SUPPORT Tools for Evidence-Informed Health Policymaking (STP) 5: Using Research Evidence to Frame Options to Address a Problem

Lavis, J. N., Wilson, M. G., Oxman, A. D., Grimshaw, J., Lewin, S., & Fretheim, A. (2009). SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health Policymaking (STP) 5: Using research evidence to frame options to address a problem. Health Research Policy and Systems, 7 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), S5.

Canadian Example available Journal article En français


This tool helps users use research evidence to frame policy and program options. The tool can be used to gather evidence on the benefits, harms and costs of options to inform decision making.

Steps for Using Method/Tool

The tool guides users through six questions:

  1. Has an appropriate set of options been identified to address a problem?
  2. What benefits are important to those who will be affected and which benefits are likely with each option?
  3. What harms are important to those who will be affected and which harms are likely with each option?
  4. What are the local costs of each option and is there local evidence about their cost-effectiveness?
  5. What adaptations might be made to any given option and could they alter its benefits, harms and costs?
  6. Which stakeholder views and experiences might influence an option’s acceptability and its benefits, harms and costs?

These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.

We have provided the resources and links as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by McMaster University of any of the products, services or opinions of the external organizations, nor have the external organizations endorsed their resources and links as provided by McMaster University. McMaster University bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external sites.

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