Other Reviews of Published Data

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HRSA, AHRQ, CDC logos.

The following literature reviews have some patterns in their findings:

  • HRSA’s CHW National Workforce Study—summarizes six systematic reviews
  • Brownstein et al.—2005, 2007
  • Cochrane Reviews series—2005, 2010
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality—review by RTI International (Viswanathan, 2009)
  • CDC Policy Evidence Assessment Report—2014


The CHW National Workforce Study for HRSA summarizes the findings of six systematic reviews published before 2007. Dr. Nell Brownstein of CDC has published a series of literature reviews, some of which have appeared in CDC’s online journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

A series of systematic reviews led by Dr. Simon Lewin was published in the highly respected Cochrane Reviews series. These reviews, however, are international in scope, and most of the studies they consider are from outside the U.S.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released another review in 2009, and it has highlighted a number of CHW initiatives in its online Health Care Innovations Exchange in recent years.

CDC’s Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention produced a “Policy Evidence Assessment Report” in October 2014, summarizing the evidence bases for components of chronic disease policy involving CHWs. The assessment examined the impact of CHW policy interventions, such as a state laws, which support the role of the CHW, as well as elements of successful CHW programs, which have implications for policy development.

Taken together, these literature reviews reveal some patterns in their findings, as we will see.