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Evidence-based Public HealthEffectiveness and efficiency$
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Amanda Killoran and Mike P. Kelly

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199563623

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199563623.001.0001

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Changing policy: reflections on the role of public health evidence

Changing policy: reflections on the role of public health evidence

(p.448) Chapter 31 Changing policy: reflections on the role of public health evidence
Evidence-based Public Health

Virginia Berridge (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Recent published reports on public health topics are always accompanied by references to the ‘evidence base’, and are accompanied by a sheaf of footnotes. The report makes sure that the reader knows what the evidence is and that it has been published in ‘high impact’ journals. An evidence industry accompanies policy prescription. But before the 1960s or 1970s, this type of format was rarer. For medicine, the clinical impression rather than the research report held sway, and evidence in public health was just beginning its post-war rise. This chapter looks at the history of the rise of evidence, in public health but also in science, and in policy making more generally. It dissects the ways in which people have thought about the relationship between evidence and policy. It considers a case study, that of the Black Report, which illustrates the different ways of thinking about the relationship.

Keywords:   public health evidence, Black Report, evidence base

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