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Developing virtual public health networks: aspiration and reality

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Amelia Lake, Dr Alison Copeland, Professor Clare Bambra



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Background: This paper presents the results of an exercise to scope the potential of a virtual network to support dissemination, collaboration and innovation among the UK research community on the topic of ‘work and health and well-being’. Methods: Through a search of the literature and internet searches, a database of 333 individuals and 10 organizations (stakeholders) was developed to whom an online questionnaire was sent. The questionnaire scoped the potential of a virtual network on work and health and well-being. We compared respondents' aspirations for a network with the critical management literature examining the core conditions under which networks work best. Results: We identified 1435 papers, published since 2008. In the UK, 333 individuals and 10 organizations were identified as working within the broad topic of Work and Health and Well-being. Of the 110 (a 34% response) responses to our online questionnaire, the majority (80%, n = 88) stated they would be interested in joining a virtual network. Conclusions: Respondents indicated a willingness to engage with the network. They had a range of ideas regarding how a network could operate, which broadly match the conditions that support network effectiveness. A virtual-enabled network would be best supplemented by opportunities for face-to-face interaction.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lake A, Warren J, Copeland A, Rushmer R, Bambra C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Public Health

Year: 2016

Volume: 38

Issue: 4

Pages: e446-e454

Print publication date: 01/12/2016

Online publication date: 18/12/2015

Acceptance date: 01/01/2015

Date deposited: 05/02/2017

ISSN (print): 1741-3842

ISSN (electronic): 1741-3850

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdv172


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