Evidence, Ethics and Health Policy Research

TERM: October 1, 2009 – March 31, 2012


PROJECT LEADERS: Professor Timothy Caulfield (U of A), Dr. Susan Elliott (U of Waterloo), Dr. Lisa
Cicutto (U of T)

FUNDING: $300,000

There is growing recognition that health policy should be informed by the best evidence possible. Indeed, in some jurisdictions, there has been an explicit call to create a culture of evidence based policy making. In the context of allergy and asthma, there are a range of policy options, such as social marketing campaigns, laws on anaphylaxis preparedness, allergy free workplaces, and regulations governing relevant health care providers. But there are challenges to the use of evidence at all levels, including a lack of relevant data, generating political will and dealing with the complexities of personal values and beliefs. Using a wide range of methodologies, this interdisciplinary project seeks to explore the challenges associated with the use and production of evidence in allergy and asthma policy. Specifically, this research project seeks to: (1) identify and analyse the nature and source of evidence used in public policies, laws, and regulations relevant to allergy and asthma prevention and management; and (2) analyse and make recommendations to improve the legal and ethical governance of health research, particularly multi-site research and longitudinal studies such as the CHILD birth cohort study.