Prevention research resources for health professionals

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This webpage aims to support staff of NSW Health and others involved in commissioning, conducting or using the results of health research or evaluation. We have chosen topics that are important for prevention research in primary and public health. For each topic, we have identified free online resources that are suitable for people in the field. If there is a free resource that you have found useful and would like to share, please let us know at 

The glossary of concepts underpinning evidence-based public health helps you to understand the terminology used in evaluation and research texts.

Sections (click on a heading to go to that section):

  1. What are health promotion and prevention?
  2. What is primary health care?
  3. Prevention and health promotion in primary health care
  4. Research and evaluation step-by-step complete guides
  5. Research and evaluation frameworks and approaches
  6. Working with others
  7. Research and evaluation specific methods
  8. Governance: ethics and data
  9. Health concepts and their measurement: social determinants, health literacy, patient activation, SDGs 
  10. Knowledge translation

1 What are health promotion and prevention?

This section provides an overview of prevention and health promotion that will be useful in determining the need, scope and focus of research and how the results can be used.  

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2 What is primary health care?

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3 Prevention and health promotion in primary health care

PHC provides opportunities for prevention and health promotion 

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4 Research and evaluation training and guides

CPHCE and the School of Population Health developed an online course for GP registrars to provide an introduction to research in PHC. This course is freely accessible to anyone wanting to learn about doing research in PHC. To access the course, click here.

Other online research manuals, training and guides:
  • Practical Research and Evaluation : A Start-to-Finish Guide for Practitioners This book is a starter ‘DIY’ text for practitioners who are looking to conduct evaluation studies and research as part of their own professional practice.
  • Doing Practitioner Research ocuses on helping practitioners conduct research in their own organisations, and attention is given to the best methods for doing this effectively and sensitively. 
  • Managers guide to evaluation This is an interactive guide for people who are managing an evaluation. The guide can be used for managing an evaluation that is conducted by an external evaluator or evaluation team, an internal team, or by a combination of these.
  • NSW Government guide to commissioning research This guide to commissioning evaluation services complements the NSW Government Program Evaluation Guidelines and Toolkit. It promotes a proactive, planned and structured approach to commissioning evaluations, including information on when and how to commission an evaluation and how to make the most of the results
  • NSW Government Evaluation Toolkit takes you through seven steps for planning and implementing a program evaluation project.
  • Better Evaluation Developing Monitoring and Evaluation Frameworks + FRAMEWORK TEMPLATE
  • Vic Health Evaluation framework for health promotion and disease prevention programs
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5 Research and evaluation frameworks and approaches

Frameworks for evaluation help to plan the evaluation:

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6 Working with others

Working collaboratively with consumers and across institutions can help with the appropriateness of methods and uptake of results.

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7 Research and evaluation specific areas

Policy research and development:

Systematic reviews:

Health Impact Assessment (HIA):
  • NHMRC guidelines 
  • The AH&MRC Ethics Committee for research proposals affecting the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people and communities in NSW
  • Ethical approval for research in the NSW health system - the REGIS system


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9 Health concepts and their measurement 


Social determinants of health (SDOH)
Sustainable development goals (SDGs):
Health literacy:

Patient activation:

  • Patient activation (PA) describes the knowledge, skills and confidence a person has in managing their own health and care
  • The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) is a validated licenced tool to measure patients’ skills, knowledge and confidence to manage their long-term conditions
  • Information from the NHS about PA and the PAM is here 

Urban Health:

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10 Knowledge translation