Academic collaborative centres for health promotion in the Netherlands: building bridges between research, policy and practice
until further notice
SourceFamily Practice, 29 Suppl 1, (2012), pp. i157-i162
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
vol. 29 Suppl 1
SubjectNCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health
A logical and promising next step for the development of an effective infrastructure for health promotion in the Netherlands are Academic Collaborative Centres (ACCs). Their aims are to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice; make better use of available knowledge and strengthen the evidence base for health promotion practice. To understand their position, they must be seen in light of the strong growth in health promotion in the Netherlands. Since the 1970s, the emphasis in health promotion has shifted from simple unidimensional interventions to much more comprehensive and integrated programmes. Comprehensive research programmes, which explicitly involve actual practice and policy, are also thus called for. These developments are described in this article. There is considerable and widespread enthusiasm about the establishment of ACCs in the Netherlands. Experiences from the first 5 years of collaboration between research, policy and practice within the ACCs, however, shows research to still have the dominant position. The different groups of stakeholders in the public health infrastructure are also shown to perceive and appreciate the current infrastructure rather differently. These findings are similar to results found in the USA. The predominance of research has recently led the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) to impose stricter criteria and guidelines for the funding of such centres. These measures are aimed at eliciting a shift of power from science to practice. They seem to be a promising contribution to bridging the gap between research, policy and practice.
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