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Department of Anthropology: Parent-Infant Sleep Lab

Impact of our research

The effect that academic research has on society, practice or policy is referred to as 'impact'. Conceptual impact occurs when research helps people to see something in a new way. Instrumental impact occurs when research findings help to change policies, recommendations and practices. The research conducted at Durham Parent-Infant Sleep Lab has both conceptual and instrumental impact, but it is easier to document examples of the latter than the former. This page (and its sub-pages) provides links to examples of some of the impact our research has made. Most of these examples reference our research directly, while others have a more convoluted impact pathway, but the images and descriptions within them are clearly based on the findings of our research and can be linked directly to our publications by way of an interim source.

Two useful overviews that explain how we use the perspective of evolutionary anthropology to ask questions about the sleep of infants and the night-time care behaviour of parents can be found in the following two publications -- one a commentary on the past 20 years of research arising from the Durham University Parent-Infant Sleep Lab -- the other a review of a talk of the above material.

Influencing How We Think About Infant Sleep and Night-time Care

These examples illustrate how our research is used to support an agenda for change regarding infant care, advice to parents, hospital policy and healthcare practice.

UK-wide Infant Sleep Recommendations

The links below illustrate how organisations are using / have used our research to support professional recommendations and guidance to parents in UK on issues regarding infant sleep.

UK and International Policy, Practice and Public Impact

The research of Durham Parent-Infant Sleep Lab, and our Infant Sleep Information Source (ISIS) website, are cited widely in policy, support 'official' guidance and recommendations to parents, and are shared informally by support groups, parenting charities, and parent-to-parent discussion around the world. On the pages linked below we offer a glimpse of these activities as represented via the internet.