Making Systematic Reviews Useful for Health Care Managers

eAlert 8cb0db97-8d9b-4ad3-993f-77740e807e26

<p>Systematic reviews of health care interventions, such as those conducted by the international Cochrane Collaboration, provide advantages over individual studies. Such reviews synthesize all available evidence on effectiveness, and they do so using an explicit methodology that is better at minimizing bias.<br><br>In an <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=21255&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D361400%26%23doc361400">article</a> in the Canadian journal <em>Healthcare Policy,</em> a group of former Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellows led by John N. Lavis, M.D., Ph.D., argue that systematic reviews could be made even more useful to health care managers and policymakers. The authors say that in addition to answering the question, 'What works?', systematic reviews should provide information about how and why interventions work, how they are integrated into complex health care systems, and how different population subgroups are affected.<br><br>Systematic reviews should also consider issues like risk and cost, the authors say, to help inform future decision-making. The paper was prepared for the first Harkness Fellows in Health Care Policy Alumni Conference, held last year in Bagshot, England.</p>