Concept mapping as a method to enhance evidence-based public health

M.J.H. van Bon-Martens, L.A.M. Van De Goor, J.A.M. van Oers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we explore the suitability of concept mapping as a method for integrating knowledge from science, practice, and policy. In earlier research we described and analysed five cases of concept mapping procedures in the Netherlands, serving different purposes and fields in public health. In the current paper, seven new concept mapping studies of co-produced work are added to extend this analysis.
For each of these twelve studies we analysed: (1) how the method was able to integrate knowledge from practice with scientific knowledge by facilitating dialogue and collaboration between different stakeholders in the field of public health, such as academic researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and the public; (2) how the method was able to bring theory development a step further (scientific relevance); and (3) how the method was able to act as a sound basis for practical decision-making (practical relevance).
Based on the answers to these research questions, all but one study was considered useful for building more evidence-based public health, even though the extent to which they underpinned actual decision-making varied. The chance of actually being implemented in practice seems strongly related to the extent to which the responsible decision-makers are involved in the way the concept map is prepared and executed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213–228
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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