Evidence from systematic reviews relevant to implementing the 'wider public health' agenda


This online resource is an update and extension of a previous document. It contains evidence from 143 systematic reviews relevant to public health policy and practice covering the period from 2000 to 2002.

The reviews address the four target areas of the White Paper ‘Saving Lives: our healthier nation’, namely accidents, cancer, coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, and mental health. In addition to these topic areas, we have addressed other priority areas relevant to public health: sexual health, alcohol and drug misuse, smoking, immunisation, the environment and crime and violence. Some other relevant reviews have been included which do not fit into any of these categories. These relate to the National Service Frameworks for elderly people plus children and young people. In addition we have included some other reviews of interest that evaluated interventions without reference to particular participants or outcomes.

The history of the original 'wider public health' document dates back to February, 1998 when Tessa Jowell (then minister for Public Health) in response to a meeting with Sir Iain Chalmers and Professor Trevor Sheldon asked for a report summarising the findings of systematic reviews of research evidence relevant to proposals outlined in a recently published Green Paper on Public Health and in the then forthcoming White Paper ‘Saving Lives: our healthier nation’. A report was prepared by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) and the UK Cochrane Centre (UKCC) with input from UK contributors to the Cochrane Collaboration. An update of the 1998 report was commissioned in November, 1999 via the West Midlands NHS R&D Programme. Again contributors included members of the Cochrane Collaboration and also members of the emerging Campbell Collaboration. Evidence from systematic reviews of research relevant to implementing the 'wider public health' agenda was published in August 2000.

Structure of the document: The format for the presentation of the evidence was developed in the light of comments provided during interviews and focus groups by a variety of public health policy makers and practitioners from both within and outside the NHS.

Each topic section provides details relating to the size of the problem and the current policy targets within England, together with the evidence from the included systematic reviews. Details of each review are presented in table format, links to which are provided in a column on the right of the page. The implications for public health policy and practice as well as future research are outlined together with comment on the relevance of the findings to the UK setting.

The material presented is not intended to be prescriptive but should be used to inform the selection and implementation of interventions and programmes in public health policy and practice.

Conducted by: CRD


Evidence from systematic reviews of research relevant to implementing the 'Wider Public Health' agenda

Wider Public Health microsite


Jamieson M, Peto R, Wright K, Sowden A. Undertaking a review of systematic reviews (2000-2002) relevant to implementing the "Wider Public Health" agenda.


Commissioned by the DH Policy Research Programme