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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Barriers and facilitators to evidence-use in program management: a systematic review of the literature

Serena Humphries1*, Tania Stafinski2, Zubia Mumtaz3 and Devidas Menon4

Author Affiliations

1 School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Room 3021 Research Transition Facility 8308 114 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2V2, Canada

2 Health Technology and Policy Unit, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Room 3028 Research Transition Facility, 8308 114 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2V2, Canada

3 School of Public Health, University of Alberta, 3–309 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, 11405 87 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1C9, Canada

4 School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Room 3032 Research Transition Facility, 8308 114 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2V2, Canada

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BMC Health Services Research 2014, 14:171  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-171

Published: 14 April 2014

Abstract

Background

The use of evidence in decision-making at the program management level is a priority in health care organizations. The objective of this study was to identify potential barriers and facilitators experienced by managers to the use of evidence in program management within health care organizations.

Methods

The authors conducted a comprehensive search for published, peer-reviewed and grey literature that explores the use of evidence in program management. Two reviewers selected relevant studies from which data was extracted using a standard data abstraction form and tabulated for qualitative analysis. The results were summarized through narrative review. The quality of the included studies was assessed using published criteria for the critical appraisal of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research.

Results

Fourteen papers were included in the review. Barriers and facilitators were categorized into five main thematic areas: (1) Information, (2) Organization – Structure and Process, (3) Organization – Culture, (4) Individual, and (5) Interaction.

Conclusion

This paper reviews the literature on barriers and facilitators to evidence-informed decision-making experienced by program management decision-makers within health care organizations. The multidimensional solutions required to promote evidence-informed program management can be developed through an understanding of the existing barriers and facilitators of evidence-use.

Keywords:
Decision-making; Evidence-use; Barriers; Facilitators; Program management