Background: Systematic review development has been a major focus in the research activities of the National Institute of Health (NIH), Malaysia for the last three years. In November 2014, a systematic review workshop was conducted for healthcare practitioners and researchers to promote the use of systematic reviews to inform healthcare decision making.
Objectives: Creating awareness among researchers in Ministry of Health Malaysia on developing quality systematic reviews for evidence-based practice and research.
Methods: We conducted a survey using self-administered questionnaire to the workshop participants to evaluate their understanding on the process of Cochrane Systematic Review as well as Review Completion Workshop and Scoping Review. There were two sections in the questionnaire:
i) the participants’ experience, scope of practice and research focus; and,
ii) knowledge and awareness among participants regarding Cochrane systematic reviews and scoping reviews.
Results: Forty two per cent of the participants had been working less than 5 years and 58.3% had been working more than 5 years. 25% of the participants had been working in the same department for more than 5 years. Nearly seventy per cent (69.4%) of the participants were medical officers, 16.7% technical and support staff and 13.9% specialists. Only 36.1% had attended Cochrane systematic review training prior to this course and 5.6% participants had been involved in a Cochrane systematic review. Among the participants, 66.7% have attended scoping review training before and 13.9% had been involved in a scoping review. Two-third of the participants understood the process of developing Cochrane systematic reviews and scoping reviews.
Post-workshop, there were substantial increases in the number of participants who understood the process of developing a Cochrane review and scoping review (p=0.007) and the structure in reporting Cochrane and scoping reviews (p=0.001).
Conclusions: Even though there was an increment in awareness and understanding after the workshop, we believe a lot of effort and approaches need to made to promote evidence-based practice.