Four projects take the Prevention Centre into its new phase



TYPE Prevention Centre News

The projects build on the foundations of the Prevention Centre’s first five years, with the aim of promoting sustained action to prevent chronic disease.

Prevention Centre Director Professor Andrew Wilson said the focus of the next five years is to expand our national focus, concentrate on implementation and scaling up to drive action, and extend our work with high risk and vulnerable populations.

“As we start the next five years, we are thinking more broadly and creatively about what prevention of chronic disease means beyond traditional concerns about major risk factors and the major diseases,” he said.

Two of the new projects extend our previous work in the area of implementation and scaling up. The first, Methods and metrics for moving from best practice prevention to implementation and scale up is led by Professor Adrian Bauman of the University of Sydney. Researchers will work with policy and practitioner partners in five jurisdictions to develop and test tools to help them assess the feasibility and barriers for scaling up. These tools will be applied across several real-world projects.

A related project is Resources and funding models for successful implementation and scale-up of preventive programs, led by Professor Penny Hawe of the University of Sydney. This project builds on earlier work with NSW Health and in Tasmania, and will identify, quantify and value the local resources that are mobilised when an intervention is introduced in a local community. The ultimate aim of the project is to understand how best to support communities for implementation to be successful.

Another project will extend the liveability work led by Professor Billie Giles-Corti of RMIT. Benchmarking, monitoring, modelling and valuing the healthy liveable city will expand the coverage of our liveability indicators to include the 21 largest cities nationally, making them available through a ‘virtual laboratory’. The project will then use the indicators in conjunction with other data to construct complex agent-based models of individual-level walking, cycling, public transport and private vehicle daily use for the major Victorian cities, and then assess the economic merit of specific interventions.

The final project continues the Prevention Centre’s work on building a compelling case for prevention. Dynamic simulation modelling to support investment decisions across the common risk factors for lifestyle-related chronic disease, led by Associate Professor Jo-An Atkinson of the Sax Institute, will develop our proof-of-concept national systems dynamics model into a customised, validated, robust decision support tool to inform national strategies for prevention.

The Prevention Centre is funded from 2018 – 2023 by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Government Department of Health, the Health Departments of New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Tasmania, Cancer Council Australia and VicHealth, with a total value of $15 million.

This is in addition to $10 million provided by the Medical Research Future Fund, which is funding 10 projects under its Boosting Prevention program.