Improving child health policy across Europe
8 April 2010
Dr Patricia Lucas in the School for Policy Studies is leading a new three-year research project to develop a strategy to ensure that key messages and findings from current research into child health are being transmitted effectively to policy makers across Europe.
Research groups across Europe have conducted many longitudinal studies of cohorts of children, collecting and mapping health data from birth across their life course. These have produced a wealth of information on childhood diseases and their early contributing factors, but these studies are scattered and data are often fragmented. These kinds of studies have large potential policy implications but messages do not always filter through to policy at the national, let alone the European, level.
The new project, entitled ‘CHICOS: Developing a CHIld COhort Strategy in Europe’, aims to improve child health across Europe by developing an integrated strategy for mother–child cohort research. Dr Lucas is joined on the project by colleagues from the Centre for Health and Social Care at the School for Policy Studies (Dr Sarah Payne) and from the Department of Social Medicine (Professors George Davey Smith and Debbie Lawlor). They will be working closely with colleagues from Spain, Denmark, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway to create an overview of these cohorts in Europe and to increase co-ordination on key health outcomes and determinants.
The School for Policy Studies will focus on understanding the current use of cohort research in policy as well as the requirements of policy makers. CHICOS will work closely with policy makers to ensure that guidelines across Europe are based on the best available evidence.