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Table 1 Characteristics of included studies

From: The effectiveness of research implementation strategies for promoting evidence-informed policy and management decisions in healthcare: a systematic review

Author, year, country Study design Health topic Health organisation setting Decision-maker population Control group Research implementation group Outcome measure
Beynon et al. 2012, multi-national [46] Randomised controlled trial Health in low- and middle-income countries Public health Professions from government and non-government organisations and academia (n = 807) Existing Institute of Development Studies publication from the In Focus Policy Briefing series Basic 3-page policy brief Basic 3-page policy brief plus an expert opinion piece Basic 3-page policy brief plus an unnamed research fellow opinion piece Online questionnaires (immediately, 1 week and 3 months post)
Semi-structured interviews (in-between 1 week and 3 months and after 3 month questionnaires)
Brownson et al. 2007, USA [47] Quasi-experimental Guidelines for promoting physical activity State and local health departments (n = 8) Health department program managers, administrators, division, bureau, or agency heads, and ‘other’ positions e.g. program planner, nutritionist
(State n = 58)
(Local n = 55)
(Other n = 80)
Remaining states and the Virgin Islands served as the comparison group) Workshops, ongoing technical assistance and distribution of an instructional CD-ROM 25-item questionnaire survey (2 years)
Bullock et al. 2012, UK [48] Programme evaluation case study Non-specific NHS health service delivery organisations (n = 10) Management fellows (n = 11)
Chief investigators (n = 10)
Additional co-applicants from the research teams (n = 3)
Workplace line-managers (n = 12)
(Total n = 36)
None UK Service Delivery and Organisation (SDO) Management Fellowship programme Semi-structured face-to-face interviews
Campbell et al. 2011, Australia [49] Program evaluation Range of topics related to population health, health services organisation and delivery, and cost effectiveness State-level policy agencies, including both the New South Wales and Victorian Departments of Health (n = 5) Policymakers (n = 8) None ‘Evidence check’ rapid policy relevant review and knowledge brokers Structured interviews (2–3 years)
Chambers et al. 2012, UK [58] Case study Adolescents with eating disorders Primary care Local NHS commissioners and clinicians (n = 15) None Contextualised evidence briefing based on systematic review Short evaluation questionnaire
Champagne et al. 2014, Canada [59] Case studies Non-specific Academic health centres (n = 6) Extra fellows, SEARCHers, Colleagues, Supervisors, Vice-presidents and CEOs (n = 84) None Executive Training for Research Application (EXTRA) program
Swift, Efficient, Application of Research in Community Health (SEARCH) Classic program
Semi-structured interviews and data from available organisational documents
Courtney et al. 2007, USA [60] Cohort study Substance abuse treatment programs Community-based treatment units (n = 53 units from n = 24 multisite parent organisations) Directors and clinical supervisors (n = 309) None 2-day workshop (entitled “TCU Model Training-making it real”) Compliance with early steps of consulting and planning activities (1 month)
Organisational Readiness for Change (ORC) assessment (1 month)
Dagenais et al. 2015, Burkina Faso [52] Implementation evaluation Maternal health, malaria prevention, free healthcare, and family planning Public health Researchers; Knowledge brokers; health professionals; community-based organisations; and local, regional, and national policy-makers (n = 47) None Knowledge broker Semi-structured individual interviews and participant training session questionnaires
Dobbins et al. 2001, Canada [61]. Cross-sectional follow-up survey Home visiting as a public health intervention, community-based heart health promotion, adolescent suicide prevention, community development, and parent-child health Public health units (n = 41) Public health decision-makers (n = 147) None Systematic reviews Cross-sectional follow-up telephone survey
Dobbins et al. 2009, Canada [9] Randomised controlled trial Promotion of healthy bodyweight in children Public health departments (n = 108) Front-line staff 35%
Managers 26%
Directors 10%
Coordinators 9%
Other 20%
(n = 108)
Access to an online registry of research evidence Tailored, targeted messages
Access to an online registry of research evidence
Knowledge broker
Tailored, targeted messages
Access to an online registry of research evidence
Telephone-administered survey (knowledge transfer and exchange data collection tool)
1–3 months post completion of intervention (intervention lasted 12 months)
Dopp et al. 2013, Netherlands [55] Mixed methods process evaluation Dementia Home-based community health Managers (n = 20)
Physicians (n = 36)
Occupational therapists (n = 36)
None Multifaceted implementation strategy Semi-structured telephone interviews with managers (3–5 months)
Semi-structured focus groups with occupational therapists (2 months)
Flanders et al. 2009, USA [53] Implementation evaluation Patient safety Teaching and nonteaching, urban and rural, government and private, as well as academic and community settings (n = 9) Hospitalists or quality improvement staff, representatives from each institutions department of quality or department of patient safety (n = 9) None The Hospitalists as Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety (HELPS) Consortium Web-based survey (post meetings)
Gagliardi et al. 2008, Canada [56] Mixed methods exploratory Colorectal cancer Not specified Researchers (n = 6)
Clinicians (n = 13)
Manager (n = 5)
Policy-maker (n = 5)
(Total n = 29)
  Review of Canadian health services research in colorectal cancer based on published performance measures
1-day workshop to prioritise research gaps, define research questions and plan implementation of a research study.
Participant survey (prior to workshop)
Observation of workshop participants (during workshop)
Semi-structured interviews and observation of workshop participants (during workshop)
Kitson et al. 2011, Australia [50] Project evaluation 7 clinical topic areas identified in The Older Person and Improving Care (TOPIC7) project Large tertiary hospital (n = 1) Clinical nursing leaders (n = 14)
Team members (n = 28)
Managers (n = 11)
None Knowledge translation toolkit Semi-structured interviews and questionnaires
Moat et al. 2014, multi-national, [63] Survey evaluation Health in low- and middle-income countries Public health Policy-makers, stakeholders and researchers (n = 530) None Evidence briefs
Deliberative dialogues
Questionnaire surveys
Traynor et al. 2014, Canada [57] Single mixed-methods study and a case study Child obesity Canadian public health departments (n = 30)
(Case studies n = 3)
Health department staff
(RCT n = 108)
(Case A n = 258)
(Case B n = 391)
(Case C n = 155)
Access to an online registry of research evidence Knowledge brokering Knowledge broker journaling (baseline, interim, follow-up)
Qualitative interviews n = 12 (1 year)
Case study interviews n = 37 (baseline, interim and 22 month follow-up)
Uneke et al. 2015, Nigeria [54] Implementation evaluation Low- and middle-income country health Public health Directors from Ministry of Health (n = 9)
Senior researchers from the university (n = 5)
NGO executive director (n = 1)
Director of public health in the local government service commission (n = 1)
Executive secretary of the AIDS control agency (n = 1)
State focal person of Millennium Development Goals (n = 1)
(Total n = 18)
None Training workshop (HPAC)
Certificate course (HPAC)
Policy brief and hosting of a multi-stakeholder policy dialogue (HPAC)
Semi-structured interviews (end of each intervention)
Group discussions
Waqa et al. 2013, Fiji [51] Process evaluation Overweight and obesity Public health government organisations (n = 6)
NGOs (n = 2)
Senior managers (n = 20)
Middle managers (n = 22)
Junior managers (n = 7)
(Total n = 49)
None Policy brief and hosting of a multi-stakeholder policy dialogue (HPAC) Semi-structured interviews
Process diaries
Wilson et al. 2015, Canada [64] Process evaluation Non specific Policy analysts (n = 9)
Health department units (n = 6)
Senior analysts (n = 8)
Junior analysts (n = 1)
None Access to an online registry of research evidence Semi-structured telephone interviews