With the propagation of evidence-based health policy-making, systematic reviews of health policy research have become increasingly popular.
To analyze and summarize the reporting characteristics of Cochrane Reviews on health policy research.
We searched the Cochrane Library for the topic of “Effective practice & health systems”, and retrieved the Advanced Search as a supplement in February 2018. The search terms were health, policy and strategy. We used EndNote X7 and Excel 2010 for data description and analysis.
We included 179 Cochrane Reviews of health policy research out of the 1026 identified. There were 150 (83.8%) completed reviews and 29 (16.2%) protocols, including 167 intervention reviews, seven (3.9%) overviews, and five (2.8%) qualitative reviews. Of these, 45 (25.1%) had new searches. There were 12 reviews that included 0 studies, 73 included between one and 10, and 65 included more than 10. The first review was published online in 2005, the greatest quantity was published in 2009 (41, 22.9%), and 73 (40.8%) reviews were published online in the last five years. The reviews focused on implementation strategies (92, 51.4%), delivery of healthcare services (47, 26.3%), financial arrangements (20, 11.2%) and governance arrangements (14, 7.8%); involved public health (83, 46.4%), theoretical exploration (26, 14.5%), hospital management (22, 12.3%), medical insurance (17, 9.5%), pharmaceutical policy (15, 8.4%), community health (14, 7.8%), and rural Health (2, 1.1%).
Although many Cochrane Reviews of health policy research have been published in recent years, much more attention should be paid to the financial arrangements and governance arrangements involved, as well as pharmaceutical policy, community health and rural health.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: