BMJ Open: Improving the uptake of systematic reviews: a systematic review of intervention effectiveness and relevance

‘Little is known about the barriers, facilitators and interventions that impact on systematic review uptake.’  This systematic review recommends three approaches – targeted messaging, educational visits and summaries – to enhance systematic review uptake into policy and practice.

CITATION: BMJ Open 2014;4:e005834 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005834

Medical education and training

Improving the uptake of systematic reviews: a systematic review of intervention effectiveness and relevance

John Wallace, Charles Byrne, Mike Clarke Author Affiliations

Correspondence to Dr John Wallace; john.wallace@wadh.oxon.org

ABSTRACT

Objective: Little is known about the barriers, facilitators and interventions that impact on systematic review uptake. The objective of this study was to identify how uptake of systematic reviews can be improved.

Selection criteria: Studies were included if they addressed interventions enhancing the uptake of systematic reviews. Reports in any language were included. All decisionmakers were eligible. Studies could be randomised trials, cluster-randomised trials, controlled-clinical trials and before-and-after studies.

Data sources: We searched 19 databases including PubMed, EMBASE and The Cochrane Library, covering the full range of publication years from inception to December 2010. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed quality according to the Effective Practice and Organisation of Care criteria.

Results: 10 studies from 11 countries, containing 12 interventions met our criteria. Settings included a hospital, a government department and a medical school. Doctors, nurses, mid-wives, patients and programme managers were targeted. Six of the studies were geared to improving knowledge and attitudes while four targeted clinical practice.

Synthesis of results: Three studies of low-to-moderate risk of bias, identified interventions that showed a statistically significant improvement: educational visits, short summaries of systematic reviews and targeted messaging. Promising interventions include e-learning, computer-based learning, inactive workshops, use of knowledge brokers and an e-registry of reviews. Juxtaposing barriers and facilitators alongside the identified interventions, it was clear that the three effective approaches addressed a wide range of barriers and facilitators.

Discussion: A limited number of studies were found for inclusion. However, the extensive literature search is one of the strengths of this review.

Conclusions: Targeted messaging, educational visits and summaries are recommended to enhance systematic review uptake. Identified promising approaches need to be developed further. New strategies are required to encompass neglected barriers and facilitators. This review addressed effectiveness and also appropriateness of knowledge uptake strategies.

Best wishes, Neil

Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA: www.hifa2015.org  

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