eCite Digital Repository

Best Practice in Using Evidence for Health Policy


Bell, E and Waddingham, S and Hosken, E and Rudling, N and Murray, S and Martin, S and Wagner, M, Best Practice in Using Evidence for Health Policy, Translational Research for Primary Healthcare, Nova Science Publishers, E Bell, GP Westert, J Merrick (ed), USA, pp. 89-102. ISBN 978-162417409-4 (2012) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Official URL:


This chapter explores what is known about best practice in using evidence for health policy. It uses literature reviews across the disciplines, both scholarly and applied, to do so. It first highlights the uses of evidence in policy and the barriers to take-up of evidence. It argues that "evidence-based policy" as it is known in health is not necessarily well-informed policy. Second, the paper describes the key features of best practice in using evidence for health policy, with reference to the consensus in the multidisciplinary literature. It includes a summary of some key resources and guidelines about evidence for policy-making. The discussion of the literature suggests that best practice in using evidence for policy is essentially about fitness for purpose, quality in diversity of evidence use, as well as authentic social accountability. We conclude that health policymakers currently operate without explicit, agreed-upon guidelines for the use of evidence in policy-making. We raise the question of whether the mantra of "evidence-based policy-making" has ushered in an era of less, rather than more, democratic accountability. The description of best practice in using evidence in health policy-making given in the paper can be used by practitioners, patients and other stakeholders, as well as policymakers themselves, to help clarify and deliver on popular expectations that policy be evidence-based.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:medical care, research, medical policy, policy evaluation
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Primary health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health policy evaluation
UTAS Author:Bell, E (Associate Professor Erica Bell)
UTAS Author:Murray, S (Ms Sandra Murray)
ID Code:125871
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Rural Clinical School
Deposited On:2018-05-11
Last Modified:2018-06-04

Repository Staff Only: item control page