PHIRN: Population Health Improvement Research Network

Assessing equity in systematic reviews: 
realising the recommendations of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health

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Peter Tugwell, professor1, Mark Petticrew, chair in public health evaluation2, Elizabeth Kristjansson, associate professor3, Vivian Welch, research coordinator4, Erin Ueffing, coordinator5, Elizabeth Waters, Jack Brockhoff chair of child public health6, Josiane Bonnefoy, assistant professor7, Antony Morgan, associate director8, Emma Doohan, project manager8, Michael P Kelly, director8

  1. Department of Medicine and Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  2. Department of Social and Environmental Health Research, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  3. School of Psychology, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa
  4. Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa
  5. Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa
  6. The McCaughey Centre, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
  7. School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
  8. Centre for Public Health Excellence, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, London, UK

A group from the Cochrane Collaboration, Campbell Collaboration, and the World Health Organization Measurement and Evidence Knowledge Network has developed guidance on assessing health equity effects in systematic reviews of healthcare interventions. This guidance is also relevant to primary research

BMJ 2010; 341:c4739 doi: 10.1136/bmj.c4739 (Published 13 September 2010)

BMJ 2010; 341:c4739 at:

“….Summary points

The Commission on Social Determinants for Health has recommended assessment of health equity effects of public policy decisions

This article provides guidance on assessing equity for users and authors of systematic reviews of interventions

Particular challenges occur in seven components of such reviews:

  1. developing a logic model,
  2. defining disadvantage and for whom interventions are intended,
  3. deciding on appropriate study design(s),
  4. identifying outcomes of interest,
  5. process evaluation and understanding context,
  6. analysing and presenting data, and
  7. judging applicability of results

Greater focus on health equity in systematic reviews may improve their relevance for both clinical practice and public policy    making …”


Website: PAHO/WHO

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 September 2010 22:37 )  

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