Background: The DECIDE framework was developed to support evidence-informed health system decisions through evidence summaries tailored to health policymakers. The objective of this study was to determine policymakers' perceptions regarding the criteria in the DECIDE framework and how best to summarise and present evidence to support health system decisions.
Methods: We conducted an online survey of a diverse group of stakeholders with health system decision experience from 15 countries and the World Health Organization. We asked about perceptions of criteria relevant to making health system decisions, use of evidence, grading systems, and evidence summaries.
Results: We received 112 responses (70% response rate). Most respondents had healthcare (85%) and research (79%) experience. They (99%) indicated that systematic consideration of the available evidence would help to improve health system decision-making processes and supported the use of evidence from other countries (94%) and grading systems (81%). All ten criteria in the DECIDE framework were rated as important in the decision-making process. Respondents had divergent views regarding whether the same (38%) or different (45%) grading systems should be used across different types of health decisions. All components of our evidence summary were rated as important by over 90% of respondents.
Conclusions: Survey respondents were supportive of the DECIDE framework for health system decisions and the use of succinct summaries of the estimated size of effects and the quality of evidence. It is uncertain whether the findings of this survey represent the views of policymakers with little or no healthcare and research experience.