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Integrative review: identifying the evidence base for policymaking and analysis in health care.

Kennedy, Catriona; O'Reilly, Pauline; O'Connell, Rhona; O'Leary, Denise; Fealy, Gerard; Hegarty, Josephine-Mary; Brady, Anne-Marie; Nicholson, Emma; McNamara, Martin; Casey, Mary


Pauline O'Reilly

Rhona O'Connell

Denise O'Leary

Gerard Fealy

Josephine-Mary Hegarty

Anne-Marie Brady

Emma Nicholson

Martin McNamara

Mary Casey


Aim: To identify and synthesise the evidence underpinning the health policymaking process to inform the development of a health related policy analysis framework. Design: A mixed methods review using ‘Best Fit’ Framework synthesis. Data sources: PUBMED and CINAHL+ databases for English language papers published between March 2013 and March 2017. Review Methods: Titles were screened, data abstracted and analysed by two authors at each stage. Findings from included studies were coded against six a priori categories which had been constructed through a preliminary literature review, consultation and consensus. Results: 68 papers were included. There exists empirical support for six key domains which require to be addressed in the policymaking and analysis process: 1) Context 2) Process 3) Content 4) Stakeholder Consultation 5) Implementation 6) Evaluation. Failure to contextualise and integrate these six domains in problem identification, policy analysis, strategy and policy development, policy enactment and policy implementation is problematic. Conclusion: There is a need to test and refine the constructs linked to the policymaking cycle taking cognisance of the context in which these are developed, implemented and evaluated. Impact: This review makes a novel contribution to the synthesis of evidence to inform the policymaking and analysis process. Findings illuminate the complexity of policymaking, the competing pressures involved and the importance of the local, national and international context. These findings have international relevance and provide empirical support for key criteria to guide those involved in context specific policymaking and/or the analysis of existing policy.


KENNEDY, C., O'REILLY, P., O'CONNELL, R., O'LEARY, D., FEALY, G., HEGARTY, J.-M., BRADY, A.-M., NICHOLSON, E., MCNAMARA, M. and CASEY, M. 2019. Integrative review: identifying the evidence base for policymaking and analysis in health care. Journal of advanced nursing [online], 75(12), pages 3231-3245. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 17, 2019
Online Publication Date Jul 31, 2019
Publication Date Dec 31, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 26, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 1, 2020
Journal Journal of advanced nursing
Print ISSN 0309-2402
Electronic ISSN 1365-2648
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 75
Issue 12
Pages 3231-3245
Keywords Literature review; Nursing; Policy; Systematic review; Nurses; Health
Public URL