A call for greater transparency in health policy development: observations from an analysis of child and adolescent mental health policy

East of England
Published Date: 1 Jan 2015

In this paper we describe a systematic attempt to determine whether child and adolescent mental health policy demonstrably draws upon peer-reviewed evidence, and to discover which other sources of evidence could be considered influential in policy development. In brief, we found that the scientific evidence base had been underutilised. However, peer-reviewed research was the most frequently documented source of information in the policies analysed. Overall, policies provided little information on the sources that informed them. We suggest development of a framework where decisions regarding evidence selection for use in informing health policy development are explicitly stated and can be openly evaluated.

Jenny Gibson