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Article

About Centre for Epidemic Interventions Research

About Centre for Epidemic Interventions Research

Published

Centre for Epidemic Interventions Research at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health was established in July 2021. The centre is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Health. A key task for the centre will be to support the work of the WHO Working Group on the effects of public health and social interventions (PHSIs).

Centre for Epidemic Interventions Research at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health was established in July 2021. The centre is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Health. A key task for the centre will be to support the work of the WHO Working Group on the effects of public health and social interventions (PHSIs).


Background

Throughout the world, long-lasting non-pharmaceutical interventions, also referred to as Public Health and Societal Interventions (PHSIs), have been implemented to limit the spread of the corona virus. However, while massive efforts have been made in researching the effectiveness of medication and vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been very few studies of the impact of PHSIs. As per 31 August 2021, 2180 controlled trials on pharmaceutical interventions were registered, while the number of registered trials of PHSIs was 17[1].

The overall mission for the centre is to produce more and better evidence on the effects of public health and social interventions, and non-pharmacological infection control measures, specifically. This will be of great importance to fight the Covid-19 virus and to be better prepared for future pandemics. The centre will collaborate with researchers, institutions, organisations, and stakeholders both nationally and internationally. The former Centre for Informed Health Choices is incorporated into the Centre for Epidemic Interventions Research.

The research

The centre’s mission will be achieved through the following aims:

AIM 1 – Prepare for the conduct of studies of effect of non-pharmaceutical infection control measures by

  1. Identifying and mapping barriers to effect studies and ensuring that legal, ethical, and data security considerations for effect studies are clear
  2. Systematically reviewing effect studies to prioritise and inform the design of new studies
  3. Laying the groundwork for conducting effect studies

 AIM 2 – Carry out effect studies by

  1. Conducting randomised and quasi-randomised trials (including process evaluation) of infection control measures
  2. Conducting randomised and quasi-randomised trials (including process evaluation) of interventions to improve adherence to infection control measures
  3. Utilizing existing data to assess the impact of infection control measures that have been implemented in distinct areas at certain times
  4. Conducting randomized trials of communication strategies and sanctions on perceptions and intended behaviours (e.g. A/B-testing online).

AIM 3 – Develop and evaluate tools to support the use of research in decision-making in health crises, and improve critical health literacy in the population by

  1. Designing and user testing tools for preparing evidence-based advice for policymakers
  2. Evaluating the effects of interventions to strengthen critical health literacy skills

 

[1] www.bessi-collab.net