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Improving public health evaluation: a qualitative investigation of practitioners' needs

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Public Health, January 2018
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (91st percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
27 tweeters


3 Dimensions

Readers on

57 Mendeley
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Improving public health evaluation: a qualitative investigation of practitioners' needs
Published in
BMC Public Health, January 2018
DOI 10.1186/s12889-018-5075-8
Pubmed ID

Sarah Denford, Rajalakshmi Lakshman, Margaret Callaghan, Charles Abraham


In 2011, the House of Lords published a report on Behaviour Change, in which they report that "a lot more could, and should, be done to improve the evaluation of interventions." This study aimed to undertake a needs assessment of what kind of evaluation training and materials would be of most use to UK public health practitioners by conducting interviews with practitioners about everyday evaluation practice and needed guidance and materials. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 32 public health practitioners in two UK regions, Cambridgeshire and the South West. Participants included directors of public health, consultants in public health, health improvement advisors, public health intelligence, and public health research officers. A topic guide included questions designed to explore participants existing evaluation practice and their needs for further training and guidance. Data were analysed using thematic analyses. Practitioners highlighted the need for evaluation to defend the effectiveness of existing programs and protect funding provisions. However, practitioners often lacked training in evaluation, and felt unqualified to perform such a task. The majority of practitioners did not use, or were not aware of many existing evaluation guidance documents. They wanted quality-assured, practical guidance that relate to the real world settings in which they operate. Practitioners also mentioned the need for better links and support from academics in public health. Whilst numerous guidance documents supporting public health evaluation exist, these documents are currently underused by practitioners - either because they are not considered useful, or because practitioners are not aware of them. Integrating existing guides into a catalogue of guidance documents, and developing a new-quality assured, practical and useful document may support the evaluation of public health programs. This in turn has the potential to identify those programs that are effective; thus improving public health and reducing financial waste.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 27 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 57 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 57 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 11 19%
Student > Ph. D. Student 9 16%
Researcher 6 11%
Other 3 5%
Student > Bachelor 2 4%
Other 4 7%
Unknown 22 39%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Social Sciences 8 14%
Medicine and Dentistry 7 12%
Psychology 5 9%
Nursing and Health Professions 5 9%
Business, Management and Accounting 2 4%
Other 7 12%
Unknown 23 40%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 25. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 25 June 2021.
All research outputs
of 21,418,190 outputs
Outputs from BMC Public Health
of 13,903 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 400,940 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Public Health
of 4 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 21,418,190 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 13,903 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 13.7. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 400,940 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 4 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them