Utilizing evidence of Cochrane in decision making by policy makers: Gaps needs to be filled
Background: Cochrane helps in generating evidence across the world by collecting, analyzing and critically appraising the findings of different languages. A total of 90% of World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines were cited by at least one Cochrane review. Most of the reviews are of low or moderate level of evidence. There is a strong need to improve this certainty of evidence, especially health issues related to developing countries, to utilize resources adequately and efficiently.
Objectives: What are the major gaps in decision-making by policy makers, and how can these gaps be filled?
Methods: We searched different websites for health priorities in India and related present evidence by Cochrane. For various health issues, evidence is of very low/low/moderate level, and evidence even is lacking for research questions.
Results: The lack of evidence was mainly found in intervention due to difference in treatment and difference in nature and severity of disease, concomitantly taking more than one treatment/alternative form the therapy such as Ayurveda, Homeopathic, and unpublished data, etc. Various suggestive gaps need to be filled by facilitating clinical trial in medical institutions, training and encouraging all the steps required in conducting interventional studies, including translational research with faster approval for intellectual property rights and including regulatory approvals. There is need to encourage clinical trial in Ayurveda/homeopathic with standardization of interventions and methodology. Publications need to be encouraged by master and PhD students from these healthcare establishments.
Conclusions: Founded major gaps are at various levels such as participants level, institutional level, technical and financial agencies, etc. The role of Cochrane affiliate centers is very crucial in not only helping in training but also informing about steps to be taken by policy makers to generate evidence. This will help them to make informed decisions on various health priorities.
Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement: Involving participants in filling these gaps is very important to find out how better can be resources utilized by policy makers and Cochrane affiliate centers.