|Year : 2017 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 55-56
Evidence-based policymaking and contemporary dental researches
Independent Research Scientist, Founder and Managing Editor of Dental Hypotheses, Isfahan, Iran
|Date of Web Publication||8-Aug-2017|
N0 24, Faree 15, Pardis, Shahin Shahr, Isfahan - 83179 18981
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Kolahi J. Evidence-based policymaking and contemporary dental researches. Dent Hypotheses 2017;8:55-6
We are generally familiar with the term “evidence-based dentistry” in which the results of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews, and meta-analyses are used as the support for clinical decision making. On the other hand, evidence-based policymaking is not well-known among dental research community and policymakers. A simple search of dental journals via the PubMed query “(Evidence-based [All Fields] AND policymaking [All Fields]) AND jsubsetd[text]” revealed zero results.
Nevertheless, what is evidence-based policymaking? According to Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative: “Policymakers should use the best available research and information at all stages of the policy process and in each branch of government.”
Evidence-based policymaking has four principles:
- Build and compile rigorous evidence about what works, including costs and benefits.
- Monitor program delivery and use impact evaluation to measure program effectiveness.
- Use rigorous evidence to improve programs, scale what works, and redirect funds away from consistently ineffective programs.
- Encourage innovation and test new approaches.
Nowadays, evidence-based policymaking is the cornerstone of scientific agenda, and research scientists want to support bridge the evidence-policy gap. Of more interest, the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2005 stablished Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) to encourage the systematic use of health research findings in policymaking.
Nevertheless, previous reports indicated that evidence-based policymaking is not common in dentistry., In this study, contemporary dental literature was analyzed. On May 27 2017, dental literature was explored using the PubMed query “1800/1/1”[PDAT]: “2017/12/31” [PDAT] AND jsubsetd[text]. A total of 581,896 PubMed results were found, of which the most recent 25,000 results were included in this cross-sectional survey. To find and investigate relevant policy documents, Altmetric database (Altmetric LLP, London, UK) was employed. Disappointingly, only 52 articles were found which were cited by 17 policy documents. In other words, only 0.2% of dental articles were used for evidence-based policymaking. First evidences of dental evidence-based policymaking have been raised from June 2015 [Figure 1], reflecting this as a new and emerging concept in dentistry. Results of this survey showed that among different institutions, the Association Scientific Medical Societies in Germany had the most number of mentions (67%) [Figure 2]. Moreover, International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Clinical Oral Investigations had the most number of mentions among different journals [Figure 3]. Ninety percent of the articles cited by policy documents had an Altmetric score between 3 and 17.
Furthermore, the current gap between dental research and dental health policy is not acceptable and should be bridged. To develop evidence, scientists need to conduct time consuming clinical trials to create knowledge and present it in a form that is understandable for policymakers who necessarily do not think as scientists. On the other hand, policymakers at many levels of government can only gather limited information before making emotional and quick decisions known as “bounded rationality” Further, there is no clear point in the “policy cycle” at which scientists can inject evidence. To overcome these paradoxes scientists need to pay more attention to demand for evidence, and policymakers must do their best to consider the best available evidences in policy process. However, despite several difficulties, evidence-based policymaking can provide favorable result for community health. The “Philadelphia Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax” would be a good example. As a final point, researchers and journal editors must pay more attention to this concept which has direct influence on public health.
I would like to thank Mrs. Stacy Konkiel from Altmetric LLP (London, U.K) for her valuable assistance.
| References|| |
Kolahi J, Khazaei S. Altmetric: Top 50 dental articles in 2014. BDJ 2016;220:569-74.
Kolahi J, Iranmanesh P, Khazaei S. Altmetric analysis of 2015 dental literature: A cross sectional survey. BDJ 2017;222:695-9.
Konkiel S. What can altmetrics tell us about interest in dental clinical trials? Dent Hypotheses 2017;8:31. [Full text]
Purtle J, Langellier BL, Scherban F. A Case Study of the Philadelphia Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax Policymaking Process. J Public Heal Manag Pract 2017:1.
[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]