180
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
2 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      A systematic review of barriers to and facilitators of the use of evidence by policymakers

      research-article

      Read this article at

      ScienceOpenPublisherPMC
      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Background

          The gap between research and practice or policy is often described as a problem. To identify new barriers of and facilitators to the use of evidence by policymakers, and assess the state of research in this area, we updated a systematic review.

          Methods

          Systematic review. We searched online databases including Medline, Embase, SocSci Abstracts, CDS, DARE, Psychlit, Cochrane Library, NHSEED, HTA, PAIS, IBSS (Search dates: July 2000 - September 2012). Studies were included if they were primary research or systematic reviews about factors affecting the use of evidence in policy. Studies were coded to extract data on methods, topic, focus, results and population.

          Results

          145 new studies were identified, of which over half were published after 2010. Thirteen systematic reviews were included. Compared with the original review, a much wider range of policy topics was found. Although still primarily in the health field, studies were also drawn from criminal justice, traffic policy, drug policy, and partnership working. The most frequently reported barriers to evidence uptake were poor access to good quality relevant research, and lack of timely research output. The most frequently reported facilitators were collaboration between researchers and policymakers, and improved relationships and skills. There is an increasing amount of research into new models of knowledge transfer, and evaluations of interventions such as knowledge brokerage.

          Conclusions

          Timely access to good quality and relevant research evidence, collaborations with policymakers and relationship- and skills-building with policymakers are reported to be the most important factors in influencing the use of evidence. Although investigations into the use of evidence have spread beyond the health field and into more countries, the main barriers and facilitators remained the same as in the earlier review. Few studies provide clear definitions of policy, evidence or policymaker. Nor are empirical data about policy processes or implementation of policy widely available. It is therefore difficult to describe the role of evidence and other factors influencing policy. Future research and policy priorities should aim to illuminate these concepts and processes, target the factors identified in this review, and consider new methods of overcoming the barriers described.

          Related collections

          Most cited references81

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          The Many Meanings of Research Utilization

            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: found
            Is Open Access

            A description of a knowledge broker role implemented as part of a randomized controlled trial evaluating three knowledge translation strategies

            Background A knowledge broker (KB) is a popular knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) strategy emerging in Canada to promote interaction between researchers and end users, as well as to develop capacity for evidence-informed decision making. A KB provides a link between research producers and end users by developing a mutual understanding of goals and cultures, collaborates with end users to identify issues and problems for which solutions are required, and facilitates the identification, access, assessment, interpretation, and translation of research evidence into local policy and practice. Knowledge-brokering can be carried out by individuals, groups and/or organizations, as well as entire countries. In each case, the KB is linked with a group of end users and focuses on promoting the integration of the best available evidence into policy and practice-related decisions. Methods A KB intervention comprised one of three KTE interventions evaluated in a randomized controlled trial. Results KB activities were classified into the following categories: initial and ongoing needs assessments; scanning the horizon; knowledge management; KTE; network development, maintenance, and facilitation; facilitation of individual capacity development in evidence informed decision making; and g) facilitation of and support for organizational change. Conclusion As the KB role developed during this study, central themes that emerged as particularly important included relationship development, ongoing support, customized approaches, and opportunities for individual and organizational capacity development. The novelty of the KB role in public health provides a unique opportunity to assess the need for and reaction to the role and its associated activities. Future research should include studies to evaluate the effectiveness of KBs in different settings and among different health care professionals, and to explore the optimal preparation and training of KBs, as well as the identification of the personality characteristics most closely associated with KB effectiveness. Studies should also seek to better understand which combination of KB activities are associated with optimal evidence-informed decision making outcomes, and whether the combination changes in different settings and among different health care decision makers.
              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: found
              Is Open Access

              National policy-makers speak out: are researchers giving them what they need?

              The objective of this empirical study was to understand the perspectives and attitudes of policy-makers towards the use and impact of research in the health sector in low- and middle-income countries. The study used data from 83 semi-structured, in-depth interviews conducted with purposively selected policy-makers at the national level in Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Malawi, Oman and Singapore. The interviews were structured around an interview guide developed based on existing literature and in consultation with all six country investigators. Transcripts were processed using a thematic-analysis approach. Policy-makers interviewed for this study were unequivocal in their support for health research and the high value they attribute to it. However, they stated that there were structural and informal barriers to research contributing to policy processes, to the contribution research makes to knowledge generally, and to the use of research in health decision-making specifically. Major findings regarding barriers to evidence-based policy-making included poor communication and dissemination, lack of technical capacity in policy processes, as well as the influence of the political context. Policy-makers had a variable understanding of economic analysis, equity and burden of disease measures, and were vague in terms of their use in national decisions. Policy-maker recommendations regarding strategies for facilitating the uptake of research into policy included improving the technical capacity of policy-makers, better packaging of research results, use of social networks, and establishment of fora and clearinghouse functions to help assist in evidence-based policy-making.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Health Serv Res
                BMC Health Serv Res
                BMC Health Services Research
                BioMed Central
                1472-6963
                2014
                3 January 2014
                : 14
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, Bridgeford Street, M13 9PL Manchester, UK
                [2 ]Faculty of Social Sciences, Oslo University College, P.B. 4, St. Olavs Plass, NO-0130 Oslo, Norway
                [3 ]Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Public Policy (UCL STEaPP), University College London, 66-72 Gower Street, London WC1E 6EA, UK
                [4 ]MRC Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health, Institute of Child Health, London WC1N 1EH, UK
                [5 ]University of London, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK
                Article
                1472-6963-14-2
                10.1186/1472-6963-14-2
                3909454
                24383766
                79633c07-6a89-4e89-b3eb-6034dc5e02b6
                Copyright © 2014 Oliver et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Health & Social care
                Health & Social care

                Comments

                Comment on this article