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 (email@example.com).
Templates and guidance are available to contributors upon request.
There is growing interest in the potential of arts and creativity to improve people’s health and wellbeing, particularly those facing significant inequalities. This study led by Fuse researchers at Newcastle and Northumbria Universities was part of an evaluation of Well Newcastle Gateshead and explored how engaging in arts and creative activities affected the communities involved.
Physical activity and sedentary behaviour are linked to the health and development of young children. Accurate measurement of these behaviours underpins research and practice in this area. Here we present key findings from our review examining the measurement tools used to assess physical activity and sedentary behaviour of pre-school children (aged 3-7 years).
A systematic review (a summary of existing research) by Fuse experts at Teesside University aimed to explore the effectiveness of school-based nutrition interventions and the perceptions of young people experiencing a nutrition focused intervention or change in school food policy. It affirms the importance of school in shaping healthy eating practices and their role in addressing the inequalities gap for young people’s health.
Pregnancy is a critical time to improve the life chances of future generations. In this review, Fuse researchers at Newcastle University and Public Health Wales set out to understand the extent that an individual’s socioeconomic status (often measured as education, income or occupation) relates to problems in pregnancy, across the UK and Ireland.
Implementing smokefree policies in mental health services is recommended in national guidance to improve physical and mental health among people with psychiatric problems. However, changing an entrenched smoking culture is challenging. Fuse researchers identified active ingredients for successfully supporting mental health service users to stop smoking.
Translating national physical activity policy into local practice is challenging. Here we present 10 guiding principles to support transferable knowledge exchange activities for implementing national policy. These are based on input and experiences of practitioners, researchers and policy makers from North East England collected during workshops run by the Fuse Physical Activity Network.
The Local Authority Champions of Research (LACoR) study, funded by the Health Foundation, explored how to embed a culture of research in local government (LG) to improve population health. The findings were translated into a logic model illustrating what helps and hinders evidence use in decision-making.
Fuse researchers explored the decision making processes of the National Planning Inspectorate, which upholds or dismisses planning appeal cases, and whether preventing obesity was a factor in the decisions.
Reducing obesity needs a change in our food environment and in what and how we eat. The Foodscape study responded to this challenge by identifying effective interventions to change the meals offered by takeaways by testing them in the real world and evaluating their potential for improving diets and reducing obesity.
To increase the impact of scientific research on policy and practice, the NIHR School for Public Health Research created a set of theoretically and empirically-informed knowledge sharing principles for its research programmes. The principles were co-created between academics and practitioners from the School’s eight centres, including Fuse.
My home, my castle, my container, my prison? How do we imagine the future of where and how we live? Fuse researchers were part of an innovative collaboration using theatre to prompt conversation about how we can better prepare for housing decisions in later life.
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.
A growing number of Local Authorities have introduced integrated health and wellbeing services as part of efforts to deliver effective, preventive services, using community-centred approaches. A team of researchers from Fuse and Public Health England (PHE) undertook a study to explore what worked and for whom, to identify the active ingredients that make a difference in the delivery of integrated health and wellbeing services (IHWBS).
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.
Gateshead Council Public Health commissioned Pattinson House, a Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisation in a deprived ward in Gateshead to develop a childhood obesity prevention project. This was part of ongoing work with local residents to ‘build happier, healthier, friendlier communities’. A Fuse embedded researcher in Gateshead Council evaluated the project and spent time with community members, children and young people, volunteers, staff, parents and teachers who lived and worked in the area.
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 consume energy drinks, which typically contain high levels of caffeine and sugar in combination with other ingredients known to have stimulant properties. 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.