Recently published article: Maja B, Christina R, Natasa L, et al. Planning Locally Tailored Interventions on Evidence Informed Policy Making – Needs Assessment, Design and Methods. Health Syst Policy Res. 2016, 3:2.
Background: The integration of evidence and knowledge in policy making is crucial. The literature shows the importance of context in knowledge integration interventions, but methods for developing tailored interventions are lacking. The aim of this article is to describe the pre-intervention phase and intervention design and methods of a study investigating whether locally tailored interventions increase levels of knowledge integration in evidence informed policy making on health enhancing physical activity (HEPA).
Methods: Six policy cases related to HEPA in Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands were targeted. The Stewardship approach guided the interventions; thus, the interventions were designed on the basis of context- and needs assessments, and all activities were performed in close collaboration between researchers and policy makers. The Knowledge to action framework contributed by identifying the various steps necessary to integrate evidence and knowledge in the policy process. The needs assessment in each setting resulted in the design and implementation of six tailor-made interventions with the same overall goal: To increase the level of knowledge integration in evidence informed policy making. To properly address the identified needs and to take into account the context, the specific aims and contents of the interventions varied. The level of research evidence and knowledge use was measured with pre-, post- and 12-month post-post measurements via questionnaires among the intervention participants. In each setting, process evaluations were conducted to address the ways the interventions impact was achieved.
Discussion: This study is novel because it uses the Stewardship approach to build needs and context based policy interventions with close collaboration between researchers and policy makers. The key point in the study was to build tailored interventions based on common theories to achieve the same overall goal and use the same outcome measures but to allow for the intervention contents, processes and intensities to vary.