Policy Evaluation Network (PEN): Protocol for systematic literature reviews examining the evidence for impact of policies on physical activity across seven different policy domains

Policy Evaluation Network (PEN) Consortium

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Introduction: Over 40 million deaths annually are due to noncommunicable diseases, 15 million of these are premature deaths and physical inactivity contributes an estimated 9% to this figure. Global responses have included the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA). Both point to policy action on physical activity (PA) to address change, yet the impact of policy on PA outcomes is unknown. The protocol described outlines the methodology for systematic literature reviews that will be undertaken by the Policy Evaluation Network (PEN) to address this knowledge gap. Methods: The seven best investments for promotion of population PA identified in the Toronto Charter highlighted seven policy domains (schools, transport, urban design, primary health care systems, public education, community-wide programmes and sport) which will form the basis of these PEN reviews. Seven individual scientific literature searches across six electronic databases will be conducted. Each will use the key concepts of policy, PA, evaluation and a distinct concept for each of the seven policy domains. This will be supplemented with a search of the reference list of included articles. Methodological quality will be assessed and overall effectiveness for each included study will be described according to pre-determined criteria. Conclusions: Each review will provide policy makers with a list of policy statements and corresponding actions which the evidence has determined impact on PA directly or indirectly. By collating the evidence, and demonstrating the depth of the science base which informs these policy recommendations, each review will provide guidance to policymakers to use evidence-based or evidence-informed policies to achieve the 15% relative reduction in physical inactivity as defined by GAPPA. Registration: PROSPERO CRD42020156630 (10/07/2020).

Original languageEnglish
Article number62
Pages (from-to)62
JournalHRB open research
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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