A Few Of The Managers And Policy-Makers Who Were Interviewed Have Commissioned Literature Reviews Internally, A Few Have Commissioned Them Externally, And More (Indeed More Than Half Of Health Care Policymakers) Have Used Literature Reviews

Pankaj Jain


Turning now to the part of question 1 that addresses the approach to research evidence in health care management and policy-making, our interviews suggest that there is no consistent approach to research evidence. Managers often rely on data such as expenditures and utilization rates but they tend to rely less on research evidence per se. Policy-makers appear to rely on a wider array of information but they too tend to rely less on research evidence. While there is typically a formal structure to the documents that are used to inform policy-making, none of the document templates that we obtained or discussed during the interviews contained explicit requirements for research evidence. Moreover, the expectations set by central agencies (such as a Cabinet Office) or senior staff within a line department tended not to place explicitly a high value on research evidence (and certainly not on systematic reviews). Rather, there was an assumption held by most of those who we interviewed that policy analysts within line departments had the expertise to provide informed advice in their respective domains.

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