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Opportunities and disconnects in the use of primary research on schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths for policy and practice: results from a survey of researchers

Abstract

Even with efforts to facilitate use of evidence in health policy and practice, limited attention has been paid to researchers’ perspectives on use of their research in informing public health policy and practice at local, national, and global levels. We conducted a systematic literature search to identify published primary research related to schistosomiasis or soil-transmitted helminths, or both. We then surveyed corresponding authors. Results indicate differences by locations of authors and in conduct of research, especially for research conducted in low- and middle-income countries. Our findings exemplify disparities in research leadership discussed elsewhere. Researchers’ perspectives on the use of their work suggest limited opportunities and ‘disconnects’ that hinder their engagement with policy and other decision-making processes. These findings highlight a need for additional efforts to address structural barriers and enable engagement between researchers and decision-makers.

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Correspondence to Cristin A. Fergus.

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Fergus, C.A., Pearson, G. Opportunities and disconnects in the use of primary research on schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths for policy and practice: results from a survey of researchers. J Public Health Pol 42, 402–421 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41271-021-00294-x

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Keywords

  • Evidence and decision-making
  • Health policy
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Soil-transmitted helminths