Knowledge Synthesis Program

The Knowledge Synthesis Program within C2E2 brings leading edge methodologies and practices to informing critical challenges in the Canadian healthcare system.

Knowledge synthesis is defined by CIHR as ‘the contextualization and integration of research findings of individual research studies within the larger body of knowledge on the topic.’ As there is a proliferation of information on almost any given topic, usually at the click of a mouse, it is important to have robust methods to critically appraise evidence and report findings in an accessible manner. The syntheses undertaken by C2E2, across many different disciplines, follow best practices and can use quantitative and/ or qualitative methods.


There are a number of different methods employed in our knowledge synthesis activities at C2E2. These include:

  • Systematic review
  • Rapid review
  • Realist review
  • Scoping review
  • Narrative review
  • Meta-analysis


Our aim is to work with collaborators to find the right method for the given question. In some cases, our activity supports grant applications whereas in other cases the focus is on a specific policy question being asked by healthcare decision makers. We seek to work closely with collaborators to ensure the appropriate approach is selected.

Program Lead

Craig Mitton

Dr. Mitton’s research is focused on the application of health economics to impact health policy and to inform clinical practice. He has worked extensively with health authorities in numerous countries on the development and implementation of priority setting and resource allocation processes.

He is the lead author on a book titled “The Priority Setting Toolkit: a guide to the use of economics in health care priority setting” and is the lead or co-author on more than 170 peer reviewed journal articles. In addition, he has delivered over 200 presentations across many different countries and regularly runs workshops and short courses on health economics and health care priority setting.

In 2015, he was awarded a Killam Teaching Prize from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Mitton is a Professor in the School of Population and Public Health and Senior Scientist at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation.

Current CIHR funding includes work with Island Health on setting priorities for upstream activities as well as assessing uptake of health technology assessments in Canada.

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