Using Health Research in Policy and Practice: Case Studies from Nine Countries


Many policymakers and clinicians take professional pleasure in grounding their decisions in the best available evidence, especially when they have confidence in that evidence and access to it when they need it. Similarly, many researchers are eager for their work to be useful, especially when they are only required to communicate it in journal articles and on a schedule that they choose.

In this report, Ray Moynihan, an experienced journalist, describes collaboration between researchers and users of their skills and findings in nine countries. Moynihan introduces the report by briefly recapitulating controversial issues in the application of knowledge derived from research to policy and practice. He concludes by describing common themes in the nine stories.

Moynihan began his reporting of the nine stories at an international conference in the fall of 2003 that was sponsored by AcademyHealth and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The Milbank Memorial Fund commissioned him to roam the conference in search of stories about how research informs policy and practice. He completed his reporting after the conference.

Many people helped to make these stories by providing, interpreting, and contextualizing evidence and then making decisions based in part on it. We thank the persons named in each of the nine stories, each of whom had an opportunity to comment on what Moynihan wrote, as well as the reviewers who commented on the report as a whole.

Daniel M. Fox
Milbank Memorial Fund

David Helms
President and CEO