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Michael G. Wilson Doctoral Candidate, Health Research Methodology Programme McMaster University Program in Policy Decision-Making McMaster University 18.

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Presentation on theme: "Michael G. Wilson Doctoral Candidate, Health Research Methodology Programme McMaster University Program in Policy Decision-Making McMaster University 18."— Presentation transcript:

1 Michael G. Wilson Doctoral Candidate, Health Research Methodology Programme McMaster University Program in Policy Decision-Making McMaster University 18 May 2010 Supporting the Use of Research Evidence by Health System Managers and Policymakers Moving Palliative and End-of-life Care Forward University of Alberta Edmonton, AB, Canada

2 2 Outline Outline of options available to support the use of research evidence Challenges related to linking research to policy Strategies to address the challenges (with a focus on systematic reviews and how and why they can be helpful)

3 33 Increasingly efforts to support linking research to policy strive to address the two factors that emerged with some consistency in a systematic review of the factors that increased the prospects for research use Interactions between researchers and policymakers -Engage policymakers in priority-setting, research (including reviews), and deliberative dialogues Timing / timeliness -Facilitate retrieval of optimally packaged, high- quality and high-relevance systematic reviews and policy briefs (e.g., one-stop shopping, rapid response units) Options Available to Support the Use of Research Evidence

4 44 Options Available to Support the Use of Research Evidence (2) Policy- making process Unlinked asynchronous processes Research process Fortuitously linked processes Policy- making process Research process Research process Knowledge- translation processes Policy- making process Purposefully linked processes

5 55 Such efforts need to recognize that research evidence can play many roles in policymaking Helps to get problems on the agenda (i.e., what challenges should we focus on?) Helps to think about problems and options differently (i.e., how should we begin to approach this challenge?) Helps to solve particular problems at hand (i.e., what type of policy or action should we support?) Helps to justify a decision made for other reasons (i.e., how can we sell the position weve taken?) Options Available to Support the Use of Research Evidence (3)

6 66 1.Research competes with many other factors in the policymaking process 2.Research isnt valued as an information input 3.Research isnt relevant 4.Research isnt easy to use Challenges in Linking Research to Policy

7 77 Challenge 1 Research competes with many other factors in the policymaking process -Institutional constraints (e.g., constitutional rules) -Interest group pressure -Citizens values -Other types of information (e.g., experience) One option (among many) for addressing challenge 1 Improve democratic processes (but this is beyond the scope of most of us) or create routine processes (as many countries have done for new technologies) Addressing Challenge 1

8 88 Challenge 2 Research isnt valued as an information input One option (among many) for addressing challenge 2 Convince policymakers to place value on the use of research evidence by highlighting examples from the past or from other jurisdictions where research made the difference between policy success and policy failure Addressing Challenge 2

9 99 Challenge 3 Research isnt relevant One option (among many) for addressing challenge 3 Engage policymakers periodically in priority-setting processes and communicate the priorities to researchers (including short-term requirements for policy briefs, medium-term term requirements for systematic reviews, and long-term requirements for new primary research) Addressing Challenge 3

10 10 Challenge 4 Research isnt easy to use Challenge 4a Research isnt communicated effectively (i.e., policymakers hear noise instead of music) One option (among many) for addressing challenge 4a Identify a high-priority policy issue, identify systematic reviews that address different facets of the issue, identify messages arising from the reviews, construct workable options for policymakers to consider, and send the resulting policy brief to policymakers Addressing Challenge 4a

11 11 Why systematic reviews? (1) Systematic reviews offer two advantages over single studies in characterizing the effectiveness (benefits) of a policy option Reduce the likelihood that policymakers will be misled by research (by being more systematic and transparent in the identification, selection, appraisal and synthesis of studies) Increase confidence among policymakers about what can be expected from an intervention (by increasing the number of units for study)

12 12 Why systematic reviews? (2) Systematic reviews offer two additional advantages over single studies in defining problems or framing options Allow policymakers to focus on appraising the local applicability of systematic reviews (instead of also having to find and synthesize the available research evidence on their own) and on collecting and synthesizing other types of evidence Allow stakeholders, including public interest or civil society groups, to constructively contest research evidence because it is laid out for them in a more systematic and transparent way

13 13 Why systematic reviews? (3) Systematic reviews can also be conducted for Administrative database studies and community surveys that help to place problems in comparative perspective Observational studies that help to characterize an options likely harms Qualitative studies that help to understand the meanings that individuals or groups attach to a problem, how and why options work, and stakeholders views about and experiences with particular options

14 14 Policy briefs Systematic reviews of research Individual studies, articles, and reports Basic, theoretical and methodological innovations Hierarchy of Research Evidence

15 15 Challenge 4 Research isnt easy to use Challenge 4b Research isnt available when policymakers need it and in a form that they can use One option (among many) for addressing challenge 4b Maintain a policymaker-targeted website that provides one stop shopping for optimally packaged high-quality and high-relevance reviews -Health Systems Evidence: More than 1200 systematic reviews related to health system governance, financial and delivery arrangements (www.healthsystemsevidence.ca) Addressing Challenge 4b

16 16 Challenge 4 Research isnt easy to use Challenge 4c Policymakers lack mechanisms to prompt them to use research in policymaking One option (among many) for addressing challenge 4c Propose changes to cabinet submissions and program plans to prompt policy analysts to summarize whether and how research informed the definition of a policy problem, the framing of policy options to address the problem, and the proposed approach to policy implementation Addressing Challenge 4c

17 17 Challenge 4 Research isnt easy to use Challenge 4d Policymakers lack fora where policy challenges can be discussed with stakeholders and researchers One option (among many) for addressing challenge 4d Plan deliberative dialogues at which pre-circulated evidence summaries serve as the starting point for off-the-record deliberations involving policymakers, stakeholders, researchers and others (e.g., McMaster Health Forum) Addressing Challenge 4d

18 18 1.Research isnt valued as an information input [General climate for research use] 2.Research isnt relevant [Production] 3.Research isnt easy to use [Translation] a.Research isnt communicated effectively [Push] b.Research isnt available when policymakers need it and in a form that they can use [Facilitating pull] c.Policymakers lack mechanisms to prompt them to use research in policymaking [Pull] d.Policymakers lack fora where policy challenges can be discussed with key stakeholders [Exchange] Addressing Challenges in Linking Research to Policy

19 19 Addressing Challenges in Linking Research to Policy (2) Producers / purveyors of research Users of research Push efforts Producers / purveyors of research Users of research User-pull efforts Producers / purveyors of research One group of users of research Exchange efforts Producers / purveyors of research Users of research Knowledge -translation platforms Integrated efforts

20 20 Thank you to Dr. John Lavis for providing me with the slides for this session Contact information: Web: Acknowledgements


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