Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Public Health

The Combined Approach Matrix: A Priority Setting Tool for Health Research

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Public Health

The Combined Approach Matrix: A Priority Setting Tool for Health Research

Article excerpt

The Combined Approach Matrix: A Priority Setting Tool for Health Research A. Ghaffar, A. de Francisco, & S. Matlin (Eds.). Global Forum for Health Research. 2004; 68 pp.

In 1990, the Commission on Health Research for Development stated that less than 10% of global research funds, from public and private sources, are directed to 90% of the world's health problems. In response, the basic thesis of The Combined Approach Matrix is that changing the priorities that determine how existing health research funds are used can rectify this 10/90 gap. The authors discuss the challenges associated with priority setting, both in terms of the processes involved and tools used. They present a tool, the Combined Approach Matrix (CAM), developed by the Global Forum on Health Research, to assist institutions (at the national, regional and global levels) in setting priorities in health research. The matrix is composed of previously developed criteria and principles that are linked to stakeholders and determinants of population health status. One axis of the matrix provides a five-step methodology (linking disease burden, with determinants, cost-effectiveness and financial flows) while the other axis recognizes the non-biomedical influencing factors on health (individual and community behaviour, governmental/macroeconomic policies, agriculture, transportation, etc.)

The strength of this publication is in its application of the CAM model to different jurisdictions (global, national), diseases, risk factors and vulnerable target groups - thus showing how it can combine a diverse range of health-related factors to set priorities in research. …

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