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Gaps between research and public health priorities in low income countries: evidence from a systematic literature review focused on Cambodia

Citation: 
CITATION: Gaps between research and public health priorities in low income countries: evidence from a systematic literature review focused on Cambodia. Goyet S, Touch S Ir P, SamAn S, Fassier T, Frutos R, Tarantola A, Barennes H.Goyet S, Touch S Ir P, SamAn S, Fassier T, Frutos R, Tarantola A, Barennes H. Implement Sci. 2015 Mar 11;10(1):32. doi: 10.1186/s13012-015-0217-1.
Abstract / Summary: 
ABSTRACT Background: Evidence-based public health requires that research provides policymakers with reliable and accessible information reflecting the disease threats. We described the scientific production of research in Cambodia and assessed to what extent it provides appropriate insights and implications for practice to guide health policymakers and managers and knowledge relevant for translation. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of scientific articles published on biomedical research in Cambodia. Regression analysis assessed the trends over time and factors associated with actionable messages in the articles' abstracts. Results: From 2000 to 2012, 628 articles were published in 237 journals with a significant increase over time (from 0.6/million population to 5.9/million population, slope coefficient 7.6, 95% CI 6.5-8.7, p?<?0.001). Most publications on diseases addressed communicable diseases (n?=?410, 65.3%). Non-communicable diseases (NCD) were under-addressed (7.7% of all publications) considering their burden (34.5% of the disease burden). Of all articles, 67.8% reported descriptive studies and 4.3% reported studies with a high level of evidence; 27.4% of studies were led by an institution based in Cambodia. Factors associated with an actionable message (n?=?73, 26.6%) were maternal health (OR 3.08, 95% CI 1.55-6.13, p?=?0.001), the first author's institution being Cambodian (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.06-2.98, p?=?0.02) and a free access to full article (OR 3.07, 95% CI 1.08-8.70, p?=?0.03). Of all articles, 87% (n?=?546) were accessible in full text from Cambodia. Conclusions: Scientific publications do not fully match with health priorities. Gaps remain regarding NCD, implementation studies, and health system research. A health research agenda would help align research with health priorities. We recommend 1) that the health authorities create an online repository of research findings with abstracts in the local language; 2) that academics emphasize the importance of research in their university teaching; and 3) that the researcher teams involve local researchers and that they systematically provide a translation of their abstracts upon submission to a journal. We conclude that building the bridge between research and public health requires a willful, comprehensive strategy rather than relying solely only publications.
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Author(s): 

Goyet S, Touch S Ir P, SamAn S, Fassier T, Frutos R, Tarantola A, Barennes H.Goyet S, Touch S Ir P, SamAn S, Fassier T, Frutos R, Tarantola A, Barennes H.

Year published: 
2015
Month published: 
March