SAGE Journals

Reinforce chapter themes with free access to two journal articles for each chapter and further online readings. Select chapters will also include suggested weblinks.


Discussion Points: What is the impact of health services research on society? How might we evaluate this by using research impact case studies drawn from Submissions to the Research Excellence Framework in the UK?

Journal Article 27.2: Hemingway, A., Angell, C., Hartwell, H. and Heller, R. F. (2011) ‘An emerging model for publishing and using open educational resources in public health’, Perspectives in Public Health 131: 38–43.

Discussion Points: How might open educational resources be developed in public  health to inform workforce development? What are the risks and benefits to academics and their institutions of using open educational resources in dissemination in public health?

Journal Article 27.3: Bunn, F. and Kendall, S. (2011) ‘Does nursing research impact on policy? A case study of health visiting research and UK health policy’, Journal of Research in Nursing 16(2): 169–91.

Description: The aim of this study was to critically examine the impact of nursing research on the development of health care policy using UK health visiting research as an example. We used established methods to evaluate research impact. This included a documentary review of over 30 policy documents, citation analyses on 19 papers and interviews with health visiting researchers. Although there were examples of policy documents being informed by health visiting research it was not always clear what role research had played in the development of recommendations. Information from researchers provided examples of local, national and international impact, although the extent to which papers may have impacted upon policy was less clear from the citation analyses. Many of the UK studies cited in policy documents were qualitative, observational or reflexive and a lack of evaluative research, in particular randomized controlled trials and other controlled evaluations, may limit the impact of health visiting research on health care policy in the UK. There is evidence that health visiting research has influenced health care policy but this has been limited and there is a need for more research to underpin and inform the role of the health visitor.


Description: Knowledge translation (KT) remains an elusive term that has no unified definition in the health or social sciences. The wide scope of what KT is in practice invites creativity in disseminating research findings. In this article, we describe innovative KT initiatives based on different methodologies of qualitative research we conducted in the fields of psycho-oncology and mental health. These include medical and public education, training mental health clinicians, national policy recommendations, and clinical interventions in the health field. As academic researchers, we bear a responsibility to the public we are intended to serve with our qualitative research. We argue that researchers need to take KT seriously and think deeply about not only what we research but also the ways in which we translate that knowledge to make the maximum possible positive impact on the communities we study and serve.


Description: For the health education profession in the United States, role delineation research has been ongoing to identify valid professional competencies as the basis for workforce development. During 1998-2004, a multi-phase national research study, the National Health Educator Competencies Update Project (CUP), was designed to re-verify the role of the entry-level health educator, and further define and verify the role of advanced level health educators. The CUP findings are the evidence that has influenced the professional preparation, credentialing, and professional development of health educators. The lessons learned include the importance of employing role delineation research with a discipline-specific representative sample to appropriately affect workforce development and sustainability through an empirically-based model.