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Evidence-based medicine – an appropriate tool for evidence-based health policy? A case study from Norway

Overview of attention for article published in Health Research Policy and Systems, March 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#31 of 856)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (96th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
1 news outlet
twitter
79 tweeters
facebook
1 Facebook page

Citations

dimensions_citation
11 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
49 Mendeley
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Title
Evidence-based medicine – an appropriate tool for evidence-based health policy? A case study from Norway
Published in
Health Research Policy and Systems, March 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12961-016-0088-1
Pubmed ID
Authors

Kirsti Malterud, Anne Karen Bjelland, Kari Tove Elvbakken

Abstract

Evidence-based policy (EBP), a concept modelled on the principles of evidence-based medicine (EBM), is widely used in different areas of policymaking. Systematic reviews (SRs) with meta-analyses gradually became the methods of choice for synthesizing research evidence about interventions and judgements about quality of evidence and strength of recommendations. Critics have argued that the relation between research evidence and service policies is weak, and that the notion of EBP rests on a misunderstanding of policy processes. Having explored EBM standards and knowledge requirements for health policy decision-making, we present an empirical point of departure for discussing the relationship between EBM and EBP. In a case study exploring the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services (NOKC), an independent government unit, we first searched for information about the background and development of the NOKC to establish a research context. We then identified, selected and organized official NOKC publications as an empirical sample of typical top-of-the-line knowledge delivery adhering to EBM standards. Finally, we explored conclusions in this type of publication, specifically addressing their potential as policy decision tools. From a total sample of 151 SRs published by the NOKC in the period 2004-2013, a purposive subsample from 2012 (14 publications) advised major caution about their conclusions because of the quality or relevance of the underlying documentation. Although the case study did not include a systematic investigation of uptake and policy consequences, SRs were found to be inappropriate as universal tools for health policy decision-making. The case study demonstrates that EBM is not necessarily suited to knowledge provision for every kind of policy decision-making. Our analysis raises the question of whether the evidence-based movement, represented here by an independent government organization, undertakes too broad a range of commissions using strategies that seem too confined. Policymaking in healthcare should be based on relevant and transparent knowledge, taking due account of the context of the intervention. However, we do not share the belief that the complex and messy nature of policy processes in general is compatible with the standards of EBM.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 79 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 49 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Norway 1 2%
Unknown 48 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 8 16%
Student > Ph. D. Student 7 14%
Student > Master 7 14%
Other 7 14%
Student > Postgraduate 3 6%
Other 11 22%
Unknown 6 12%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 16 33%
Social Sciences 8 16%
Nursing and Health Professions 7 14%
Arts and Humanities 3 6%
Decision Sciences 2 4%
Other 5 10%
Unknown 8 16%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 57. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 13 December 2016.
All research outputs
#377,924
of 15,378,374 outputs
Outputs from Health Research Policy and Systems
#31
of 856 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#10,589
of 268,690 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Health Research Policy and Systems
#1
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 15,378,374 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 856 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 13.7. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 268,690 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them