What did we do?
This knowledge synthesis aimed to combine the expertise of research, policy and communication experts to draw out policy-relevant lessons from research conducted by the Prevention Centre and the NHMRC Centres of Excellence within the Collaboration for Enhanced Research Impact (CERI).
The findings described below are based on evidence drawn from 60 peer-reviewed articles, synthesised and interpreted with guiding input from 12 prevention policy makers from eight jurisdictions convened over two national roundtables.
What did we find?
The synthesis highlights the benefits of prevention, provides evidence of effective and cost-effective interventions, and considers issues of implementation and scale-up of interventions in the first 2000 days.
- The first 2000 days presents a unique window of opportunity to establish and support healthy behaviours
- There are economic benefits from investing in prevention in the first 2000 days
- Prevention interventions in the first 2000 days are effective and cost effective
- Prevention in the first 2000 days requires a comprehensive approach that combines individual and population-based interventions
- Taking action in the first 2000 days will reduce health inequalities
- There is public support for prevention interventions in the first 2000 days
- Implementation and scale-up of effective interventions requires collaboration between researchers, policy makers, health and social care practitioners, and consumers
Opportunities for further research
Areas for further research were identified as follows: further evidence is required to support the design, implementation, and evaluation of prevention interventions that meet the needs of priority population groups such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and people who experience socioeconomic disadvantage. There is also a need for increased monitoring of risk factors across the first 2000 days, to ensure future prevention efforts can be designed to address ongoing and emerging health risks. Discussions during each of the two policy dialogues revealed key areas of further interest for policy partners; including how to address specific risk factors such as food insecurity and parent’s mental health across the first 2000 days.