Sysematic Reviews of Evidence and How They Influence Health Policy

Why are diverse sources of evidence of value to health policy makers?
To start this discussion we need to understand what we mean by “evidence based public health”, this is defined as
“ the development, implementation and evaluation of effective programmes and policies in public health through the application of principles of scientific reasoning, including systematic uses of data and information systems, and the appropriate use of behavioural science, theory and programme planning models”
(Brownson, Ross, 2003)
This encourages us to use evidence that is least likely to be biased as the basis for decision making (Kelly, Morgan, Allis, 2009), the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of best evidence in decision making (Sacket, Rosenberg, Gray, 1996). The use of the wording “best” emphasises that it is the quality of the evidence not the quantity that is most important, it is the best information that can be found to address the research question being asked. The benefits to practitioners of operating in this manner are numerous as it ensures the best interventions are taken up and these decisions can be supported by scientific research
From this we understand that public health is a multidiscipline field a far as research and study is concerned and this is why a wide and diverse source of evidence is important. Evidence based public health provides a reassurance that interventions and treatments are based on up to date, reliable scientific evidence which is used to decide what does and does not work for public health. It also means that by using the “best” possible information as a reviewer you are using your resources such as time, staff etc. in the most efficient manner. Evidence based public health is best employed when supporting decisions, when evaluating cost: benefit of interventions and when putting in place new health initiatives or implementing new policies.
The intervention I have chosen to look at with respect to these questions is “What are...