Evidence-Based Health Policy Briefs, the most important way to present evidence to health policymakers and policymakers, are widely used in the World Health Organization (WHO) and many national health sectors.
We aim to analyze the epidemiology and reporting characteristics of health policy briefs in the Health System Evidence (HSE) and WHO databases.
Two researchers independently hand-searched HSE and WHO databases prior to 31 January 2018, and included health policy briefs in English and Chinese. Independently, two reviewers completed data extraction and resolved disagreements by discussions.
A total of 110 policy briefs were included. A total of 70 (64%) policy briefs were reported in the last four years (2010 to 2013), with no updates in 2016 and 2017. Forty-one (53%) reported appendixes and 108 (98%) reported references; 70 (64%) clearly reported background; 60 (55%) reported methodologies; 59 (54%) reported funding; 56 (51%) reported conflicts of interest, with four having conflicts of interest; 108 (98%) reported health problems; 64 (58%) reported potential implementation barriers; and 92 (84%) reported policy options were clearly reported. The formats and contents of the health policy briefs were very different and the formats of the report on their methodologies were too simple.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:
Attempting to achieve equitable access to health care for all effectively may raise issues of health system effectiveness, efficiency and equity. At present, there are still many deficiencies in health policy briefs, but their impact on clinicians, health workers, patients and the general public cannot be ignored. These can promote doctor-patient communication and joint decision-making to a certain extent.
As a new tool for assisting decision making, health policy briefs are increasing gradually. Different briefs developed by different organizations varied a lot in reporting characteristics. However, few policy briefs reported their development process. Clinical practice guidelines for reporting standards and quality evaluation could provide a reference poiint from which brief developers could learn in the future.