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Introducing the Social Interventions Research and Evaluation Network

L. Gottlieb, C. Fichtenberg, N. Adler

A substantial literature has established that social factors play an important role in determining health outcomes. This has led to a growing interest in interventions attending to patients’ social determinants of health (SDH) in health care delivery, including both activities that mitigate the impacts of SDH on health care delivery and those that aim to change patients' SDH. Stronger evidence of effectiveness of interventions, complemented by convincing implementation and dissemination research, is needed to inform decision-making and secure health care sector funding for these activities. The Social Interventions Research and Evaluation Network (SIREN) at UCSF was launched in the spring of 2016 to synthesize, disseminate, and catalyze rigorous research in this field. Its establishment was motivated not only by the need for research on health care interventions addressing SDH, but also by the realization that research efforts are not well coordinated or synthesized to inform practice. One of SIREN’s first goals is to develop a clear and coherent research agenda that identifies evaluation priorities reflecting the perspectives of key stakeholder groups. SIREN will also provide seed grants for new research, create an online hub for dissemination of research findings, tools, and metrics, and expand opportunities for researchers and health sector leaders to learn from each other. We hope these activities will facilitate the strategic accumulation of knowledge to inform both best practices and the financial sustainability of health care-based efforts to address patients’ SDH.

Gottlieb L, Fichtenberg C, Adler N. Introducing the Social Interventions Research and Evaluation Network. 2017. San Francisco, CA: SIREN. Available online.

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