Background: a policy brief for health is a concise summary of a specific problem, neutral, straight to the point and free of jargon. It has scientific evidence-informed options and its target public are decision makers. This type of study commences with a description of the problem and compiles the best available evidence to illustrate the magnitude and nature of the problem, the impacts of the options to solve it and the barriers of its implementation. The elaboration process of evidence-based synthesis for health policies should follow a systematic and transparent process to guarantee that the standards of scientific quality and relevance to evidence-based policies are met. It is the first quality assessment tool for this type of study to be produced.
Objectives: to present a quality assessment tool for the methodology assessment of policy brief for health produced within the Ministry of Health Brazil.
Methods: the team at the Center of Evidence (NEv) of the Department of Science and Technology, Secretariat of Science and Technology and Strategic Inputs performed a literature search of the main bibliographic references to be inserted in the assessment tool. We adopted as our standard the template of the critical appraisal tools for systematic review of the Joanna Briggs Institute. The development of this tool was part of the process of elaborating a methodological guideline of policy brief for health in the Ministry of Health.
Results: to ensure methodological precision in conducting this type of study, the tool consists of a questionnaire with 20 questions divided into five domains (corresponding to the steps of the study elaboration). The questions can be answered according to the following options: 'Yes', 'No', 'Partially' and 'Not clear', according to the support for the judgement of the criteria of critical evaluation contained in the instrument. The assessment criteria is based on established instruments like PRISMA, AMSTAR-2, ROBIS, JBI Check List, GRADE- CERQual and PRESS.
Conclusions: the quality assessment tool for the methodology of policy brief for health will aid in maintaining the quality of the studies produced, enhancing the use of scientific evidence in decision making in the Brazilian Unified Health System.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: the quality assessment tool is in the phase of completion, translation, and will later be published. The Ministry of Health will disseminate the instrument in its media channels of knowledge dissemination.