The Health Promotion and Public Health (HP&PH) Reviews Facility:
- undertakes policy-relevant systematic reviews of the evidence in key topic areas underpinning HP&PH decision-making;
- provides a reviews facility to develop capacity for undertaking and using reviews;
- co-ordinates review work in HP&PH; and
- advances methods for undertaking HP&PH systematic reviews, particularly with respect to drawing on a range of research designs.
The Reviews Facility is made up of researchers based at the EPPI-Centre who conduct in-house systematic reviews. The team studies the effectiveness and appropriateness of interventions and disseminates findings through conferences, seminars and publications.
In addition to conducting reviews we contribute to promoting the global awareness and use of systematic reviews in health promotion and public health through links with the Cochrane Collaboration’s Public Health Group.
The Health Promotion and Public Health Reviews Facility Reviews Facility is the longest-running programme of work in the EPPI-Centre. It has been funded by the Department of Health since 1995.
Scope of the programme
Health promotion and public health span an extremely broad field, including interventions in different target groups, in different settings and within various key areas (such as sexual health, mental health, coronary heart disease, etc). Health promotion is increasingly recognised as an important aspect of health care in many countries today, but the effectiveness and appropriateness of much health promotion work is either unknown or subject to contesting claims. While it is often assumed that health promotion interventions can do no harm, well-designed studies show that there can be negative behavioural effects.
The current move towards evidence-informed public policy in the UK requires a national programme of systematic review work in health promotion and public health (HP&PH). There are challenges in producing and using reviews in HP&PH including the need to draw on diverse types of evidence from across the health and social sciences. For example, evidence about what works to improve health and reduce inequalities is needed as well as qualitative and other types of evidence on people’s needs and intervention processes.
The Reviews Facility maintains three specialised registers on health promotion and public health, providing a unique source of keyworded trials, systematic reviews and other primary research in this field. These can be accessed from the databases page.