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      Policymakers’ Research Capacities, Engagement, and Use of Research in Public Health Policymaking

      , , ,
      International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
      MDPI AG

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          Abstract

          The use of research in public health policymaking is one of the prerequisites for successfully implemented health policies which have better population health as an outcome. This policy process is influenced by the actors involved under the policy umbrella, with inter-related contextual factors and specific structural and institutional circumstances. Our study investigates how policymakers’ research capacities influence the use of research in the health policy process and identify areas where capacity-building interventions give the most meaning and impact. Furthermore, we investigate policymakers’ research engagement and use this to inform public health policy in the public sector in Denmark. We collect and report data using Seeking, Engaging with, and Evaluation Research (SEER) methodology. Policymakers are reported to have research capacity, but it is questionable how those competences have actually been used in policymaking. Decision-makers were often not aware or did not know about the existing organizational tools and systems for research engagement and use and two third of respondents had not been part of any research activities or had any collaboration with researchers. Overall, research use in public health policymaking and evaluation was limited. As a conclusion, we propose that capacity-building interventions for increasing research use and collaboration in EIPM should be context-oriented, measurable, and sustainable in developing individual and organizational competences.

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          Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't

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            Lost in knowledge translation: time for a map?

            There is confusion and misunderstanding about the concepts of knowledge translation, knowledge transfer, knowledge exchange, research utilization, implementation, diffusion, and dissemination. We review the terms and definitions used to describe the concept of moving knowledge into action. We also offer a conceptual framework for thinking about the process and integrate the roles of knowledge creation and knowledge application. The implications of knowledge translation for continuing education in the health professions include the need to base continuing education on the best available knowledge, the use of educational and other transfer strategies that are known to be effective, and the value of learning about planned-action theories to be better able to understand and influence change in practice settings.
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              Knowledge translation of research findings

              Background One of the most consistent findings from clinical and health services research is the failure to translate research into practice and policy. As a result of these evidence-practice and policy gaps, patients fail to benefit optimally from advances in healthcare and are exposed to unnecessary risks of iatrogenic harms, and healthcare systems are exposed to unnecessary expenditure resulting in significant opportunity costs. Over the last decade, there has been increasing international policy and research attention on how to reduce the evidence-practice and policy gap. In this paper, we summarise the current concepts and evidence to guide knowledge translation activities, defined as T2 research (the translation of new clinical knowledge into improved health). We structure the article around five key questions: what should be transferred; to whom should research knowledge be transferred; by whom should research knowledge be transferred; how should research knowledge be transferred; and, with what effect should research knowledge be transferred? Discussion We suggest that the basic unit of knowledge translation should usually be up-to-date systematic reviews or other syntheses of research findings. Knowledge translators need to identify the key messages for different target audiences and to fashion these in language and knowledge translation products that are easily assimilated by different audiences. The relative importance of knowledge translation to different target audiences will vary by the type of research and appropriate endpoints of knowledge translation may vary across different stakeholder groups. There are a large number of planned knowledge translation models, derived from different disciplinary, contextual (i.e., setting), and target audience viewpoints. Most of these suggest that planned knowledge translation for healthcare professionals and consumers is more likely to be successful if the choice of knowledge translation strategy is informed by an assessment of the likely barriers and facilitators. Although our evidence on the likely effectiveness of different strategies to overcome specific barriers remains incomplete, there is a range of informative systematic reviews of interventions aimed at healthcare professionals and consumers (i.e., patients, family members, and informal carers) and of factors important to research use by policy makers. Summary There is a substantial (if incomplete) evidence base to guide choice of knowledge translation activities targeting healthcare professionals and consumers. The evidence base on the effects of different knowledge translation approaches targeting healthcare policy makers and senior managers is much weaker but there are a profusion of innovative approaches that warrant further evaluation.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                IJERGQ
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                IJERPH
                MDPI AG
                1660-4601
                November 2021
                October 20 2021
                : 18
                : 21
                : 11014
                Article
                10.3390/ijerph182111014
                34769533
                38e9ad0e-260a-4a83-b9bd-9312d8280296
                © 2021

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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