Introducing the NCOIS

Blog-Professor Luke Wolfenden

The National Centre of Implementation Science is a new NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence that works to improve the translation of evidence-based chronic disease prevention policies and practices in community settings.

The Centre will focus on improving the translation of evidence into policies and practices that target diet, physical activity, weight status, tobacco and/or alcohol use in community settings. These include childcares, schools, sports clubs and workplaces.

Work will be grouped in four streams:

  • Stream 1: Finding the gaps – This stream of work will identify evidence-to-practice gaps in chronic disease prevention in community settings.
  • Stream 2: Identifying the barriers to implementation – Stream 2 of the Centre’s work will examine barriers and facilitators to implementation of chronic disease prevention in community settings both in Australia and overseas.
  • Stream 3: Testing implementation strategies – This stream of work seeks to maintain living reviews of the effectiveness of strategies and identify effective behaviour change techniques to facilitate implementation.
  • Stream 4: Optimising the implementation of interventions – Through the use of an implementation laboratory, Stream 4 will work to optimise the implementation of dietary guidelines in childcare and activity policy in schools.

The Centre is led by Associate Professor Luke Wolfenden, with the support of a number of internationally renowned investigators from universities across the world. Luke has worked for many years in obesity prevention on a range of innovative research studies, many of which are funded by nationally competitive grants. He is now focusing on how research can be better translated into everyday practice to prevent chronic disease as Director of NCOIS.

‘Chronic diseases and injuries can be closely linked to lifestyle choices that are very often modifiable,’ explains Luke.

‘So things like obesity, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption and smoking are all important risk factors, but they obviously don’t have to be. If we target and modify these risks, we can reduce the number of people suffering needlessly.’

‘And once we develop or identify effective programs, we conduct research to find the best way of supporting organisations in the community to adopt and implement them,’ asserts Luke.

The Centre has received funding for five years, from 2019 to 2024.

References

Luke Wolfenden, John Wiggers, Adrian Bauman, Chris Rissel, Andrew Wilson, Jeremy Grimshaw, Serene Yoong, Julian Elliot, Chris Doran, Hopin Lee. Centre for Research Excellence in Implementation for Community Chronic Disease Prevention. National Health and Medical Research Council Centres for Research Excellence Grant. $2,497,647.70. 2019-2023. Application ID: APP1153479.