WHO Public health and social measures knowledge at your fingertips: Launching the PHSM Bibliographic Library

WHO has recently launched a repository of multilingual, multidisciplinary, multisectoral research articles on public health and social measures (PHSM) called the PHSM Bibliographic Library. It is part of the wider WHO PHSM Initiative on measuring the effectiveness and impact of PHSM during health emergencies.

The PHSM Bibliographic library is a dynamic repository updated through automated and manual searches across multiple electronic databases, preprint repositories, trial registries and other sources. It is designed to meet the diverse needs of users at all experience levels, providing an advanced search interface for efficient information retrieval. This interface includes functionalities such as filters aligned with the WHO PHSM conceptual framework and an extensive controlled vocabulary. Furthermore, the library offers data export options in multiple formats to facilitate saving and sharing of results, as well as a dashboard interface, offering insightful visualizations of indexed PHSM research.

The PHSM Bibliographic library is the first in the series of three interconnected tools on the PHSM Knowledge Hub, which serves as a publicly accessible gateway to research and resources on PHSM. The Knowledge Hub will be expanded to include the PHSM Research Atlas and the PHSM Living Systematic Reviews, which are currently under development.

The PHSM Research Atlas will allow users to explore insights into existing knowledge and gaps in PHSM literature using themes of the Global PHSM Research Agenda or PHSM Conceptual Framework as a search gateway.

The PHSM Living Systematic Reviews, will be an AI-powered platform for users to gain timely insights into emerging trends and questions related to the effectiveness, adherence to and impact of PHSM.



Overview of systematic reviews: The effects of PHSM implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic

The umbrella review entitled `The effects of public health and social measures (PHSM) implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic´ was published in Cochrane Evidence Synthesis and Methods. This review was conducted as part of the WHO PHSM Initiative in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the American University of Beirut and Epistemonikos Foundation.

It is the first review to identify, critically appraise and synthesize published reviews on the effectiveness and unintended negative consequences of PHSM during the COVID-19 pandemic using a conceptual framework to categorize interventions. Related knowledge translation products will be available on the WHO PHSM website shortly.



Updated WHO Benchmarks for Strengthening Health Emergency Capacities expanded to include public health and social measures (PHSM)

The updated WHO Benchmarks for Strengthening Health Emergency Capacities was published to support the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR). Taking on board the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and other recent health emergencies, the benchmarks were expanded to reflect closer alignment with IHR (2005) monitoring and evaluation framework, the health systems for health security framework, disaster risk management, and the health emergency prevention, preparedness, response and resilience (HEPR) framework.

The updated benchmark now includes a new technical area, PHSM, which plays a critical role throughout the different stages of health emergencies and acts in concert with medical countermeasures.  This is why the benchmark on PHSM is critical in ensuring that PHSM are systematically integrated into health emergency management plans, policies, financing, governance and leadership in all relevant sectors and levels across the health emergency actions.




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The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101094188.