Established in April 2012, the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) is a partnership between eight leading academic centres with excellence in applied public health research in England. The Cambridge Institute of Public Health is one of the eight members.
The School aims to build the evidence base for effective public health practice. Research within the SPHR focuses on what works practically to improve population health and reduce health inequalities, can be applied across the country, and better meets the needs of policymakers, practitioners and the public.
The School is developing a range of interlinking and mutually complementary programmes and projects.
The key SPHR themes are
- changing behaviour
- changing environments
- population health services
- translation of research into practice
Three SPHR-wide programmes are addressing major public health challenges:
- Ageing Well
- Health Inequalities
The Public Health Practice Evaluation Scheme (PHPES)
This scheme invites innovative public health initiatives to apply for robust evaluation, carried out by SPHR members Read more
Read more about the School on the main website here.
SPHR at Cambridge
Researchers at the Institute are leading on a number of programmes and projects as well as contributing their expertise to a variety of collaborations in the above structure. Here are the main projects we are taking forward:
1. School-wide Ageing Well Programme: an integrated public health approach to optimise health in older groups
This programme is led by Professor Carol Brayne. The Scientific Co-ordinator is Dr Louise Lafortune.
Underpinned by a translational framework designed to deliver change in public health policy and practice, the research plan is made up of seven work packages built around four building blocks:
- risk prediction and stratification
- synthesis and development of evidence around current practice and equity
- identification and evaluation of preventive interventions tailored for gains in health and well-being
- population modelling
The Cambridge-led projects within this programme are:
Cardiovascular risk factor associations with outcomes in later life
There is contradictory evidence on several common risk factors linked to preventative interventions in the older population as a whole, and in specific sub-groups, such as relatively young groups with little co-morbidity, through to frail groups with short life expectancies. Our proposal is to use the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration (ERFC) database to estimate associations between advancing age and known risk factors for fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular outcomes, and to explore the feasibility of developing stratified estimates for coherent sub-groups of older people.
This project is being led by Professor Jonathan Mant in partnership with the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration
Cognitive health cross-cutting theme
This theme will contribute to the development and evaluation of preventative interventions for cognitive health. We will determine the effectiveness of a range of preventative interventions and identify whether specific interventions work better depending on an individual’s level of risk of declining or maintaining cognitive health.
This theme is led by Professor Carol Brayne.
2. The School-wide Alcohol Programme
The Cambridge led project is focused on environmental cues to reduce alcohol consumption. Led by Professor Theresa Marteau.
3. Local projects
Systematic reviews of determinants of obesity-related dietary and physical activity behaviours in preschool children
This local project, led by Dr Rajalakshmi Lakshman, will inform the design and content of interventions to reduce obesity in young children.
The ultimate aim is to design and implement an evaluative study of the imapact of relocation to new residential environments on active living, individual and social well-being and related outcomes.
This study is led by Dr David Ogilvie.
For more information
If you would like to engage with the SPHR at Cambridge, please contact the project leads or Dr Louise Lafortune.