Introduction: Research and evaluation is intended to support decision-making by policy-makers, managers and clinicians. Concern over failures to use these findings has led many disciplines to make dissemination and application of research a priority. In addition, multidisciplinary groups have formed with the same priorities. While these various groups are focused, as most health care dollars are, on acute care, there is also much work being done in public health. The Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth Department of Public Health Services, is a Teaching Health Unit associated with McMaster University and the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.
Objective: To identify public health effectiveness literature (published and unpublished), to critically appraise it, and to synthesize that information for answering various questions.
Methods: In order to meet that objective, a number of activities have been initiated such as the identification of public health studies, production of reviews and dissemination activities.
Results: RCTs and CCTs published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health have been identified. Several overviews have been produced on topics such as maternal-infant community interventions, community-based heart health interventions, community development, prevention of adolescent suicide, and home visiting by public health nurses as a care delivery strategy.
Discussion: There is adequate literature in public health to conduct overviews which can be disseminated for decision-making.