Skip to main content

Table 1 Characteristics of included studies

From: Interventions encouraging the use of systematic reviews by health policymakers and managers: A systematic review

Source Study Design Participants and setting Response rate Content area of systematic reviews Intervention Study outcomes Quality assessment
Ciliska 1999 Cross-sectional survey Public health policymakers and managers Initial survey: 87% 1. Home visiting as a public health intervention Five systematic reviews disseminated to public health decision makers in 1996 91% requesting systematic review in first survey remembered receiving the information Inadequate reporting of frequency data
   N = 225 Three-month follow up: 93% 2. Community-based heart health promotion   Of those who remembered, 23% stated it played a part in program planning or decision-making Discrepancy in number of eligible participants
   Canada   3. Adolescent suicide prevention   57% (of the 23%) reported it influenced actual recommendations made to others
- 64% of those recommendations were accepted
Conclusions incongruent with data presented
     4. Community development   Implementation of policies is implied. No specific examples are given Generalizable only to public health professionals making decisions in Ontario, Canada
     5. Parent-child health    No control group
       Information is self reported Clustering effect
Dobbins 2001a Cross-sectional survey Public health policymakers and managers Two year follow up: 95.9% 1. Home visiting as a public health intervention Follow-up to Ciliska 1999 two years later 63% of respondents reported they had used at least one of the systematic reviews in the past 2 years to make a decision Large number of independent variables with small sample makes interpretation of statistical analysis uncertain
Dobbins 2001b   N = 141   2. Community-based heart health promotion   Implementation of policies is implied. No specific examples are given Generalizable only to public health professionals making decisions in Ontario, Canada
   Canada   3. Adolescent suicide prevention    No control group
     4. Community development   Information is self reported Clustering effect
     5. Parent-child health    
Dobbins 2009 Randomised controlled trial Public health policymakers and managers 108 out of 141 health departments participated in study Healthy body weight promotion in children Health department randomised to receive one of three interventions over a period of one year: No significant effect on global evidence-informed decision-making The rate of successful intervention may have differed across the three intervention groups due to discrepancies in the ability of interventions to be implemented
   N = 108 Follow up data collected from 88 of 108 health departments   1. access to an online registry of systematic reviews Significant effect observed for tailored messages plus access to online registry of systematic reviews (p < 0.01) in health policies and programs Investigators were limited by participants' ability to self report
   Canada    2. tailored messages plus access to the online registry of systematic reviews   One representative individual for each organization used to provide data
      3. tailored messages plus access to the registry along with a knowledge broker who worked one-on-one with decision makers   30% of participants had limited engagement with knowledge brokers, thus caution recommended with generalizability.