Appropriate Research Methods
5. Where to Now
Where to Now – Back to the Future?
Having said so much about what is inappropriate and mis-focused, it is important to discuss what is appropriate: where should we be focusing instead and what research methods should be employed?
Arguing for a refocusing of efforts towards upstream population health is not, of course, to suggest that everything should be invested upstream. That, obviously, can never occur and resource allocation would be as distorted as it is presently (some 90 percent of effort and resources are concentrated downstream). A balanced distribution of research effort and resources across the whole range of possible points of intervention is required to accommodate the likely continuous distribution of the phenomena in question. Exercise 1 illustrates the range of interventions at different levels that are possible for a major illness condition, like diabetes.