Health equity: evidence synthesis and knowledge translation methods

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Title: Health equity: evidence synthesis and knowledge translation methods
Author: Welch, Vivian A; Petticrew, Mark; O’Neill, Jennifer; Waters, Elizabeth; Armstrong, Rebecca; Bhutta, Zulfiqar A; Francis, Damian; Koehlmoos, Tracey Perez; Kristjansson, Elizabeth; Pantoja, Tomas; Tugwell, Peter
Abstract: Abstract Background At the Rio Summit in 2011 on Social Determinants of Health, the global community recognized a pressing need to take action on reducing health inequities. This requires an improved evidence base on the effects of national and international policies on health inequities. Although systematic reviews are recognized as an important source for evidence-informed policy, they have been criticized for failing to assess effects on health equity. Methods This article summarizes guidance on both conducting systematic reviews with a focus on health equity and on methods to translate their findings to different audiences. This guidance was developed based on a series of methodology meetings, previous guidance, a recently developed reporting guideline for equity-focused systematic reviews (PRISMA-Equity 2012) and a systematic review of methods to assess health equity in systematic reviews. Results We make ten recommendations for conducting equity-focused systematic reviews; and five considerations for knowledge translation. Illustrative examples of equity-focused reviews are provided where these methods have been used. Conclusions Implementation of the recommendations in this article is one step toward monitoring the impact of national and international policies and programs on health equity, as recommended by the 2011 World Conference on Social Determinants of Health.
Date: 2013-06-22

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