Effects of an Evidence Service on Health System Policymakers' Use of Research Evidence

This study is enrolling participants by invitation only.
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
Information provided by:
McMaster University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT01307228
First received: February 28, 2011
Last updated: March 1, 2011
Last verified: November 2010
  Purpose

The investigators have developed an online database called 'Health Systems Evidence,' which contains synthesized research evidence and additional details about this evidence that can make it easier for health system policymakers to use the included research evidence. The investigators have also developed an e-mail alerting service that brings to the attention of health system policymakers any new additions to Health Systems Evidence. This study will evaluate whether a "full-serve" version of Health Systems Evidence increases the use of research evidence by policy analysts and advisors in the Ontario government as compared to a "self-serve" version. The "full-serve" version comprises: 1) access to Health Systems Evidence; 2) monthly e-mail alerts about new additions to Health Systems Evidence; and 3) access to full-text articles that are cited in Health Systems Evidence. The "self-serve" version only provides access to Health Systems Evidence. The investigators will also interview study participants to obtain feedback about Health Systems Evidence, including how helpful it was in their work, why it was helpful (or not helpful), what aspects were most and least helpful and why, and recommendations for improving it.


Condition Intervention
Use of Research Evidence
Other: Health Systems Evidence

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Investigator)
Official Title: Effects of an Evidence Service on Health System Policymakers' Use of Research Evidence

Further study details as provided by McMaster University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • number of logins/month/participant [ Time Frame: 10 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    The investigators will track utilization of the evidence service by calculating the mean number of logins/month/participant


Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Intention to use research evidence [ Time Frame: Baseline and follow-up (after delivery of 6-month intervention) ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    The investigators will use the theory of planned behaviour to measure participants' intention to use research evidence. Using a manual designed to construct measures based on the theory, colleagues have developed and sought preliminary feedback on a data-collection instrument by first assessing face validity through interviews with key informants and then pilot testing it with 28 policymakers and researchers who completed it after participating in a knowledge translation intervention. In addition, colleagues found the data-collection instrument to have moderate test-retest reliability.


Estimated Enrollment: 100
Study Start Date: January 2011
Estimated Study Completion Date: April 2012
Estimated Primary Completion Date: December 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Full-serve evidence service

The "full-serve" evidence service consists of:

  1. database (Health Systems Evidence) access;
  2. monthly e-mail alerts; and
  3. full-text article availability.
Other: Health Systems Evidence
Health Systems Evidence (HSE) contains over 1400 research syntheses about governance, financial and delivery arrangements within health systems and about implementation strategies relevant to health systems. The syntheses have been: 1) categorized by topic, type of synthesis, and type of question addressed; 2) coded by the last year in which searches for studies were conducted and by the countries in which included studies were conducted; 3) rated for quality; and 4) linked to publicly available user-friendly summaries, scientific abstracts, and full-text reviews. We identified systematic reviews in HSE that are not accessible to study participants and developed a mechanism to reimburse publishers for full-text downloads of these reviews.
Active Comparator: Self-serve evidence service
Participants allocated to the "self-serve" evidence service will receive only database access, which is already publicly available at www.healthsystemsevidence.org
Other: Health Systems Evidence
Health Systems Evidence (HSE) contains over 1400 research syntheses about governance, financial and delivery arrangements within health systems and about implementation strategies relevant to health systems. The syntheses have been: 1) categorized by topic, type of synthesis, and type of question addressed; 2) coded by the last year in which searches for studies were conducted and by the countries in which included studies were conducted; 3) rated for quality; and 4) linked to publicly available user-friendly summaries, scientific abstracts, and full-text reviews. We identified systematic reviews in HSE that are not accessible to study participants and developed a mechanism to reimburse publishers for full-text downloads of these reviews.

Detailed Description:

Background Health system policymakers need timely access to synthesized research evidence to inform the policymaking process. No efforts to address this need have been evaluated using an experimental quantitative design. The investigators developed an evidence service that draws inputs from Health Systems Evidence, which is a database of policy relevant systematic reviews. The reviews have been: 1) categorized by topic and type of review; 2) coded by the last year searches for studies were conducted and by the countries in which included studies were conducted; 3) rated for quality; and 4) linked to available user-friendly summaries, scientific abstracts, and full-text reports. The goal is to evaluate whether a "full-serve" evidence service increases the use of synthesized research evidence by policy analysts and advisors in the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) as compared to a "self-serve" evidence service.

Methods/design: The investigators will conduct a two-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT), along with a follow-up qualitative process study in order to explore the findings in greater depth. For the RCT, all policy analysts and policy advisors (n=168) in a single division of the MOHLTC will be invited to participate. Using a stratified randomized design, participants will be randomized to receive either the "full-serve" evidence service (database access, monthly e-mail alerts, and full-text article availability) or the "self-serve" evidence service (database access only). The trial duration will be ten months (two-month baseline period, six-month intervention period, and two month cross-over period). The primary outcome will be the mean number of site visits/month/user between baseline and the end of the intervention period. The secondary outcome will be participants' intention to use research evidence. For the qualitative study, 15 participants from each trial arm (n=30) will be purposively sampled. One-on-one semi-structured interviews will be conducted by telephone on their views about and their experiences with the evidence service they received, how helpful it was in their work, why it was helpful (or not helpful), what aspects were most and least helpful and why, and recommendations for next steps.

  Eligibility

Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • All policy analysts and policy advisors from one purposively selected division of one Canadian provincial Ministry of Health.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • None
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01307228

Locations
Canada, Ontario
McMaster University (Program in Policy Decision-Making)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 4K1
Sponsors and Collaborators
McMaster University
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
Investigators
Principal Investigator: John N Lavis, MD, PhD McMaster University
  More Information

No publications provided by McMaster University

Additional publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: John N. Lavis, McMaster University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01307228     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: HHS/FHS REB 10-267
Study First Received: February 28, 2011
Last Updated: March 1, 2011
Health Authority: Canada: Ethics Review Committee

Keywords provided by McMaster University:
Knowledge translation
Policymakers
Health systems

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on August 28, 2014