Public health research: lost in translation or speaking the wrong language?
Public health leaders, like physicians, need to make decisions that impact health based on strong evidence. To generate useful evidence for public health leaders, research must focus on interventions that have potential to impact population-level health. Often policy and environmental changes are the interventions with the greatest potential impact on population health, but studying these is difficult because of limitations in the methods typically used and emphasized in health research. To create useful evidence for policy and environmental interventions, other research methods are needed, including observational studies, the use of surveillance data for evaluation, and predictive mathematical modeling. More emphasis is needed on these types of study designs by researchers, funding agencies, and scientific journals.
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