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Bridging the gaps between research, policy and practice in low- and middle-income countries: a survey of researchers.

Overview
Title:
Bridging the gaps between research, policy and practice in low- and middle-income countries: a survey of researchers.
Authors:
Lavis JN, Guindon GE, Cameron D, Boupha B, Dejman M, Osei EJ, Sadana R
Journal:
CMAJ
Publication date:
2010
Volume:
182
Issue:
9
First page:
E350
Last page:
61
ISSN:
1488-2329
Link to pubmed:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20439449
Link to full text:
http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=20439449
Publication type:
Journal
Free text

Background: Many international statements have urged researchers,policy-makers and health care providers to collaborate in effortsto bridge the gaps between research, policy and practice inlow- and middle-income countries. We surveyed researchers in10 countries about their involvement in such efforts.Methods: We surveyed 308 researchers who conducted researchon one of four clinical areas relevant to the Millennium DevelopmentGoals (prevention of malaria, care of women seeking contraception,care of children with diarrhea and care of patients with tuberculosis)in each of 10 low- and middle-income countries (China, Ghana,India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mexico, Pakistan, Senegal andTanzania). We focused on their engagement in three promisingbridging activities and examined system-level, organizationaland individual correlates of these activities.Results: Less than half of the researchers surveyed reportedthat they engaged in one or more of the three promising bridgingactivities: 27% provided systematic reviews of the researchliterature to their target audiences, 40% provided access toa searchable database of research products on their topic, and43% established or maintained long-term partnerships relatedto their topic with representatives of the target audience.Three factors emerged as statistically significant predictorsof respondents’ engagement in these activities: the existenceof structures and processes to link researchers and their targetaudiences predicted both the provision of access to a database(odds ratio [OR] 2.62, 95% CI 1.30–5.27) and the establishmentor maintenance of partnerships (OR 2.65, 95% CI 1.25–5.64);stability in their contacts predicted the provision of systematicreviews (OR 2.88, 95% CI 1.35–6.13); and having managersand public (government) policy-makers among their target audiencespredicted the provision of both systematic reviews (OR 4.57,95% CI 1.78–11.72) and access to a database (OR 2.55,95% CI 1.20–5.43).Interpretation: Our findings suggest potential areas for improvementin light of the bridging strategies targeted at health careproviders that have been found to be effective in some contextsand the factors that appear to increase the prospects for usingresearch in policy-making.



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Bridging the gaps between research, policy and practice in low- and middle-income countries: a survey of researchers. Lavis JN, Guindon GE, Cameron D, Boupha B, Dejman M, Osei EJ et al. CMAJ 2010; 182(9):E350-61.

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