This programme will develop and evaluate whole systems approaches to improving population health and understand their implementation. Historically the majority of our work has taken place in schools and is based on the World Health Organisation’s Health Promoting Schools (HPS) model. This connects multiple aspects of school life, including the curriculum, the physical and social environment, and links with families and the local community. We have researchers working with schools on a broad range of health priority areas, including mental health and wellbeing, healthy eating, smoking prevention, alcohol misuse prevention, sexual health and healthy social relationships.
DECIPHer is also leading the School Health Research Network (SHRN), which brings together schools, researchers and key policy and practice organisations, to improve the quantity and quality of school-based health improvement research. The network as supported over 50 research studies to a value in excess of £25 million. .
For the future, education settings work will focus on primary, secondary and further education, and work with Pupil Referral Units. There will be a particular focus on mental health, aligning with Welsh Government policy and UKRI priorities. Development of a national Welsh cohort within SHRN will present opportunities to develop epidemiological studies. Whilst our initial focus will be on education settings, our theoretical frameworks and methods will move to support research studies that adopt a whole system approach in the workplace and community settings.
Current and recent studies
Optimisation, feasibility testing and pilot randomised trial of Positive Choices: a school based social marketing intervention to promote sexual health, prevent unintended teenage pregnancies and address health inequalities in England
Primary school expansion of SHRN: SHRN Primary Network-Extending the School Health Research Network into primary schools in Wales to support mental health and wellbeing throughout childhood and adolescence (Pri-SHRN).
Primary school expansion of SHRN: SHRN Primary Network-Extending the School Health Research Network into primary schools in Wales to support mental health and wellbeing throughout childhood and adolescence – Phase 1.
Primary school expansion of SHRN: SHRN Primary Network-Extending the School Health Research Network into primary schools in Wales to support mental health and wellbeing throughout childhood and adolescence (Phase 2).
Please contact us if you require further information on these projects
Understanding outcomes for Welsh children who are placed in secure accommodation
The Filter FE Challenge: pilot trial and process evaluation of a multi-level smoking prevention intervention in further education settings
PLAN-A: Development and feasibility cluster randomised control trial evaluation of a Peer-Led physical Activity iNtervention for Adolescent girls
Primary School Free Breakfast data augmentation and analysis
Activity and Healthy Eating in Adolescence
Bristol Girls Dance Project: A cluster randomised controlled trial of an after-school dance programme to increase physical activity among 11-12 year old girls
Bristol Girls Dance Project: feasibility study
CHETS – Changes in Child Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke Wales
CHETS 2 – Changes in Child Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke Wales 2: Research into smoking in cars carrying children
Cluster randomised controlled trial to test the effectiveness of an educational intervention to promote hand washing in reducing absenteeism in primary schools
Evaluation of Primary School Free Breakfast Initiative
Evaluation of the Cooking Bus in Wales
Evidence review for NICE public health guidance on ‘Managing overweight and obesity among children and young people: lifestyle weight management services’
Pilot study of alcohol policy and social norms in Welsh universities
Preventing substance misuse: randomised controlled trial of the Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 (UK)
School health and well-being: perceptions of secondary school teachers
School Health Research Network scoping and feasibility study
Supporting socially and emotionally vulnerable young people in schools: an evaluation of Barnardo’s Bounceback service
The effects of schools and school-environment interventions on health: evidence mapping and syntheses
The World Health Organization’s Health Promoting Schools framework for improving the health and well-being of students, and their academic achievement
Preventing alcohol misuse in young people: evaluation and exploratory trial of the Kids, Adults Together programme
Active for Life Year 5: A cluster randomised controlled trial of a primary school-based intervention to increase levels of physical activity, decrease sedentary behaviour and improve diet
Adapting and piloting the ASSIST model of informal peer-led intervention delivery to the Talk to Frank drug prevention programme in UK secondary schools (ASSIST+Frank): intervention development and a pilot trial
ASSIST (A Stop Smoking in Schools Trial): Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of a schools-based, peer-led, smoking intervention
Developing and piloting a peer mentoring intervention to reduce teenage pregnancy in looked after children and care leavers
Engage with Research: Exploring the Public Health Potentials of Coproduction
GMI_ALC: Developing a teacher training programme for a group motivational interviewing intervention to prevent alcohol misuse in secondary schools
GW4 Behavioural and Decision Making Sciences in Healthcare GW4 network (BeDMaSH)
How can interventions integrating health and academic education in schools help to prevent substance misuse and violence among young people? A systematic review and evidence synthesis
Increasing physical activity in pre-school aged children: systematic review, individual participant meta-analysis and intervention pilot (PhD)
Initiating change locally in bullying and aggression through the school environment (INCLUSIVE): cluster randomised controlled trial
Investigating the use of mentoring for improving the health, wellbeing, educational outcomes and employability of young people (PhD)