Communicating health research (58) Responses to Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 and Q5

21 September, 2022

I reply to the questions.

1. What do we mean by ‘Effective communication of health research to policymakers?’ How do we measure it?

If the products derived from health research and released to the public lead to better health of people, such research products will be adopted as the medical basis for policy formulation, and the interests of the people affected by the policy should be given top priority in the Diet [*1 see note below] that the discussion will take place.

The measurement is the number or percentage of health research products used as medical grounds for policymaking. And the actual policy decisions and the extent to which policy is based on research products. It is also important for an evaluation to be verified by a third-party organisation from an impartial standpoint.

2. What are the different approaches to communicating research (eg academic journals, policy briefs, interaction with policymakers, press releases, social media, infographics, use of video)? What is your experience with these approaches? What works and what doesn't?

Policymakers possibly make policy proposals based on research results during Diet deliberations. Alternatively, to create public opinion that policymakers have no choice but to reflect health research in policy, we will hold study sessions with the media in the Diet members' office building. Another option is to gather the petitions for the necessary policies and submit them to representatives of Diet members or the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare. In reality, however, such policy-making proposals are often ignored, and the mass media do not even attempt to report on them. On the other hand, when the wind as the possibility of the proposal is realised blows, the mass media pick up the proposal as news, and policymakers may react sensitively to that wind.

3. What is the role of researchers in research communication, beyond publication of their paper? What is the role of other stakeholders (eg communication professionals, editors, media, public health professionals and critical thinkers)

Research results should be returned to society and should never be researched for research [*2]. To that end, it is essential to design what the research is for what and for whom, what hypotheses exist, and what we want to clarify. As long as it is health research, we should make some new proposals for current health policy. It is crucial to conduct research from the standpoint of the socially vulnerable, aim for a better society, and stand on the side of those in difficulty to raise their voices and reflect it in the policy.

4. What are the needs and preferences of policymakers?

I think it depends on the position of the politician. Still, in the case of Japan, the government has been in a conservative place for a long time after WW2, and some private appropriations can not be said to be democratic. These interpretations to realise policies are convenient for the government but are twisted.

5. What can be done to better support researchers in the communication of health research?

I think that solidarity with international society is important. In the Japanese medical community, there is a strong tendency to evaluate cutting-edge technologies such as iPS cells and genetic research and clinical medicine such as emergency medicine.

Human resources development related to public health is not emphasised, the domestic sociological society is small, and the pediatric community has not yet formed an appropriate recognition of the field of social paediatrics.

In such a situation, the Japanese medical community needs to incorporate the perspective of medicine as a social science that understands health problems in society. I think bringing in a wind of information from international organisations is essential.


A dream you dream alone is only a dream.

A dream you dream together is reality.

Guest Researcher

Epidemiology and Global Health (EpiGH)

Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine

Umeå University

SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

TEL +46 90 786 55 11

Prof. Hajime Takeuchi,MD (Paediatrician) 

School of Social Welfare 

Graduate School of Social Welfare

BUKKYO University

96, Kitahananobo-cho, Murasakino, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8301, Japan

TEL +81-75-366-5595 (dial-in)


HIFA Profile: Hajime Takeuchi is a professor at the Bukkyo University in Japan. Professional interests: child health, child poverty, child wellbeing. He is a CHIFA Country Representative for Japan and a member of the CHIFA Steering Group (child health and rights) takechanespid AT

[*Note from NPW, moderator:

1. 'The National Diet is Japan's bicameral parliament. It is composed of a lower house, called the House of Representatives, and an upper house, the House of Councillors' ]

2. Hajime, please can you explain "should never be researched for research"?