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Seminar: The evidence brief process as one approach to synthesis at Public Health Ontario
Monday, June 22, 2015 10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Venue: by webinar only
Health Promotion
City: Online
Format: Webinar

How can I synthesize evidence as part of situational assessment?  The evidence brief process as one approach to synthesis at Public Health Ontario (PHO)

To ensure that solutions to emerging public health problems and programs for health promotion are evidence-informed, the use of evidence is critical. Resources and tools to support the application of the best available evidence for decision making will be discussed.

This webinar offers an approach to synthesizing research evidence, based on a process that is used by the Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention department at PHO. It is intended to give audience members an example of how they could address literature synthesis in a situational assessment. The webinar will give listeners instructions on how to find evidence briefs currently available on the PHO website, on a variety of health promotion, chronic disease and injury prevention topics. The webinar will introduce a checklist for the steps to create an evidence brief, from the development of a searchable question to the synthesis and development of implications for the brief document. If you’ve ever wondered what constitutes “good enough” evidence, why we try to summarize review-level evidence, or how a “brief” can be kept brief, join us for this discussion to see what our process could offer you.

This webinar will introduce an evidence brief process and checklist which have been submitted for publication. The evidence brief checklist offers a systematic approach to incorporating the best available published evidence for application to the planning process. Published and grey literatures are  important sources of evidence in the situational assessment step of the six steps to planning a health promotion program.

Learning Objectives

This webinar will allow participants to:
  • Understand sources that offer the best available evidence and how research literature can contribute as a source
  • Follow an example of a systematic evidence synthesis process to generate an evidence brief
  • Learn ways to save time when synthesizing evidence for a situational assessment, among other projects

Moderator and Presenters

Allison Meserve is a health promotion consultant focusing on program planning and evaluation in the Health Promotion Capacity Building group at PHO. Allison holds a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University, and has worked in various roles in public health over the past fifteen years, including as a program manager of a social marketing program targeting youth and as an internal evaluator for a large community based organization. For the past six years, she has provided evaluation, research and ethics support to public health practitioners. 

Justin Thielman is an epidemiologist in the Health Promotion, Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention department at PHO. Before joining PHO, he worked with the Knowledge Synthesis Group at the Centre for Practice-Changing Research in Ottawa. Justin holds an MSc in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa and has planned and worked on various knowledge synthesis projects over the past five years, including systematic reviews, rapid reviews, and evidence briefs.

Kara DeCorby is a Senior Product Development Advisor in Health Promotion Capacity Building group at PHO. Kara holds an MSc from the University of Manitoba and has several years of experience providing training and consultation support to Canadian public health unit staff for evidence-informed decision making. Kara previously worked in knowledge translation research for public health at McMaster University for over thirteen years, where she participated in critical appraisal, summary writing, and evidence synthesis, including publishing and updating a Cochrane review. Kara brings a quality evidence base to communications strategies, operating procedures, and knowledge products.


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Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7471 or

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