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A mixed methods study of the factors that influence whether intervention research has policy and practice impacts: perceptions of Australian researchers
  1. Robyn Newson1,
  2. Lesley King1,
  3. Lucie Rychetnik2,3,
  4. Adrian E Bauman1,
  5. Sally Redman4,
  6. Andrew J Milat2,5,
  7. Jacqueline Schroeder2,
  8. Gillian Cohen2,
  9. Simon Chapman2
  1. 1Prevention Research Collaboration, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4Sax Institute, Ultimo, New South Wales, Australia
  5. 5Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health, North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Robyn Newson; robyn.newson{at}


Objectives To investigate researchers’ perceptions about the factors that influenced the policy and practice impacts (or lack of impact) of one of their own funded intervention research studies.

Design Mixed method, cross-sectional study.

Setting Intervention research conducted in Australia and funded by Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council between 2003 and 2007.

Participants The chief investigators from 50 funded intervention research studies were interviewed to determine if their study had achieved policy and practice impacts, how and why these impacts had (or had not) occurred and the approach to dissemination they had employed.

Results We found that statistically significant intervention effects and publication of results influenced whether there were policy and practice impacts, along with factors related to the nature of the intervention itself, the researchers’ experience and connections, their dissemination and translation efforts, and the postresearch context.

Conclusions This study indicates that sophisticated approaches to intervention development, dissemination actions and translational efforts are actually widespread among experienced researches, and can achieve policy and practice impacts. However, it was the links between the intervention results, further dissemination actions by researchers and a variety of postresearch contextual factors that ultimately determined whether a study had policy and practice impacts. Given the complicated interplay between the various factors, there appears to be no simple formula for determining which intervention studies should be funded in order to achieve optimal policy and practice impacts.

  • Health policy
  • Research Impact
  • Translational Research
  • Knowledge Transfer
  • Intervention Research

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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