Improving Utility of Evidence Synthesis for Healthy Public Policy: the Three Rs (Relevance, Rigor, and Readability [and Resources])

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Systematic reviews have the potential to promote knowledge exchange between researchers and decision-makers. Review planning requires engagement with evidence users to ensure preparation of relevant reviews, and well-conducted reviews should provide accessible and reliable synthesis to support decision-making. Yet, systematic reviews are not routinely referred to by decision-makers, and innovative approaches to improve the utility of reviews is needed. Evidence synthesis for healthy public policy is typically complex and methodologically challenging. Although not lessening the value of reviews, these challenges can be overwhelming and threaten their utility. Using the interrelated principles of relevance, rigor, and readability, and in light of available resources, this article considers how utility of evidence synthesis for healthy public policy might be improved.

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