PHRP: Making Innovative use of cohort data

The third issue of Public Health Research & Practice for 2016 is now available, with the issue focusing on how researchers are using cohort data in new and innovative ways.

Public Health Research & Practice (PHRP) is Australia’s first online-only open access peer-reviewed public health journal, published by the Sax Institute, with a strong focus on the connection between research, policy and practice.

The guest editor for Issue 3 (2016) is Professor Julie Byles, the director of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH), from the University of Newcastle, NSW. The ALSWH, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, has provided invaluable data about women’s health across the lifespan and informed federal and state government policies.

Cohort-themed articles in the issue include an ‘In practice’ paper on how the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH) has developed into a long-term platform for closing the gap. A perspective by Dr Graham Colditz from Washington University describes how the US Nurses’ Health Study, which marks its 40th anniversary this year, has set the standard for contemporary cohort studies. Another perspective highlights the potential for the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study, a cohort of more than 250,000 people in NSW, Australia, to inform health planners on integration and coordination of services.

Two other research papers suggest that hospital emergency departments and intensive care units are prime settings for adopting strategies to improve public health. One paper confirms smoking is more prevalent among patients in emergency departments than in the general population; the other describes how NSW has the opportunity to establish public health surveillance within intensive care units that could help to protect the population from dangerous pathogens.

The Sax Institute anticipates that PHRP’s focus on innovation and perspectives from policy and practice will help drive the use of research to support policy makers, program agencies and practitioners.

Researchers are welcome to submit manuscripts and encourage their colleagues to submit. You can also subscribe to receive quarterly e-alerts when the journal is published, make suggestions about themes or topics for future issues, and follow us on Twitter @phrpjournal