Scientific evidence alone is not sufficient basis for health policy.
Veterans Affairs and Stanford University Medical Centers, VAPAHCS, 152-MPD, 795 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA.BMJ (online) (Impact Factor: 16.38). 02/2012; 344:e1316. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e1316
- BMJ (online) 03/2012; 344:e2014. DOI:10.1136/bmj.e2014 · 16.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In this paper we describe a systematic attempt to determine whether child and adolescent mental health policy demonstrably draws upon peer-reviewed evidence, and to discover which other sources of evidence could be considered influential in policy development. In brief, we found that the scientific evidence base had been underutilised. However, peer-reviewed research was the most frequently documented source of information in the policies analysed. Overall, policies provided little information on the sources that informed them. We suggest development of a framework where decisions regarding evidence selection for use in informing health policy development are explicitly stated and can be openly evaluated.Evidence & Policy A Journal of Research Debate and Practice 01/2015; 11(1):7-18. DOI:10.1332/174426414X13940168597987
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ABSTRACT: A new resolution on mental, neurological and substance use disorders was adopted in January 2012 by the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board. The resolution urges WHO and Member States to collaborate in the development of a comprehensive mental health action plan, to be submitted for discussion and approval to the WHO World Health Assembly. This commentary aims at rising awareness on the risk that this resolution may not fulfil its potential. Lack of political awareness and visibility of the resolution is a first major issue. Theoretically, Member States should be aware of the resolution and support its implementation at their respective national level, but in practice political commitment may not be high enough, and technical and financial resources made available may be limited. A second challenge is that the resolution suggests to work with Member States and technical agencies to promote academic exchange through which to contribute to policy-making in mental health. It is not straightforward, however, how such a statement may be effectively translated into action. A third key methodological aspect is how scientific evidence and factors other than scientific evidence will be handled. This seems particularly relevant in the field of mental health, where value-based decisions together with resource and feasibility considerations may be unavoidable. We argue that WHO and Member States should work together to increase the visibility of the resolution, ensuring that Ministries of Health and other relevant components of the health systems are aware of the resolution and its implications. As the resolution urges for academic exchange, WHO should develop a plan for an explicit, inclusive and open call for support and collaboration, so that partners willing to contribute are not kept out from the process. The production of an action plan for mental disorders should be based on scientifically sound methodology. Such a methodology should be transparently described, for example in a WHO process document, to make it clear how individual-level recommendations and policy-level guidance are developed. WHO should establish and maintain an open forum of experts, scientists, health officials and user groups worldwide to interact and agree on values, preferences, feasibility, acceptability, implementability, equity and economic issues that should inform the action plan.International Journal of Mental Health Systems 06/2012; 6(1):6. DOI:10.1186/1752-4458-6-6 · 1.06 Impact Factor
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