Fuse research briefs
Fuse is developing a collection of research briefs to tell the story of, and showcase the unique high quality research undertaken in the Centre. In two-sides of A4 these fusebriefs aim to condense findings from published or on-going work and extract key messages or make recommendations for practice (if any).
If you would like to use this product to help your research reach a wider audience, or you would like to suggest a topic area relating to the public health research carried out by Fuse, please contact Mark Welford (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Templates and guidance are available to contributors upon request.
Universal Credit radically changes the system of welfare benefits and tax credits for people of working age. It aims to simplify the benefits system, ‘make work pay’ and reduce system fraud and error (Department for Work & Pensions 2018), but has been plagued by delays and implementation problems (National Audit Office, House of Commons 2018). The full service roll out of Universal Credit (UC) started in Gateshead in October 2017. Qualitative research to understand its impact was commissioned by Gateshead Council Public Health Team and undertaken by a team of Fuse researchers from Teesside University and Newcastle University in 2018 focusing on vulnerable groups.
Socio-economic inequalities in health are widespread amongst high-income countries. Public health policies aim to improve the health of populations as a whole but little is known about their effects on health inequalities. A team of Fuse researchers completed a ‘review of reviews’ looking at the existing research literature to summarise the evidence on which public health policies are effective at reducing socio-economic inequalities in health.
Having easy access to good healthcare increases your chances of being healthy but who can provide what? Four Fuse supported research projects explore how community pharmacy can increase access to healthcare and reduce inequalities in health.
Fuse researchers scoped an evaluation plan for the Darlington Healthy New Towns (DHNT) programme to identify ways to improve the health and wellbeing of residents and to consider how these successful outcomes would be achieved and recorded in the future delivery of the programme.
The babyClear© progamme was introduced across North East England to reduce maternal smoking rates, which were the highest in England. Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, has been evaluating the outcomes from this work and this briefing details some of the key findings.
Researchers from Fuse and the University of Cambridge conducted in-depth interviews with public health professionals and researchers. These explored opportunities and barriers to public health professionals engaging with research evidence, and what, if anything, could be done to improve their experiences.
Social isolation among older, frailer people is a health risk that increases re-hospitalisation. Durham Dales Health Federation has piloted a Wrap Around Service for vulnerable adults to reduce this risk by developing trust and social relationships between practice staff and elderly patients. The pilot has been evaluated by Fuse researchers.
The prevalence of dementia in the UK is spiraling, making reliance on family care essential. However, the unique challenges dementia presents to family carers can place their health in jeopardy and require special individual support. Fuse researchers at Northumbria University are identifying solutions that are sensitive to this context.
While it is established that welfare advice services improve people’s financial position, understanding their potential health impact has proved more difficult. Fuse researchers are undertaking an innovative evaluation exploring if, how, when and in which circumstances Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) services improve client’s health.
About 5-10 per cent of children starting school in England are not fully vaccinated. In some countries, reward payments have been offered to parents to vaccinate their children. Elsewhere, unvaccinated children are not allowed to attend school. We studied how useful and acceptable these strategies would be in the UK.
Financial incentives appear to be acceptable for promoting healthier behaviours such as quitting smoking and physical activity, if they are shown to be effective and cost effective, when they are perceived as fair, and when they are delivered to ‘deserving’ groups such as pregnant women.
People may be more likely to adopt healthier lifestyle behaviours if they are offered small financial incentives. They are more likely to quit smoking and attend vaccination and screening appointments if given cash or shopping vouchers as a reward.
As the Due North: health equity in the North report emphasised, housing is an important social determinant of health and health inequalities. Four Fuse research projects on welfare rights, the bedroom tax, housing improvements and sheltered accommodation are investigating the role of housing in improving public health.
Around one in three young people (under 18) say that they regularly con-sume energy drinks, which typically contain high levels of caffeine and sug-ar in combination with other ingredi-ents known to have stimulant proper-ties. On average, young people in the UK consume more energy drinks than those in other European countries.
Obesity is a major public health priority due to rising rates in the UK and internationally. It is associated with a range of chronic diseases. In some deprived areas rates of child obesity are almost double the rates of obesity in the least deprived areas. Reducing inequalities in childhood obesity is particularly important as it can have long-lasting effects into adult life.
Rising obesity rates are a national and international public health concern. Obesity is associated with a range of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and some forms of cancer. Higher levels of obesity are found in more low-income groups and there is a lack of evidence of the types of interventions that are effective in reducing these inequalities.
Stigmatising and dehumanising language directed at people receiving benefits might be good politics but it is bad policy. Research shows that the circumstances of welfare recipients are far different than what government rhetoric and mass media portrayals suggest.
Ofcom has introduced regulations banning the advertising of foods which are high in fat, salt and sugar during children’s TV programming. Researchers from the Fuse research centre found that the overall amount of unhealthy food advertisements seen by children is the same as before the ban.
Increasing alcohol consumption and the associated health, social and economic harms are key public health concerns. Recent evidence shows that workers in middle-class professional roles consume more alcohol than other groups within the workforce, yet little is known about their views of drinking.