Dr Helen Burchett

Associate Professor

United Kingdom

My main research interests lie in the interplay between context, interventions and people, to understand how or why interventions may work (or not work). An area of special interest to me is the generalisability or applicability of evaluation research to other settings.

I have previously worked in the NHS as a Health Promotion Specialist, for an NGO called The Maternity Alliance as Public Health Policy Officer and as a researcher at the Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education. I have worked on systematic reviews, intervention evaluations as well as qualitative and mixed methods research studies.

My PhD, completed in 2010, explored researchers' and policy stakeholders' perceptions of the relevance of research to policy in Ghana.


Department of Public Health, Environments and Society
Faculty of Public Health and Policy


Centre for Evaluation
Malaria Centre
Centre for Maternal Adolescent Reproductive & Child Health


I teach on the MSc in Public Health, organising the module on 'Foundations of Health promotion' and lecturing on the module, 'Evaluation of Public Health Interventions'. I also supervise DrPH and PhD students.


Recent research projects have explored reasons why some interventions are effective whilst others are not, within systematic reviews and intervention evaluations. Most recently, these have included systematic reviews of remote and digital interventions to support treatment for drug/alcohol misuse and of structural interventions to enable adolescent contraceptive use in low- and middle-income countries.

Another study analysed data from 10 intervention evaluations that introduced rapid diagnostic tests for malaria in six countries. Using data from process evaluations, study reports and insights from study teams, it explored factors relating to the interventions' contexts, content, implementation and experiences to understand why, in some places, the tests were well used and results adhered to while in others, they were not.

Another study, undertaken with colleagues at the EPPI-Centre, UCL, explored reasons why some lifestyle weight management programmes for pre- and primary-school children were 'highly' effective while others were not.

Research Area
Systematic reviews
Impact evaluation
Research methodology
Complex interventions
Public health
Qualitative research
Health inequalities

Selected Publications

The importance of service-users' perspectives: A systematic review of qualitative evidence reveals overlooked critical features of weight management programmes.
Sutcliffe, K; Melendez-Torres, GJ; BURCHETT, HE D; Richardson, M; Rees, R; Thomas, J;
Health expectations
Weight management programmes: Re-analysis of a systematic review to identify pathways to effectiveness.
Melendez-Torres, GJ; Sutcliffe, K; BURCHETT, HE D; Rees, R; Richardson, M; Thomas, J;
Health expectations
Developing a theory of change - the importance of rich process data and authors' insights into context, implementation and mechanisms.
BURCHETT, HE D; FRENCH, RS; Griffin, S; De Melo, M; Joaquim Picardo, J; Kneale, D;
Global health promotion
Impact of active case-finding for tuberculosis on case-notifications in Blantyre, Malawi: A community-based cluster-randomised trial (SCALE).
Feasey, HR A; Khundi, M; Soko, RN; BOTTOMLEY, C; Chiume, L; BURCHETT, HE D; Nliwasa, M; Twabi, HH; Mpunga, JA; MacPherson, P; Corbett, EL;
PLOS global public health
Can cash transfer interventions increase contraceptive use and reduce adolescent birth and pregnancy in low and middle income countries? A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Kneale, D; Kjaersgaard, A; De Melo, M; Joaquim Picardo, J; Griffin, S; FRENCH, RS; BURCHETT, HE D;
PLOS global public health
Prevalence of bacteriologically-confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis in urban Blantyre, Malawi 2019-20: Substantial decline compared to 2013-14 national survey.
Feasey, HR A; Khundi, M; Nzawa Soko, R; NIGHTINGALE, E; BURKE, RM; Henrion, MY R; Phiri, MD; BURCHETT, HE; Chiume, L; Nliwasa, M; Twabi, HH; Mpunga, JA; MacPherson, P; CORBETT, EL;
PLOS global public health
Is Quality Appraisal Enough? Confidence in Heterogeneous Interventions’ Effectiveness
BURCHETT, H; Kneale, D; De Melo, M; Griffin, S; Picard, JJ; FRENCH, R;
Challenges in using RoB2: worked example from a systematic review of remote therapies for alcohol and drug misuse
D'Souza, P; Kwan, I; MACDOWALL, W; BURCHETT, H; Sutcliffe, K;
Missing and masked: equity in a systematic review of remote interventions for substance misuse
MACDOWALL, W; D'Souza, P; BURCHETT, H; Kwan, I; Sutcliffe, K;
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