Dear HIFA colleagues,
I can share my experience in global evidence synthesis (as an information professional). [*see note below]
In 2011 I was invited as a consultant for the systematic literature review that was conducted by the African Palliative Care Association “A REVIEW OF HOME BASED CARE MODELS AND SERVICES FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS WITHIN AND OUTSIDE AFRICA” (http://www.palliativecareassociationofmalawi.org/media/data/hbc_review_r... ). I was asked to review the executed search strategy and the way it had been presented. The literature search entailed a comprehensive review of existing information on home based care for people living with HIV/AIDS in resource poor settings while the situational analysis was a cross-sectional study using qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the nature of existing home based care models in four African countries, including Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi and Kenya. The final report provided the findings both of the literature review and of the situation analysis. The aim was to make clear and practical recommendations for the integration of all aspects of palliative care within existing HBC services. I was quite excited to help with this project, which included many organizations and country representatives. The problem from my part was that I was asked to review the search strategy after it has been already executed and the initial version of literature review results written, while it is always recommended to include library/information professionals while the search strategy is being developed. I’ve never been informed on how the report findings were actually implemented.
In 2020 I have co-authored a mapping review of research literature on refugee health in Europe (https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHG-04-2020-0031). The topic of refugee health was recommended by the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Health Governance (where I served as a Regional Editor for Europe), as there “remained critical gaps in the knowledge base on a wide range of determinants of health service delivery and access for refugees and migrants in the WHO European Region”. While preparing a protocol for our review we have contacted representatives of several agencies working with refugees in Europe to find out if they were interested in that kind of research and what particular findings would help them in their practical work. We were assured that the topic and type of review was highly relevant, and have been specifically advised to analyze in which settings and in which countries the research has been conducted (besides many other parameters). We realized that other similar reviews only had two types of settings (clinical and non-clinical), while we had defined 11 different settings. And that analysis by country usually related to the author affiliation, not the country where the research was actually conducted. We were very pleased to see that our findings are cited in the recent WHO publication “Continuum of care for noncommunicable disease management during the migration cycle“ from a series on “Global Evidence Review on Migration and Health” (https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/352261
HIFA profile: Irina Ibraghimova is an independent consultant with a PhD. in library sciences and more than 20 years’ international experience in ICT for health projects. She now serves as a Co-editor for the International Journal of Health Governance (Emerald Publishing). Professional interests: Information and health literacy, evidence-based practice, science communication and medical journals editing. http://www.healthconnect-intl.org/ She is a HIFA country representative for Croatia: https://www.hifa.org/support/members/irina