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Improving practice: Rx for Change - an intervention research database for healthcare decision-makers and researchers

Date and Location




Saturday 21 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Julia Worswick

Contact person

Julia Worswick
Alain Mayhew
Abstract text
Background: Improving health care often requires changing the behaviour of healthcare professionals and consumers. While there is abundant evidence available on the effects of behaviour change strategies across diseases, populations and systems, it is difficult for decision-makers and others to reliably access and assess. The Rx for Change ( database attempts to close the gap between research discovery and program implementation by gathering and translating the evidence from systematic reviews into a single accessible package to inform healthcare decision-makers. Objectives: To describe the Rx for Change database and disseminate evidence gathered on the effectiveness of interventions designed to change professional practice and medicines use by consumers. Methods: We identify, analyse, summarise and report our findings from included systematic reviews using standardised methods. We organise and present this data using a multi-layer format. Using intervention categories developed by two Cochrane review groups, we provide summaries of the evidence found for each intervention, list all systematic reviews that address each intervention topic with corresponding quality scores, describe and summarise results and conclusions from each individual review, and provide links to the reviews and their trials. Results: Updated eight times since 2007, the database contains summaries of key findings for 310 systematic reviews, and summaries and statements of effectiveness for 39 intervention categories the reviews addressed. Examples of particularly effective interventions include distribution of educational materials and use of educational meetings to improve professional practice, as well as use of decision aids to minimise risks or harms to improve consumers’ use of medicines. Research gaps are evident in 11 intervention categories. Conclusions: Rx for Change is an internationally recognised, publicly available intervention research database. It provides up-to-date evidence to guide healthcare decision makers towards effective intervention strategies. Guidelines and other policy, program and research initiatives can potentially be informed by this resource.