Achieving the new global health targets – Q3: What is needed to promote global health research that matters?

This new paper in The Lancet emphasises the importance of evidence synthesis (especially systematic reviews). As a personal comment, it could be argued that far more priority should be given to synthesising the existing research literature. Indeed, others have proposed that no new research should be undertaken without first synthesising the existing evidence from past research.

CITATION: Responsibility and accountability for well informed health-care decisions: a global challenge

Gro Jamtvedt, Marianne Klemp, Berit Mørland, Magne Nylenna

EXTRACTS (selected by Neil PW)

‘Despite large investments during past decades in health-care research, evidence synthesis, and clinical practice guidelines, too much research is wasted1 and too many decisions are still not well informed.2 Why is this, and what can we do about it? The following four conditions must be met.

‘First, relevant and reliable health-care research must exist and be disseminated…

‘Second, decision makers and patients must have access to reliable and relevant evidence synthesis…

‘Third, patients, clinicians, and policy makers must be encouraged to ask for and use evidence synthesis…

‘Fourth, to improve patient outcomes, recommendations and decisions must be put into action and be implemented in policy and practice…

‘John Eisenberg’s statement from 2002 is still relevant: “Globalize the evidence, localize the decision”.’

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