Effectiveness of research implementation strategies for promoting evidence-informed policy: a systematic review

10 July, 2018

Last year we had a TDR-sponsored discussion on Implementation Research (perhaps our most challenging topic yet!),summarised in a poster

http://www.hifa.org/sites/default/files/publications_pdf/HIFA_Case_Study...

and presented by HIFA member Soumyadeep Bhaumik at the Global Evidence Summit in Cape Town:

http://www.hifa.org/news/hifa-member-soumyadeep-bhaumick-presents-unders...

The authors of this systematic review describe 'a unidirectional, hierarchal flow... from (1) establishing an imperative for practice change, (2) building trust between implementation stakeholders and (3) developing a shared vision, to (4) actioning change mechanisms'.

CITATION: The effectiveness of research implementation strategies for promoting evidence-informed policy and management decisions in healthcare: a systematic review.

Sarkies MN(1), Bowles KA(2), Skinner EH(3), Haas R(3), Lane H(3), Haines TP(3).

Implement Sci. 2017 Nov 14;12(1):132. doi: 10.1186/s13012-017-0662-0.

https://implementationscience.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13012-...

BACKGROUND: It is widely acknowledged that health policy and management decisions rarely reflect research evidence. Therefore, it is important to determine how to improve evidence-informed decision-making. The primary aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the effectiveness of research implementation strategies for promoting evidence-informed policy and management decisions in healthcare. The secondary aim of the review was to describe factors perceived to be associated with effective strategies and the inter-relationship between these factors.

METHODS: An electronic search was developed to identify studies published between January 01, 2000, and February 02, 2016...

RESULTS: After duplicate removal, the search strategy identified 3830 titles. Following title and abstract screening, 96 full-text articles were reviewed, of which 19 studies (21 articles) met all inclusion criteria. Three studies were included in the narrative synthesis, finding policy briefs including expert opinion might affect intended actions, and intentions persisting to actions for public health policy in developing nations. Workshops, ongoing technical

assistance, and distribution of instructional digital materials may improve knowledge and skills around evidence-informed decision-making in US public health departments. Tailored, targeted messages were more effective in increasing public health policies and programs in Canadian public health departments compared to messages and a knowledge broker. Sixteen studies (18 articles) were included in the thematic synthesis, leading to a conceptualisation of inter-relating factors perceived to be associated with effective research implementation strategies. A unidirectional, hierarchal flow was described from (1) establishing an imperative for practice change, (2) building trust between implementation stakeholders and (3) developing a shared vision, to (4) actioning change mechanisms. This was underpinned by the (5) employment of effective communication strategies and (6) provision of resources to support change.

CONCLUSIONS: Evidence is developing to support the use of research implementation strategies for promoting evidence-informed policy and management decisions in healthcare. The design of future implementation strategies should be based on the inter-relating factors perceived to be associated with effective strategies.

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice

http://www.hifa.org/projects/evidence-informed-policy-and-practice

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 18,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on five global forums in three languages. He also currently chairs the Dgroups Foundation (www.dgroups.info), which supports 800 communities of practice on international development, health and social justice. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org