Effects of a demand-led evidence briefing service on the uptake and use of research evidence by commissioners of health services

Wilson, P.M. et al. Health Services and Delivery Research Volume. 5(5). Published online: February 2017

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We know that acquiring, assessing, adapting and applying research evidence in health-service decision-making can be problematic. This study involved staff from nine CCGs and assessed different ways of delivering evidence obtained from research to support decision-making. Two of the CCGs had access to a responsive (i.e. demand-led) evidence briefing service provided by researchers at the University of York. Over the course of the study, the service addressed 24 topics raised by the two CCGs. The majority of requests dealt with options for delivering and reorganising services and the evidence provided raised awareness about possible options for future actions.

Over the course of 1 year, we measured whether or not having access to the service had improved uptake and use of research evidence by commissioners compared with the alternative interventions. We found that the evidence briefing service was not associated with increases in CCG capacity to acquire, assess, adapt and apply evidence obtained from research in their decision-making. Low response rates and missing data limit the reliability of these findings.

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