Scientific Journals Commit to Promoting Population Health Intervention research/L'engagement Des Revues Scientifiques Pour Promouvoir la Recherche Interventionnelle En Santé Des Populations

By Potvin, Louise; Di Ruggiero, Erica | Canadian Journal of Public Health, January 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

Scientific Journals Commit to Promoting Population Health Intervention research/L'engagement Des Revues Scientifiques Pour Promouvoir la Recherche Interventionnelle En Santé Des Populations


Potvin, Louise, Di Ruggiero, Erica, Canadian Journal of Public Health


In this issue of the journal, we are publishing the Ottawa Statement on Population Health Intervention Research (PHIR) from the Sparking Population Health Solutions summit.1 As the Statement indicates, in 2014, the editors-in-chief of scientific journals were called upon by the participants of the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research to commit to publishing more applied studies on interventions to improve health systems. The goal was to develop an implementation research and delivery science. At the population health intervention research summit held in Ottawa in April 2016, the host of the summit, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Institute of Population and Public Health (CIHRIPPH) and the Canadian Journal of Public Health joined forces to invite the editors-in-chief of numerous relevant journals to discuss challenges and opportunities in the area of PHIR for scientific publications in public health. Many responded with enthusiasm, and the Statement we are now publishing is the result of the discussion that began at that meeting and continued until the fall of 2016. To accompany this publication, the editors-in-chief of the signatory journals will each also publish an editorial explaining the importance of this commitment to PHIR.

In Canada, the IPPH has thus far played a catalytic role in the development of PHIR. Developing the capacities of Canadian investigators to lead studies aimed at improving the effectiveness of population and public health interventions has been at the core of the IPPH's mandate since its creation in December 2000. Its inaugural scientific director, John Frank, wrote that the impact of the IPPH was contingent on the capacity of Canadian public health organizations to integrate existing and future scientific knowledge into their interventions.2 Later, the second scientific director of the Institute, Nancy Edwards, and her team created the Strategic Plan (2009-2014), which identified four strategic priorities, three of which are directly related to the development of intervention research capacities.3 Finally, all three strategic priorities included in the Institute's Strategic Plan Refresh 2015-2018 contribute to the expansion of intervention research.4 The IPPH was also responsible for establishing the Population Health Intervention Research Initiative for Canada (PHIRIC), the aim of which is to increase the quantity, quality, and use of PHIR.5 Clearly, these structuring efforts have paid off. CIHR funding for PHIR increased from around $12 million in 2009-2010 to nearly $60 million in 2014-2015 if we combine investigator-initiated (open) and priority-driven (strategic) competitions. Even more interesting is the fact that in 2009-2010, more than 90% of the money allocated to PHIR came from the priority-driven research program, while in 2014-2015, more than 50% of the research funding allocated to PHIR came from the investigator-initiated research program.4 Not only have the resources dedicated to PHIR increased fivefold in five years, but the funding now primarily comes from the investigator-initiated research program, competing with all the other research areas funded by the CIHR.

At the Canadian Journal of Public Health, we are proud to have supported and participated in the development of this research area. In 2009, we first published an insert containing three commentaries and four original articles on PHIR.5 In 2012, we published a supplement under the direction of Jim Frankish of the University of British Columbia.6 But our commitment to intervention research dates back even further. In 2003, the journal's Scientific Editor, Patricia Huston, created a new section entitled "Public Health Intervention,"7 which has been a success - nearly 10% of the articles published in Volume 106 of the journal were in this section.

With the publication of the Ottawa Statement in this issue, we would like to take the opportunity to renew our commitment to the development of PHIR and to announce that we are reviving the section on public health intervention under a new name: "Population Health Intervention Research. …

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