Instruments for assessing organisational capacity for use of evidence in health sector policy making: A systematic scoping review

Asra Asgharzadeh, Hosein Shabaninejad, Aidin Aryankhesal, Reza Majdzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Assessing individual and organisational capacity for evidence use is essential for developing evidence-based strategies. Aims and objectives: This study aimed to assess the psychometric and practical properties of existing tools to assess the capacity to use evidence at the individual and organisational levels of health policy and identify the best instruments. Methods: A systematic review of the databases of ISI Web of Science, Embase, Scopus, and PubMed was conducted up to 6 June 2018. Search engines, websites of key organisations, and the reference lists of selected articles were also used to find relevant studies. The search strategy for each database was written individually. Psychometric properties were assessed using the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (SEPT) and pragmatic properties were assessed using the protocol proposed by Lewis et al (2018). Simple statistics were used to describe the psychometric and pragmatic properties of the identified instruments. Results: Overall, 16 instruments were identified. SEER had the highest validity score. Reliability was estimated for 38% of the instruments. Responsiveness was assessed in only 19% of the studies. The results showed that internal consistency was reported for 40% of the articles using statistical analysis. Pragmatic properties of the studied instruments were verified; 75% usefulness, 56% actionability, 50% sensitive to change and 56% user-friendly, 19% compatible, 38% feasibility. Discussion and conclusions: There are few instruments with strong psychometric evidence, and without high-quality instruments, it would be difficult to determine the factors that affect implementation. Therefore, special attention is needed for the systematic development of instruments and their reporting standards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-57
Number of pages29
JournalEvidence and Policy
Issue number1
Early online date2 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Capacity assessment instrument
  • Evidence-informed policy making
  • Health policy making
  • Individual capacity
  • Organisational capacity
  • Pragmatic characteristic
  • Psychometric characteristics
  • Use of evidence

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