Are scientific research outputs aligned with national policy makers' priorities? A case study of tuberculosis in Cambodia.


Boudarene, L; James, R; Coker, R; Khan, MS; (2017) Are scientific research outputs aligned with national policy makers' priorities? A case study of tuberculosis in Cambodia. Health policy and planning, 32 (suppl_2). i3-i11. ISSN 0268-1080 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/heapol/czx041

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Abstract

With funding for tuberculosis (TB) research decreasing, and the high global disease burden persisting, there are calls for increased investment in TB research. However, justification of such investments is questionable, when translation of research outputs into policy and health care improvements remains a challenge for TB and other diseases. Using TB in Cambodia as a case study, we investigate how evidence needs of national policy makers are addressed by topics covered in research publications. We first conducted a systematic review to compile all studies on TB in Cambodia published since 2000. We then identified priority areas in which evidence for policy and programme planning are required from the perspective of key national TB control stakeholders. Finally, results from the literature review were analysed in relation to the priority research areas for national policy makers to assess overlap and highlight gaps in evidence. Priority research areas were: TB-HIV co-infection; childhood TB; multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB); and universal and equitable access to quality diagnosis and treatment. On screening 1687 unique papers retrieved from our literature search, 253 were eligible publications focusing on TB in Cambodia. Of these, only 73 (29%) addressed one of the four priority research areas. Overall, 30 (11%), five (2%), seven (2%) and 37 (14%) studies reported findings relevant to TB-HIV, childhood TB, MDR-TB and access to quality diagnosis and treatment respectively. Our analysis shows that a small proportion of the research outputs in Cambodia address priority areas for informing policy and programme planning. This case study illustrates that there is substantial room for improvement in alignment between research outputs and evidence gaps that national policy makers would like to see addressed; better coordination between researchers, funders and policy makers' on identifying priority research topics may increase the relevance of research findings to health policies and programmes.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
Research Centre: TB Centre
PubMed ID: 29028223
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/4546347

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