Exploring political influences on evidence-based non-communicable disease prevention across four countries

Karishma S. Furtado, Elizabeth L. Budd, Xiangji Ying, Anna J. deRuyter, Rebecca L. Armstrong, Tahna L. Pettman, Rodrigo S. Reis, Pauline Sung-Chan, Zhaoxin Wang, Tahnee Saunders, Leonardo A. Becker, Jianwei Shi, Long Sum Tabitha Mui, Ross C. Brownson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Implementation of evidence-based practices can improve efficiency and effectiveness of public health efforts. Few studies have explored the political contextual factors that impact implementation of evidence-based non-communicable disease prevention (EBNCDP). This study aimed to do so in Australia, Brazil, China and the United States. Investigators conducted 10-13 qualitative, semi-structured interviews of public health practitioners working in functionally similar public health organizations in each country (total N = 50). Study participants were identified through purposive sampling and interviews were structured around an interview guide covering six domains related to EBNCDP. Interviewees from all four countries identified funding as the primary politically-influenced barrier to implementing EBNCDP. Similarly widespread barriers included government funding priorities that shift based on who is in power and the difficulty of convincing policy-makers and funders that non-communicable disease prevention is a wise investment of political capital. Policymakers who are not evidence-driven was another common barrier even in the United States and Australia, where EBNCDP is more established. Findings suggest that political contextual factors influence EBNCDP and vary to an extent by country, though certain factors seem to be universal. This can aid public health practitioners, political leaders, and policymakers in advocating for conditions and policies that encourage evidence-based practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-103
Number of pages15
JournalHealth Education Research
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • public health medicine
  • evidence-based practice
  • prevention
  • noncommunicable diseases
  • political influence

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