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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

WashU: What Policymakers, Advocates Look for in Research

Legislators and public-health advocates want differed in their preferred sources of information, but agreed on how they wanted that information framed, according to new research from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.


[Photo: Dr. Ross C. Brownson]

Researchers surveyed 77 advocates and 265 state legislators on issues related to cancer control. They asked how often they used particular sources of information and how they preferred that information to be framed.

They found that advocates put a higher priority than legislators on unbiased research information, while legislators emphasized relationships with people from whom they received information. Both legislators and advocates wanted research that was understandable, concise, relevant, actionable and timely, with cost-effectiveness data and polity options.

“Studies such as ours are important for developing and tailoring knowledge translation strategies for policy maker and advocates,” wrote the study’s lead author, Ms. Alexandra B. Morshed, of the Brown School and senior author Dr. Ross C. Brownson, Bernard Becker professor and director of the Prevention Research Center.

The study was published Feb. 2 in Preventing Chronic Disease.