Background: the research is part of a process of developing a guideline for evidence-based synthesis for health policies within the Unified Health System (SUS) in Brazil. The aim is to create awareness of the importance of evidence-based policies and standardize the methodology for the same. The checklist guides the development process.
Objectives: establish a systematic and transparent report of the topics contained in an evidence synthesis for health policy, therefore aiding peer review.
Methods: the checklist created internally by the Center of Evidence (NEv) team was sent to specialists involved in validating the guideline. We applied the Delphi technique to promote consensus among the experts regarding the essential aspects to be present in an evidence synthesis for health policy.
Results: after two rounds of consensus among the NEv team and experts, the final checklist contains the following items.
- Title: clear identification of what the policy entails
- Key message: brief description of the problem, solution options, equity and implementation analysis for the options considered in the synthesis
- Background: institutional context of the policy, regulatory aspects, provision of services, relevant economic information, political context, objectives of the policy
- Description of the problem: prioritization process, detailed description of the problem in regard to the origin, magnitude, relevance, and necessity to solve the problem, comparisons with other national or international experiences;
- Ways to tackle the problem: detailed information on how to tackle the problem like the benefits, possible damages, cost, uncertainties
- Equity analysis of the options: description of underprivileged groups in the implementation process and possible ways of reducing the inequities and analysis of the implementation options: brief description of the implementation process, identification of possible barriers, monitoring suggestions and evaluation of the chosen options.
Conclusions: the checklist is essential in standardizing and guiding the elaboration of an evidence synthesis for health policy. It is the Department's expectation that the checklist will be useful in the elaboration of policy briefs in all spheres of Unified Health System (SUS) in Brazil once the guidelines are disseminated.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: elaborators of evidence-based health policies synthesis will use the checklist to guide the process, thus, standardizing the procedure and facilitating peer review as well as reproducibility.