Aghakhani N, Mobaraki K, Ahmadzadeh J (2020) Evidence-Based Health Policy Making: A Roadmap for Filling the Research and Decision-Making Gap. J Fam Med Dis Prev 6:121.

Letter to the Editor | OPEN ACCESS DOI: 10.23937/2469-5793/1510121

Evidence-Based Health Policy Making: A Roadmap for Filling the Research and Decision-Making Gap

Nader Aghakhani1, Kazhal Mobaraki2 and Jamal Ahmadzadeh2*

1Patient Safety Research Center, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Iran

2Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Urmia Univ ersity of Medical Sciences, Iran


Evidence-based, Health Policy, Roadmap, Research, Decision-making

Dear Editor

The ultimate aim of a health care system is progression of community health in an equal manner and various factors can be contributed in achieving it. Many health policy makers or managers try to produce evidences to be used in the health care system for this goal and they need many types of scientific documents to make well-informed decisions [1].

For this reason, the importance of evidence-based health policy making as a complicated task that affects many various individual and organizational actions is completely determined. Evidence to inform managers or policy-makers can be found depending on several factors, such as: The timeframe in which a policy-maker requires a response, the available resources and global or local evidence required. The nature of policy-maker's request determines the type of evidence and its availability. If evidence is not found, the other measures available may require attention [2].

Many different databases, initiatives and search strategies are available internationally to support policy-makers. Based on the advice of the European Advisory Committee on Health Research in 2003, WHO/Europe has adopted an initial definition of evidence that included context-related information and research findings from other types of knowledge that may serve as a basis for decision-making in health care public health to better meet the needs of clients. Such research findings allow managers and policymakers to find the best available evidence based research to inform, make, or advocate for a decision about health care systems [3].

Developing evidence based health policy making requires addressing three phases. First of all, health care systems policymakers and researchers should be able to find best methods of classified topics which can include both health implementation strategies and system arrangements [4]. Second, policymakers and researchers should know when they can carry out comprehensive inventories that can answer the questions about cost-effectiveness and the effectiveness of policy options through single studies or systematic reviews about economic evaluations; and impact evaluations or both of them [5]. Third, they should be able to identify decision-relevant information by quickly assessment of the research results to know whether the reviews have high quality, whether the searches were conducted newly, and whether the studies were conducted in their health care system needs to impact on the applicability of the results [6].

In conclusion, an important challenge for researchers and policy-makers is to determine whether evidence about the effects of a policy is applicable to their settings. Therefore, they can easily access to many types of evidence based researches to inform advocacy and decision-making about their health care systems. They can also access complementary contents such as WHO policy-relevant documents to use best health policy as a roadmap for filling the research and strengthening the validity of technical decision-making gap.

Declaration of Conflicting Interests

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


  1. Sheldon TA (2005) Making evidence synthesis more useful for management and policy-making. SAGE Publications Sage UK: London, England: 1-5.
  2. Dobbins M, Ciliska D, Cockerill R, Barnsley J, DiCenso A (2002) A framework for the dissemination and utilization of research for health-care policy and practice. J Knowl Synth Nurs 9: 149-160.
  3. Lavis JN, Lomas J, Hamid M, Sewankambo NK (2006) Assessing country-level efforts to link research to action. Bull World Health Org Suppl 84: 620-628.
  4. Koon AD, Rao KD, Tran NT, Ghaffar A (2013) Embedding health policy and systems research into decision-making processes in low-and middle-income countries. Health Res Policy Syst 11: 30.
  5. Lavis J, Oxman A, Lewin S, Fretheim A (2009) Introduction: SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health Policymaking (STP). Health Res Policy Syst 7: 1.
  6. Lavis J, Davies H, Oxman A, Denis JL, Golden-Biddle K, et al. (2005) Towards systematic reviews that inform health care management and policy-making. J Health Serv Res Policy 10: 35-48.


Aghakhani N, Mobaraki K, Ahmadzadeh J (2020) Evidence-Based Health Policy Making: A Roadmap for Filling the Research and Decision-Making Gap. J Fam Med Dis Prev 6:121.