The value of prevention: a shared approach to building the narrative



TYPE Prevention Centre News

We welcome the Strategy as a significant development for health policy in Australia and will be working with our networks to build on the momentum.

The recently launched National Preventive Health Strategy highlights the value of prevention and outlines how the benefits of prevention extend beyond reducing chronic conditions and living longer, healthier lives. The Strategy notes prevention generates co-benefits beyond physical health including reduced pressure on the health budget as well as increased workforce participation and productivity, better social cohesion, improved mental health and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

The Prevention Centre’s extensive program of work is contributing important evidence on these issues, including a rapid review prepared last year providing a summary of the evidence base on the value of prevention in an Australian context. We considered the health, social, economic and other benefits of preventive health interventions on four key risk factors for chronic disease including overweight and obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and tobacco use and smoking. We will soon be adding to this important body of research with the upcoming publication of a rapid review on the value of primary prevention of alcohol consumption.

Our partners and collaborators have identified a shared interest in work to understand and demonstrate both the resourcing and value of prevention. Understanding the economics of prevention and providing information on costing and valuing its many co-benefits is consistently identified as an important priority. The Prevention Centre recently hosted two workshops with health economists and prevention policy partners across jurisdictions and agencies to identify shared priorities that will inform further research.

We value our role in connecting Australia’s best minds in prevention, bringing together leading universities, institutions, government departments and agencies and not-for-profit organisations who share the same vision of effective, equitable systems change for chronic disease prevention. In 2021, we held the PreventionWorks LIVE conversation series with some of Australia’s prevention change makers and we are working with our partners from the Collaboration for Enhanced Research Impact (CERI) to produce shared narratives, commentaries, resources and other products that inform public and professional understanding of the value of prevention.

In 2022 we hope to expand this work and provide further opportunities for leaders in prevention research and policy to share their vision on the value of prevention with a series of new thought leadership pieces on our website and social media channels. We will be reaching out to some of our key partners and also welcome enquiries and contributions at [email protected]