Making better use of natural experimental evaluation in population health

Peter Craig, Mhairi Campbell*, Adrian Bauman, Manuela Deidda, Ruth Dundas, Niamh Fitzgerald, Judith Green, Srinivasa Vittal Katikireddi, Jim Lewsey, David Ogilvie, Frank de Vocht, Martin White

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


Key messages
• Natural experimental evaluations can provide useful information to guide decision making about interventions
• Most discussion has focussed on what quantitative methods are suitable for natural experimental evaluations
Key definitions and concepts remain contested and there is a lack of consensus about the circumstances in which natural experimental evaluations can provide trustworthy and useful evidence for decision-making
• Guidance should help identify the circumstances that make for good natural experimental evaluation, and a range of applicable methods
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere070872
Pages (from-to)e070872
JournalThe BMJ
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Medical Research Council, the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office, NHS Research Scotland, UK Prevention Research Partnership, UK Research and Innovation, and Wellcome Trust for financial support.


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