Journal Article

The development of quality criteria for research: a Finnish approach

Eero Lahtinen, Pirjo Koskinen-Ollonqvist, Päivi Rouvinen-Wilenius, Päivi Tuominen and Maurice B. Mittelmark

in Health Promotion International

Volume 20, issue 3, pages 306-315
Published in print September 2005 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online June 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI:
The development of quality criteria for research: a Finnish approach

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Health promotion research is distinct in some respects from research within its contributing disciplines. A study was conducted in Finland to identify the special characteristics and distinctiveness of health promotion research, to develop a set of specific quality evaluation criteria for health promotion research, and to test the usefulness of such criteria in selecting research applications for funding. A wide range of discussions supplemented a systematic literature review with experts within and outside Finland. The review was conducted with regard to the content of health promotion, its basic principles, as well as theories and models used to steer practical health promotion activities. This resulted in a proposal for quality criteria for health promotion research. Key informants from Finnish universities and institutes evaluated the criteria in three Delphi rounds, and they were suitably revised. The utility of the revised criteria was tested using 31 research proposals. After further revision, the criteria were tested with a further 16 research proposals. Seven health promotion research quality criteria were developed by these methods, as were seven general criteria of research quality, applicable to all social research, whether in the health promotion arena or not. The 14 criteria will undergo continuous revision for improvement, but they are already at this stage thought to be suitable for use by (a) funding agencies in the design of calls for health promotion research proposals, and calls for tenders; (b) researchers who respond to calls for health promotion research proposals and/or calls for tenders; (c) evaluators and proposal review groups; and (d) reviewers and auditors of research progress.

Keywords: health promotion; research; quality criteria

Journal Article.  5216 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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