Mark Petticrew

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (187)1041.89 Total impact

  • Mark Petticrew, Kelley Lee, Haider Ali, Rima Nakkash
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    ABSTRACT: Islamic countries are of key importance to transnational tobacco companies as growing markets with increasing smoking rates. We analyzed internal tobacco industry documents to assess the industry's response to rising concerns about tobacco use within Islamic countries. The tobacco industry perceived Islam as a significant threat to its expansion into these emerging markets. To counter these concerns, the industry framed antismoking views in Islamic countries as fundamentalist and fanatical and attempted to recruit Islamic consultants to portray smoking as acceptable. Tobacco industry lawyers also helped develop theological arguments in favor of smoking. These findings are valuable to researchers and policymakers seeking to implement culturally appropriate measures in Islamic countries under the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print April 16, 2015: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302494).
    American Journal of Public Health 04/2015; DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302494 · 4.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Public Health Responsibility Deal (RD) in England is a public-private partnership involving voluntary pledges between industry, government and other organizations, with the aim of improving public health. This paper aims to evaluate what action resulted from the RD alcohol pledges. We analysed publically available data on organizations' plans and progress towards achieving key alcohol pledges of the RD. We assessed the extent to which activities pledged by signatories could have been brought about by the RD, as opposed to having happened anyway (the counterfactual), using a validated coding scheme designed for the purpose. Progress reports were submitted by 92% of signatories in 2013 and 75% of signatories in 2014, and provided mainly descriptive feedback rather than quantifiable performance metrics. Approximately 14% of 2014 progress reports were identical to those presented in 2013. Most organizations (65%) signed pledges that involved actions to which they appear to have been committed already, regardless of the RD. A small but influential group of alcohol producers and retailers reported taking measures to reduce alcohol units available for consumption in the market. However, where reported, these measures appear to involve launching and promoting new lower-alcohol products rather than removing units from existing products. The RD is unlikely to have contributed significantly to reducing alcohol consumption, as most alcohol pledge signatories appear to have committed to actions that they would have undertaken anyway, regardless of the RD. Irrespective of this, there is considerable scope to improve the clarity of progress reports and reduce the variability of metrics provided by RD pledge signatories. © 2015 Society for the Study of Addiction.
    Addiction 03/2015; DOI:10.1111/add.12892 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The English Public Health Responsibility Deal (RD) is a public-private partnership involving voluntary pledges between industry, government and other actors in various areas including alcohol, and designed to improve public health. This paper reviews systematically the evidence underpinning four RD alcohol pledges. We conducted a systematic review of reviews of the evidence underpinning interventions proposed in four RD alcohol pledges, namely alcohol labelling, tackling underage alcohol sales, advertising and marketing alcohol, and alcohol unit reduction. In addition, we included relevant studies of interventions where these had not been covered by a recent review. We synthesized the evidence from 14 reviews published between 2002 and 2013. Overall, alcohol labelling is likely to be of limited effect on consumption: alcohol unit content labels can help consumers assess the alcohol content of drinks; however, labels promoting drinking guidelines and pregnancy warning labels are unlikely to influence drinking behaviour. Responsible drinking messages are found to be ambiguous, and industry-funded alcohol prevention campaigns can promote drinking instead of dissuading consumption. Removing advertising near schools can contribute to reducing underage drinking; however, community mobilization and law enforcement are most effective. Finally, reducing alcohol consumption is more likely to occur if there are incentives such as making lower-strength alcohol products cheaper. The most effective evidence-based strategies to reduce alcohol-related harm are not reflected consistently in the RD alcohol pledges. The evidence is clear that an alcohol control strategy should support effective interventions to make alcohol less available and more expensive. © 2015 Society for the Study of Addiction.
    Addiction 03/2015; DOI:10.1111/add.12855 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 03/2015; 3:CD009924. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD009924.pub2 · 5.94 Impact Factor
  • Sarah M Viehbeck, Mark Petticrew, Steven Cummins
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    ABSTRACT: Myths are widely held beliefs and are frequently perpetuated through telling and retelling. We examined 10 myths in public health research and practice. Where possible, we traced their origins, interrogated their current framing in relation to the evidence, and offered possible alternative ways of thinking about them. These myths focus on the nature of public health and public health interventions, and the nature of evidence in public health. Although myths may have some value, they should not be privileged in an evidence-informed public health context. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print February 25, 2015: e1-e5. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302433).
    American Journal of Public Health 02/2015; 105(4):e1-e5. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302433 · 4.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Modifiable lifestyle risk behaviours such as smoking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and alcohol misuse are the leading causes of major, non-communicable diseases worldwide. It is increasingly being recognised that interventions which target more than one risk behaviour may be an effective and efficient way of improving people's lifestyles. To date, there has been no attempt to summarise the global evidence base for interventions targeting multiple risk behaviours. To identify and map the characteristics of studies evaluating multiple risk behaviour change interventions targeted at adult populations in any country. Seven bibliographic databases were searched between January, 1990, and January/ May, 2013. Authors of protocols, conference abstracts, and other relevant articles were contacted. Study characteristics were extracted and inputted into Eppi-Reviewer 4. In total, 220 studies were included in the scoping review. Most were randomised controlled trials (62%) conducted in the United States (49%), and targeted diet and physical activity (56%) in people from general populations (14%) or subgroups of general populations (45%). Very few studies had been conducted in the Middle East (2%), Africa (0.5%), or South America (0.5%). There was also a scarcity of studies conducted among young adults (1%), or racial and minority ethnic populations (4%) worldwide. Research is required to investigate the interrelationships of lifestyle risk behaviours in varying cultural contexts around the world. Cross-cultural development and evaluation of multiple risk behaviour change interventions is also needed, particularly in populations of young adults and racial and minority ethnic populations.
    PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(1):e0117015. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0117015 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protocols of systematic reviews and meta-analyses allow for planning and documentation of review methods, act as a guard against arbitrary decision making during review conduct, enable readers to assess for the presence of selective reporting against completed reviews, and, when made publicly available, reduce duplication of efforts and potentially prompt collaboration. Evidence documenting the existence of selective reporting and excessive duplication of reviews on the same or similar topics is accumulating and many calls have been made in support of the documentation and public availability of review protocols. Several efforts have emerged in recent years to rectify these problems, including development of an international register for prospective reviews (PROSPERO) and launch of the first open access journal dedicated to the exclusive publication of systematic review products, including protocols (BioMed Central's Systematic Reviews). Furthering these efforts and building on the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses) guidelines, an international group of experts has created a guideline to improve the transparency, accuracy, completeness, and frequency of documented systematic review and meta-analysis protocols-PRISMA-P (for protocols) 2015. The PRISMA-P checklist contains 17 items considered to be essential and minimum components of a systematic review or meta-analysis protocol.This PRISMA-P 2015 Explanation and Elaboration paper provides readers with a full understanding of and evidence about the necessity of each item as well as a model example from an existing published protocol. This paper should be read together with the PRISMA-P 2015 statement. Systematic review authors and assessors are strongly encouraged to make use of PRISMA-P when drafting and appraising review protocols. © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd 2014.
    BMJ Clinical Research 01/2015; 349:g7647. DOI:10.1136/bmj.g7647 · 14.09 Impact Factor
  • Mark Petticrew, Kelley Lee, Rima Nakkash, Haider Ali
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    ABSTRACT: Systematic reviews should build on a protocol that describes the rationale, hypothesis, and planned methods of the review; few reviews report whether a protocol exists. Detailed, well-described protocols can facilitate the understanding and appraisal of the review methods, as well as the detection of modifications to methods and selective reporting in completed reviews. We describe the development of a reporting guideline, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses for Protocols 2015 (PRISMA-P 2015). PRISMA-P consists of a 17-item checklist intended to facilitate the preparation and reporting of a robust protocol for the systematic review. Funders and those commissioning reviews might consider mandating the use of the checklist to facilitate the submission of relevant protocol information in funding applications. Similarly, peer reviewers and editors can use the guidance to gauge the completeness and transparency of a systematic review protocol submitted for publication in a journal or other medium.
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    Mark Petticrew
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    ABSTRACT: Systematic review methods are developing rapidly, and most researchers would recognise their key methodological aspects, such as a closely focussed question, a comprehensive search, and a focus on synthesising 'stronger' rather than 'weaker' evidence. However, it may be helpful to question some of these underlying principles, because while they work well for simpler review questions, they may result in overly narrow approaches to more complex questions and interventions. This commentary discusses some core principles of systematic reviews, and how they may require further rethinking, particularly as reviewers turn their attention to increasingly complex issues, where a Bayesian perspective on evidence synthesis, which would aim to assemble evidence - of different types, if necessary - in order to inform decisions', may be more productive than the 'traditional' systematic review model. Among areas identified for future research are the examination of publication bias in qualitative research; research on the efficiency and potential biases of comprehensive searches in different disciplines; and the use of Bayesian methods in evidence synthesis. The incorporation of a systems perspective into systematic reviews is also an area which needs rapid development.
    01/2015; 4(1):36. DOI:10.1186/s13643-015-0027-1
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    ABSTRACT: Local government services and policies affect health determinants across many sectors such as planning, transportation, housing and leisure. Researchers and policymakers have argued that decisions affecting wider determinants of health, well-being and inequalities should be informed by evidence. This study explores how information and evidence are defined, assessed and utilised by local professionals situated beyond the health sector, but whose decisions potentially affect health: in this case, practitioners working in design, planning and maintenance of the built environment. A qualitative study using three focus groups. A thematic analysis was undertaken. The focus groups were held in UK localities and involved local practitioners working in two UK regions, as well as in Brazil, USA and Canada. UK and international practitioners working in the design and management of the built environment at a local government level. Participants described a range of data and information that constitutes evidence, of which academic research is only one part. Built environment decision-makers value empirical evidence, but also emphasise the legitimacy and relevance of less empirical ways of thinking through narratives that associate their work to art and philosophy. Participants prioritised evidence on the acceptability, deliverability and sustainability of interventions over evidence of longer term outcomes (including many health outcomes). Participants generally privileged local information, including personal experiences and local data, but were less willing to accept evidence from contexts perceived to be different from their own. Local-level built environment practitioners utilise evidence to make decisions, but their view of 'best evidence' appears to prioritise local relevance over academic rigour. Academics can facilitate evidence-informed local decisions affecting social determinants of health by working with relevant practitioners to improve the quality of local data and evaluations, and by advancing approaches to improve the external validity of academic research. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
    BMJ Open 01/2015; 5(4):e007053. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007053 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The value placed on types of evidence within decision-making contexts is highly dependent on individuals, the organizations in which the work and the systems and sectors they operate in. Decision-making processes too are highly contextual. Understanding the values placed on evidence and processes guiding decision-making is crucial to designing strategies to support evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM). This paper describes how evidence is used to inform local government (LG) public health decisions.Methods The study used mixed methods including a cross-sectional survey and interviews. The Evidence-Informed Decision-Making Tool (EvIDenT) survey was designed to assess three key domains likely to impact on EIDM: access, confidence, and organizational culture. Other elements included the usefulness and influence of sources of evidence (people/groups and resources), skills and barriers, and facilitators to EIDM. Forty-five LGs from Victoria, Australia agreed to participate in the survey and up to four people from each organization were invited to complete the survey (n¿=¿175). To further explore definitions of evidence and generate experiential data on EIDM practice, key informant interviews were conducted with a range of LG employees working in areas relevant to public health.ResultsIn total, 135 responses were received (75% response rate) and 13 interviews were conducted. Analysis revealed varying levels of access, confidence and organizational culture to support EIDM. Significant relationships were found between domains: confidence, culture and access to research evidence. Some forms of evidence (e.g. community views) appeared to be used more commonly and at the expense of others (e.g. research evidence). Overall, a mixture of evidence (but more internal than external evidence) was influential in public health decision-making in councils. By comparison, a mixture of evidence (but more external than internal evidence) was deemed to be useful in public health decision-making.Conclusions This study makes an important contribution to understanding how evidence is used within the public health LG context.Trial registration ACTRN12609000953235.
    Implementation Science 12/2014; 9(1):188. DOI:10.1186/s13012-014-0188-7 · 3.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Systematic reviews (SRs) are expected to critically appraise included studies and privilege those at lowest risk of bias (RoB) in the synthesis. This study examines if and how critical appraisals inform the synthesis and interpretation of evidence in SRs. All SRs published in March-May 2012 in 14 high-ranked medical journals and a sample from the Cochrane library were systematically assessed by two reviewers to determine if and how: critical appraisal was conducted; RoB was summarised at study, domain and review levels; and RoB appraisals informed the synthesis process. Of the 59 SRs studied, all except six (90%) conducted a critical appraisal of the included studies, with most using or adapting existing tools. Almost half of the SRs reported critical appraisal in a manner that did not allow readers to determine which studies included in a review were most robust. RoB assessments were not incorporated into synthesis in one-third (20) of the SRs, with their consideration more likely when reviews focused on randomised controlled trials. Common methods for incorporating critical appraisals into the synthesis process were sensitivity analysis, narrative discussion and exclusion of studies at high RoB. Nearly half of the reviews which investigated multiple outcomes and carried out study-level RoB summaries did not consider the potential for RoB to vary across outcomes. The conclusions of the SRs, published in major journals, are frequently uninformed by the critical appraisal process, even when conducted. This may be particularly problematic for SRs of public health topics that often draw on diverse study designs. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
    Journal of Epidemiology &amp Community Health 12/2014; 69(2). DOI:10.1136/jech-2014-204711 · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The planning profession has been advocated as an untapped resource for obesity prevention, but little is known about how planners view their roles and responsibilities in this area. This paper investigates the role of planners in the Healthy Towns programme in England, and explores the limits and potential for obesity prevention within planning policy and practice. Using a qualitative approach, 23 planning stakeholders were interviewed, identifying the potential for planning in public health, particularly the ‘health proofing’ of local planning policy. National and local governments should better align planning and health policies to support collaboration between planners and public health practitioners.
    Health & Place 09/2014; 30:120–126. DOI:10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.08.012 · 2.44 Impact Factor
  • Health Policy 08/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.healthpol.2014.08.007 · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper explores how system-wide approaches to obesity prevention were 'theorised' and translated into practice in the 'Healthy Towns' programme implemented in nine areas in England. Semi-structured interviews with 20 informants, purposively selected to represent national and local programme development, management and delivery were undertaken. Results suggest that informants articulated a theoretical understanding of a system-wide approach to obesity prevention, but simplifying this complex task in the context of uncertainty over programme aims and objectives, and absence of a clear direction from the central government, resulted in local programmes relying on traditional multi-component approaches to programme delivery. The development of clear, practical guidance on implementation should form a central part of future system-wide approaches to obesity prevention.
    Health & Place 06/2014; 29C:60-66. DOI:10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.05.006 · 2.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Well London is a multicomponent community engagement and coproduction programme designed to improve the health of Londoners living in socioeconomically deprived neighbourhoods. To evaluate outcomes of the Well London interventions, a cluster randomised trial (CRT) was conducted that included a longitudinal qualitative component, which is reported here. The aim is to explore in depth the nature of the benefits to residents and the processes by which these were achieved. The 1-year longitudinal qualitative study was nested within the CRT. Purposive sampling was used to select three intervention neighbourhoods in London and 61 individuals within these neighbourhoods. The interventions comprised activities focused on: healthy eating, physical exercise and mental health and well-being. Interviews were conducted at the inception and following completion of the Well London interventions to establish both if and how they had participated. Transcripts of the interviews were coded and analysed using Nvivo. Positive benefits relating to the formal outcomes of the CRT were reported, but only among those who participated in project activities. The extent of benefits experienced was influenced by factors relating to the physical and social characteristics of each neighbourhood. The highest levels of change occurred in the presence of: (1) social cohesion, not only pre-existing but also as facilitated by Well London activities; (2) personal and collective agency; (3) involvement and support of external organisations. Where the physical and social environment remained unchanged, there was less participation and fewer benefits. These findings show interaction between participation, well-being and agency, social interactions and cohesion and that this modulated any benefits described. Pathways to change were thus complex and variable, but personal well-being and local social cohesion emerged as important mediators of change.
    BMJ Open 04/2014; 4(4):e003596. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003596 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is important to understand the decision-making process, and the role of research evidence within it, across sectors other than health, as interventions delivered within these sectors may have substantial impacts on public health and health inequalities. Systematic review of qualitative evidence. Twenty-eight databases covering a range of sectors were searched. Studies were eligible if they included local decision-makers in a policy field relevant to the social determinants of health (including housing, transport, urban planning and regeneration, crime, licensing or trading standards), were conducted in a high-income country, and reported primary qualitative data on perceptions of research evidence. Study quality was assessed and a thematic synthesis undertaken. Sixteen studies were included, most using interview designs, and most focusing on planning or transport policy. Several factors are seen to influence decision-makers' views of evidence, including practical factors such as resources or organizational support; the credibility of the evidence; its relevance or applicability to practice; considerations of political support or feasibility; and legislative constraints. There are limited data on how evidence is used: it is sometimes used to not only support decision-making, but also to lend legitimacy to decisions that have already been made. Although cultures of evidence in non-health sectors are similar to those in health in some ways, there are some key differences, particularly as regards the political context of decision-making. Intersectoral public health research could benefit from taking into account non-health decision makers' needs and preferences, particularly around relevance and political feasibility.
    The European Journal of Public Health 03/2014; DOI:10.1093/eurpub/cku038 · 2.46 Impact Factor
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Publication Stats

6k Citations
1,041.89 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2015
    • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
      • • Department of Social and Environmental Health Research
      • • Faculty of Public Health and Policy
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2014
    • University of East London
      • Institute for Health and Human Development
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2012
    • University of Oxford
      • Department of Social Policy and Intervention
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008–2010
    • Medical Research Council (UK)
      • MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
      London, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2001–2008
    • University of Glasgow
      • MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
      Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 2006
    • University of London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
    • Lancaster University
      Lancaster, England, United Kingdom
  • 2004
    • NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
      Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 2002
    • University of Birmingham
      Birmingham, England, United Kingdom