Using administrative data to evaluate national policy impacts on child and maternal health: a research framework from the Maternal and Child Health Network (MatCHNet)

Emma Stewart*, Sinead Brophy, Richard Cookson, Ruth Gilbert, Joanne Given, Pia Hardelid, Katie Harron, Alastair Leyland, Anna Pearce, Rachael Wood, Ruth Dundas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Reducing health inequalities by addressing the social circumstances in which children are conceived and raised is a societal priority. Early interventions are key to improving outcomes in childhood and long-term into adulthood. Across the UK nations, there is strong political commitment to invest in the early years. National policy interventions aim to tackle health inequalities and deliver health equity for all children. Evidence to determine the effectiveness of socio-structural policies on child health outcomes is especially pressing given the current social and economic challenges facing policy-makers and families with children. As an alternative to clinical trials or evaluating local interventions, we propose a research framework that supports evaluating the impact of whole country policies on child health outcomes. Three key research challenges must be addressed to enable such evaluations and improve policy for child health: (1) policy prioritisation, (2) identification of comparable data and (3) application of robust methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-713
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Volume77
Issue number11
Early online date18 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Child Health
  • Family
  • Health Equity
  • Health Policy
  • Maternal Health
  • Policy

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