Strategies for communicating scientific evidence on healthcare to managers and population: scoping review
2Hospital Sírio-Libanês / Cochrane Affiliate Rio de Janeiro / Centro Universitário São Camilo, Brazil
3Hospital Sírio-Libanês, Brazil
4Hospital Sírio-Libanês / Cochrane Affiliate Rio de Janeiro / Universidade Metropolitana de Santos, Brazil
5Hospital Sírio-Libanês / Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Brazil
6Hospital Sírio-Libanês / Instituto Veredas, Brazil
7Hospital Sírio-Libanês / Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil
Background: As an underlying element of health knowledge translation, communicating the findings of scientific studies, the effects of interventions, and estimates of health risks, in addition to comprehending key concepts of clinical epidemiology and interpreting evidence, represents a set of essential needs for closing the gap between science and clinical practice. The breakthrough of digital and social media has reframed the construct of health communication, introducing innovative powerful communication platforms and access routes between researchers and managers and the general population.
Objectives: To map and evaluate strategies for communicating scientific evidence on healthcare to managers and/or the general population, through a scoping review.
Methods: Cochrane Library, Embase, MEDLINE and other electronic databases and relevant sources were systematically searched for studies, documents or reports, published from 2000, addressing strategies for communicating scientific evidence on healthcare to managers and/or the general population.
Results: 24,598 records were retrieved, of which 80 fulfilled the eligibility criteria covering 78 strategies. Most strategies focused on risk/benefit communication in health (29.5%), were presented by a textual component (88.5%) and had been implemented and somehow evaluated (52.6%). Strategies which seemed to provide some benefit included (i) risk/benefit communication: natural frequencies rather than percentages, absolute risk rather than relative risk and number needed to treat, numerical rather than nominal communication, and mortality rather than survival; negative or loss content seems to be more effective than positive or gain content; (ii) evidence synthesis: plain language summaries of Cochrane reviews were perceived as more reliable, easier to find and comprehend and more suitable to support decisions than the original summaries; and (iii) teaching/learning: the Informed Health Choices initiatives seem to be effective for improving critical thinking capabilities.
Conclusions: Our results endorse both the knowledge translation process by mapping communication strategies with potential for prompt implementation and further research by recognizing the need to measure the clinical and social impact of other strategies to support evidence-informed policies.
Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement: Our findings may constitute a valuable instrument for supporting the choice of specific strategies for communicating evidence on healthcare and for promoting the use of scientific knowledge in clinical practice and the decision-making process.