Effectiveness tests whether something works (does what it is supposed to do) or meets its objectives

In health care, it focuses on what works and what works best. It often involves some type of measurement. It can include an evaluation, or in some cases research.

Evaluation versus research 

Evaluation determines whether objectives have been met and meeting standards. 

Research provides new knowledge.   

In the NHS it is important to be clear about this distinction. Research projects require NHS ethical approval whereas service evaluations do not. 

Systematic review evidence on conducting evaluations of clinical librarian services, evaluations of health library services and evaluating training in health libraries may be useful when planning evaluations or work about effectiveness

Systematic reviews 

Within health care, systematic reviews summarise the effectiveness of interventions

Within library and knowledge services the use of systematic reviews is increasing

Page last reviewed: 15 June 2021