Supporting the needs of public health decision-makers and review authors in the UK

Francis, Daniel, Turley, Ruth, Thomson, Hilary, Weightman, Alison, Waters, Elizabeth, & Moore, Laurence (2014) Supporting the needs of public health decision-makers and review authors in the UK. Journal of Public Health, 37(1), pp. 172-174.

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Systematic reviews, through the synthesis of multiple primary research studies, can be powerful tools in enabling evidence-informed public health policy debate, development and action. In seeking to optimize the utility of these reviews, it is important to understand the needs of those using them. Previous work has emphasized that researchers should adopt methods that are appropriate to the problems that public health decision-makers are grappling with, as well as to the policy context in which they operate.1,2 Meeting these demands poses significant methodological challenges for review authors and prompts a reconsideration of the resources, training and support structures available to facilitate the efficient and timely production of useful, comprehensive reviews.

The Cochrane Public Health Group (CPHG) was formed in 2008 to support reviews of complex, upstream public health topics. The majority of CPHG authors are from the UK, which has historically been at the forefront of efforts to promote the production and use of systematic reviews of research relevant to public health decision-makers. The UK therefore provides a suitably mature national context in which to examine (i) the current and future demands of decision-makers to increase the use, value and impact of evidence syntheses; (ii) the implications this has for the scope and methods of reviews and (iii) the required action to build and support capacity to conduct such reviews.

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ID Code: 80063
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: First published online: November 27, 2014
DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdu089
ISSN: 1741-3842
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 13 Jan 2015 22:53
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2015 01:06

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