[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The evidence base for improving reproductive health continues to grow. However, concerns remain that the translation of this evidence into appropriate policies is partial and slow. Little is known about the factors affecting the use of evidence by policy makers and clinicians, particularly in developing countries. The objective of this study was to examine the factors that might affect the translation of randomised controlled trial (RCT) findings into policies and practice in developing countries.
The recent publication of an important RCT on the use of magnesium sulphate to treat pre-eclampsia provided an opportunity to explore how research findings might be translated into policy. A range of research methods, including a survey, group interview and observations with RCT collaborators and a survey of WHO drug information officers, regulatory officials and obstetricians in 12 countries, were undertaken to identify barriers and facilitators to knowledge translation.
It proved difficult to obtain reliable data regarding the availability and use of commonly used drugs in many countries. The perceived barriers to implementing RCT findings regarding the use of magnesium sulphate for pre-eclampsia include drug licensing and availability; inadequate and poorly implemented clinical guidelines; and lack of political support for policy change. However, there were significant regional and national differences in the importance of specific barriers.
The policy changes needed to ensure widespread availability and use of magnesium sulphate are variable and complex. Difficulties in obtaining information on availability and use are combined with the wide range of barriers across settings, including a lack of support from policy makers. This makes it difficult to envisage any single intervention strategy that might be used to promote the uptake of research findings on magnesium sulphate into policy across the study settings. The publication of important trials may therefore not have the impacts on health care that researchers hope for.
BMC Health Services Research 02/2005; 5:68. · 1.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that decisions about which drugs should be reimbursed by the Norwegian National Insurance Administration (NIA) are ad hoc and made without explicit criteria for evaluating applications.
We assessed all documents that we were able to retrieve from the NIA for a sample of 31 applications to add new drugs to the drug benefit program, mainly in the 1990s. The assessment was done with respect to two questions. First, to what extent were different factors explicitly evaluated, such as treatment effects, side effects, cost-effectiveness and reimbursement costs? Second, to what extent did these factors affect the decisions that were made?
We found documents for 19 of the 31 drugs. For the 19 drugs and nine factors that we considered as potentially important in making a decision (a total of 19 x 9 = 171 possible assessments), we found a total of only eight explicit written evaluations. In 10 out of 19 cases costs to the NIA and control of these costs, or use of the drug, appeared to have an important impact on the decision that was reached.
Based on the documents to which we have had access, the NIA's evaluations have not been systematic or transparent for the vast majority of drugs.
Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening 12/2002; 122(27):2619-23.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The empirical basis for theories and common wisdom regarding how to improve appropriate use of research evidence in policy decisions is unclear. One source of empirical evidence is interview studies with policy-makers. The aim of this systematic review was to summarise the evidence from interview studies of facilitators of, and barriers to, the use of research evidence by health policy-makers.
We searched multiple databases, including Medline, Embase, Sociofile, PsychLit, PAIS, IBSS, IPSA and HealthStar in June 2000, hand-searched key journals and personally contacted investigators. We included interview studies with health policy-makers that covered their perceptions of the use of research evidence in health policy decisions at a national, regional or organisational level. Two reviewers independently assessed the relevance of retrieved articles, described the methods of included studies and extracted data that were summarised in tables and analysed qualitatively.
We identified 24 studies that met our inclusion criteria. These studies included a total of 2041 interviews with health policy-makers. Assessments of the use of evidence were largely descriptive and qualitative, focusing on hypothetical scenarios or retrospective perceptions of the use of evidence in relation to specific cases. Perceived facilitators of, and barriers to, the use of evidence varied. The most commonly reported facilitators were personal contact (13/24), timely relevance (13/24), and the inclusion of summaries with policy recommendations (11/24). The most commonly reported barriers were absence of personal contact (11/24), lack of timeliness or relevance of research (9/24), mutual mistrust (8/24) and power and budget struggles (7/24).
Interview studies with health policy-makers provide only limited support for commonly held beliefs about facilitators of, and barriers to, their use of evidence, and raise questions about commonsense proposals for improving the use of research for policy decisions. Two-way personal communication, the most common suggestion, may improve the appropriate use of research evidence, but it might also promote selective (inappropriate) use of research evidence.
Journal of Health Services Research & Policy 11/2002; 7(4):239-44. · 1.73 Impact Factor