Call for abstracts for 2018 EUSPR conference

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A call for abstracts is now open for the 9th annual conference of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR). The event, co-organised by the EUSPR and the EMCDDA, and hosted by the agency in Lisbon, will take place from 24–26 October and focus on the theme of ‘Prevention technologies — improving the use of evidence in prevention practice’.

In many areas of public health, and particularly in the field of prevention, there is frequently a gap between research evidence and the services delivered in daily practice. This may mean that public resources are wasted or that target groups and communities are unable to receive the interventions or other support that might benefit them most.

At the conference, participants will address some of these challenges and discuss ways forward. Keynote speakers will explore some of the major issues in implementation and translational science as well as highlight strategies that have been successful in bringing together prevention research, practice and policymaking (1). Looking at the use of new technologies in this process, speakers will address how these might offer fresh opportunities for delivering evidence-based interventions and programmes and provide a platform for better engagement across different sectors.

The conference will map the obstacles that hinder the uptake and roll-out of effective interventions and local policies in preventing unhealthy behaviours. It will also increase dialogue between practitioners and researchers on how best to overcome them. In order to boost this dialogue, one of the pre-conference events will be a practitioners’ forum sponsored by, and held at, the Lisbon City Hall. Here local decision-makers will be invited to express their views and needs and assess how the available evidence should be presented in order to facilitate its use by them.

Reviews of evidence translation strategies have concluded that, whilst passive approaches (e.g. simply publishing research evidence) are useful in raising awareness of effective prevention actions, these are ineffective in changing practice and are unlikely to result in improvements in outcomes for target groups.

Questions addressed at the conference — and encouraged in the call for abstracts — will include: How far is research evidence used in the ‘real world’ of prevention? What kind of evidence is ‘useful’ evidence? What are examples of cross-disciplinary working between researchers and prevention professionals? How might new (and old) technologies be used or optimised to better deliver preventive activities and to better engage target groups?

The EUSPR promotes the development of prevention science, and its application to practice, so as to promote human health and well-being through high quality research, evidence-based interventions, policies and practices. It supports the EMCDDA in expanding Xchange, the agency’s registry of evidence-based prevention programmes.

Around 180 participants are expected at the conference from across Europe and the globe. The closing date for abstracts will be 4 June 2018.