Study To Assess Impact Of Heart, Stroke Research

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The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) launched of a groundbreaking new international study to assess the impact of heart and stroke (cardiovascular) research.

Project Retrosight will study the "payback" from cardiovascular research in three countries, Canada, Australia, and Britain, taking research that was carried out 10-20 years ago as a starting point. The project will help further the understanding of how medical research leads to health system improvements and ultimately better health for Canadians.

"Our donors and taxpayers have every right to expect a return on their investment when it comes to research funding," said Sally Brown, CEO of the HSFC. "We know that the work of the excellent researchers we've funded has had an enormous positive impact on the health of Canadians, and we look forward to seeing those results in this study."

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"Knowledge translation, which is about turning knowledge into action, is an important part of CIHR's mandate," said Dr. Ian Graham, CIHR's Vice President, Knowledge Translation. "Project Retrosight will help us understand how the knowledge generated by cardiovascular health research has affected health, health policy and health care in Canada, Australia and Britain. The assessment done through Project Retrosight will help to improve the evaluation and analysis of all Canadian-funded health research."

Project Retrosight is a three-year multinational study of nearly thirty case studies of researchers or research groups working in basic biomedical research and early clinical research. The project will investigate the impact of this research in five broad categories including health policy, health and health sector benefits and broader economic benefits to Canada. It will also provide a detailed catalogue of the paybacks from the research.

"The scale of the study will enable us to make a major contribution to understanding how the results of research eventually translate into treatments, clinical practice and health policy," said Ms Brown.

Project Retrosight will be managed by RAND Europe, an independent not-for-profit think tank and research organisation that serves the public interest by providing evidence for policy making and public debate. The Payback Framework being used in the project was originally designed by Martin Buxton and Steve Hanney at the Health Economics Research Group (HERG) at Brunel University in England to examine the benefits from health services research.

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