 9. Bring together research and program expertise to answer real questions within a real world context Some excellent examples eg: • RCT of screening women 40-49 Moss SM et al Lancet. 2006;368:2053–60. • 7 separate evaluations of the Scottish smoke free laws Haw et al, J Public Health 2006: 28; 24-30 • Feedback to publicans about alcohol related incidents among their patrons Wiggers et al Drug Alcohol Rev 2004 Sep;23(3):355- 64 Embed research into policy &program rollout
  10. 10. • Identify opportunity early in program design • Engage with research expertise early • Seriously consider flexible roll out • Stimulate community discussion about ‘trials’ • Strengthen rigour and knowledge of designs beyond RCTs • Faster funding models Embed research into policy &program rollout
  11. 11. Priorities for action • Enable agencies to understand how they use research and opportunities for improvement • Develop better approaches to embedding research into the rollout of policies and programs • Provide better incentives for researchers to work with policy agencies through tighter recognition in track record evaluation and funding