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Clinical guidelines

MRC researchers reported 3,455 examples of influences on policy between 2006 and 2013.

Influences on policy by year

460 policy influences started in 2013. A breakdown of policy influences by year is shown in figure 1.

As with other output types, there is naturally a time lag between the award being made and the influence on policy being realised. More than a quarter (26 per cent) of awards made in 2006 or earlier reported at least one policy influence, compared to 18 per cent of awards in 2011 and six per cent in 2013. Table 1 and figure 2 show the number of policy influences by award start year. 

22 per cent of awards reported at least one policy influence within five years after the award starting, compared to five per cent within one year. Table 2 and figure 3 shows the time taken to report the first policy influence.

Figure 1: Policy influence by year realised

Policy influence by year realised

Table 1: Policy influence by award start year

Start year

Number of awards

Number with at least one policy influence

Number with no policy influences

Percentage with at least one policy influence

2006 or earlier

2076

543

1533

26%

2007

466

109

357

23%

2008

569

139

430

24%

2009

565

140

425

25%

2010

470

108

362

23%

2011

410

73

337

18%

2012

525

63

462

12%

2013

478

31

447

6%

 

Figure 2: Policy influence by award start year

Policy influence by award start year

Table 2: Time taken to report first influence

Time elapsed

Number reporting at least one policy influence

Cumulative number

Cumulative percentage

Within 1 year

268

268

5%

Within 2 years

235

503

9%

Within 3 years

176

679

12%

Within 4 years

165

844

15%

After 5 years

362

1206

22%

Figure 3: Time taken to report first policy influence 

Time taken to report first policy influence

Policy influence by type and location

Once unique policy outputs have been identified, the type of policy influence can be divided into citations in key policy documents (754/3455 - 23 per cent of all policy influences) and influences on policy setting processes (2701/3455 – 77 per cent.

A breakdown of policy influence by type is shown in table 1 and figure 4.

Almost half of all policy influences (47 per cent) occurred in the UK. 27 per cent of policy outputs had an international influence. A breakdown of policy influences by location is shown in table 2 and figure 5.

Table 1: Policy influence by type

 

Influence Type

Number of instances

Percentage

Key policy documents

Citation in clinical guidelines

376

11%

Citation in clinical reviews

94

3%

Citation in other policy documents

226

7%

Citation in systematic reviews

58

2%

Policy setting processes

Gave evidence to a government review

186

5%

Influenced training of practitioners or researchers

762

22%

Membership of a guideline committee

422

12%

Participation in an advisory committee

1,005

29%

Participation in a national consultation

301

9%

Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to eg Ministry of Health

23

1%

Other/unknown

2

0%

 

Total

3,455

100%

Figure 4: Policy influence by type

Policy influence by type

Table 2: Policy influence by location

Location of policy influence

Number of instances

Percentage

UK

1607

47%

Local/municipal/regional - UK only

246

7%

North America

163

5%

Africa

59

2%

Asia

31

1%

Oceania

16

0%

Europe

415

12%

Multiple countries/international

916

27%

South America

1

0%

Unknown

1

0%

Total

3455

100%

Figure 5: Policy influence by location

Policy influence by location