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Table 1 Effectiveness statements for the communication strategies (categories 2 and 3)

From: Assessing the impact of knowledge communication and dissemination strategies targeted at health policy-makers and managers: an overview of systematic reviews

Some evidence Insufficient evidence
Tailoring the message
“An intervention which combined access to relevant systematic reviews with tailored and targeted messages led to changes in public health practice/decision-making” [30] The studies included in this review provide some evidence that the use of tailored targeted messages, with access to registries of research, may increase the use of research in policy development [32] (citing Dobbins 2009)
“…the tailored message intervention group was associated with a significant increase in the use of evidence in recent public health policies and programs (p < 0.001)” [33]
“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 tailored and targeted messaging” [19]
Targeting the message
“An intervention which combined access to relevant systematic reviews with tailored and targeted messages led to changes in public health practice/decision-making” [30] “Targeted messaging (was) significantly more effective in promoting EIDM [evidence-informed decision-making] than other strategies (p < 0.009) [27]
“Tailored targeted messages reportedly improved level 3 behaviour change outcomes” [18]
Using narratives
None identified “The evidence base on the effectiveness of arts-based approaches in engaging the public (or policy-makers) in research is limited by the lack of systematic evaluation” [40]
Framing the message
Direct evidence: None identified
Indirect evidence: “When attributes of health information are framed negatively (e.g., chance of mortality with cancer) understanding may be better than when the same information is framed positively (e.g., chance of survival with cancer). However, perception may be better when it is positively framed” [15]
“When goals of health information are framed as loss messages (e.g., ‘if you do not undergo screening test for cancer, your survival will be shortened’) there may be a more positive perception of effectiveness for screening messages and may be more persuasive for treatment messages than when framed as gain messages” [15]
None identified as direct evidence
Using different presentation formats
“Two studies assessed the use of evidence summaries (compared with complete systematic reviews) in decision-making and found little to no difference in effect. There was also little to no difference in effect for knowledge, understanding or beliefs (four studies), and perceived usefulness or usability (three studies). Summary of findings tables and graded entry summaries were perceived as slightly easier to understand compared to complete systematic reviews. Two studies assessed formatting changes and found that for summary of findings tables, certain elements, such as reporting study event rates and absolute differences, were preferred as well as avoiding the use of footnotes” [23] None identified as direct evidence
Multicomponent communication techniques
None identified “All the studies employed at least three strategies to increase the use of evidence, mainly with regards to the implementation of a particular evidence-based policy. No included study allowed us to estimate the effectiveness of individual strategies to increase the use of evidence” [39]