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Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the perceived usefulness of a diabetes economic model as a potential tool for aiding evidence-based decision making in public health.

Methods

Fifteen interviews and two focus groups, with four participants in each, were conducted with health and management professionals working in one public health department in a local council. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis to generate four themes.

Findings

The findings reflect attitudes and beliefs of a diverse staff group situated in public health services. Findings reveal that the economic model was perceived as useful and participants reported positive views regarding the principles of economic modelling for decision making. However, it was potentially problematic in practice due to organisational constraints linked to limited resources, restricted budgets and local priorities. Differences in institutional logics of staff working across public health and local government departments were identified as a potential barrier to the use of the model in practice.

Discussion

The findings highlight anticipated challenges that public health practice and policy decision-makers could face if they selected to implement an economic modelling approach to fulfil their evidence needs. Previous studies have revealed that healthcare decision makers would find evidence around the economic impacts of public health interventions useful, but this information was not always available in the format required. This paper provides insights into how public health staff perceive economic modelling, and explores how they use this type of evidence when making public health practice and policy decisions.

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Background:

Co-production, co-creation and co-design are increasingly used in healthcare research knowledge mobilisation. These methods have grown in popularity and the broad range of approaches are often used without any formal evaluation. The challenges to using these approaches are well reported yet there is little evidence on how to overcome them or how they work. This study evaluates ‘creative co-design’, a design-led, solutions-focused process developed specifically as a means to mobilise knowledge in healthcare.

Aims and objectives:

To investigate the impact of creative co-design on the knowledge mobilisation process. To understand how it impacts on the application of research knowledge in routine clinical practice.

Methods:

Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 20 participants from 14 projects. Data were analysed using the Framework approach. A workshop involving the first 10 participants was held prior to the final interviews and analysis.

Findings:

The findings indicate that creative co-design successfully facilitates knowledge mobilisation in healthcare. This is represented by three interconnected themes: creative and visual; design-led; and creating the right conditions.

Discussion and conclusions:

The themes highlight how the approach supports engagement and creates a safe space for knowledge sharing and synthesis in a non-hierarchical environment. This study contributes important insights into how creative co-design can mobilise knowledge in healthcare. Further evaluation is warranted to help it develop into a recognised and effective method for research implementation and service improvement.

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