A systematic review of frameworks for the interrelationships of mental health evidence and policy in low- and middle-income countries

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

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Background:The interrelationships between research evidence and policy-making are complex. Differenttheoretical frameworks exist to explain general evidence–policy interactions. One largely unexplored element ofthese interrelationships is how evidence interrelates with, and influences, policy/political agenda-setting. Thisreview aims to identify the elements and processes of theories, frameworks and models on interrelationships ofresearch evidence and health policy-making, with a focus on actionability and agenda-setting in the context ofmental health in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).Methods:A systematic review of theories was conducted basedon the BeHeMOTh search method, using a tested andrefined search strategy. Nine electronic databases and other relevant sourceswere searched for peer-reviewed and greyliterature. Two reviewers screened the abstracts, reviewed full-text articles, extracted data and performed qualityassessments. Analysis was based on a thematic analysis. Theincluded papers had to present an actionable theoreticalframework/model on evidence and policyinterrelationships, such as knowledgetranslation or evidence-based policy,specifically target the agenda-setting process, focus on mental health, be from LMICs and published in English.Results:From 236 publications included in the full text analysis, no studies fully complied with our inclusion criteria.Widening the focus by leaving out‘agenda-setting’, we included ten studies, four of which had unique conceptualframeworks focusing on mental health and LMICs but not agenda-setting. The four analysed frameworks confirmedresearch gaps from LMICs and mental health, and a lack of focus on agenda-setting. Frameworks and models fromother health and policy areas provide interesting conceptual approaches and lessons with regards to agenda-setting.(Continued on next page)
Original languageEnglish
Article number85
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalHealth research policy and systems / BioMed Central
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2018


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