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Table 1 Four in-depth impact case studies: summary of key features

From: Research impact in the community-based health sciences: an analysis of 162 case studies from the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework

Short title Study design Main impacts Main mechanisms of impact
BELLS (Dundee) [36] Randomised controlled trial Improved cure rate Commissioned as ‘high clinical priority’ study by Health Technology Assessment Programme
Reduced referral to hospitals Ex ante and ongoing engagement of clinicians
Widespread involvement of clinical research networks nationally
High-impact publication in international journal
Cot death (Bristol) [37] Case–control Reduced mortality Well-established and mature programme of ‘niche’ research
Ex ante and ongoing engagement of third sector charity
Skilled knowledge translation (working with knowledge translation experts) to disseminate key messages for lay audiences
Commitment of researchers to the ‘moral work’ of linking the contribution of research participants (bereaved parents) and potential beneficiaries (new and prospective parents)
Social inequality (York) [38] Systematic review of observational studies Shifting the focus of public debate Energetic and proactive dissemination campaign run through a newly established charitable trust
Achieving political commitment to addressing the issues Extensive lobbying of prospective and existing politicians and policymakers
Authors’ input to commissions and working parties Primary focus on outputs for a lay/civic audience with ‘academic’ outputs as a secondary priority
Production of cultural artefacts Researcher commitment to ‘moral work’
Lay people in public health (Leeds Beckett) [39] Co-production, systematic review, service evaluation Lay health trainer programmes established locally Local multi-stakeholder partnerships
Online public information resource Co-production model
Emphasis on ensuring all voices were heard
Ex ante linkage with (and preferred provider status to) national policymakers