There is a lack of evidence for effective management of dental caries (decay) in children’s primary (baby) teeth and an apparent failure of conventional dental restorations (fillings) to prevent dental pain and infection for UK children in Primary Care. UK dental schools’ teaching has been based on British Society of Paediatric Dentistry guidance which recommends that caries in primary teeth should be removed and a restoration placed. However, the evidence base for this is limited in volume and quality, and comes from studies conducted in either secondary care or specialist practices. Restorations provided in specialist environments can be effective but the generalisability of this evidence to Primary Care has been questioned.
The FiCTION trial addresses the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme’s commissioning brief and research question “What is the clinical and cost effectiveness of restoration caries in primary teeth, compared to no treatment?” It compares conventional restorations with an intermediate treatment strategy based on the biological (sealing-in) management of caries and with no restorations.
This is a Primary Care-based multi-centre, three-arm, parallel group, patient-randomised controlled trial. Practitioners are recruiting 1461 children, (3–7 years) with at least one primary molar tooth where caries extends into dentine. Children are randomized and treated according to one of three treatment approaches; conventional caries management with best practice prevention, biological management of caries with best practice prevention or best practice prevention alone.
Baseline measures and outcome data (at review/treatment during three year follow-up) are assessed through direct reporting, clinical examination including blinded radiograph assessment, and child/parent questionnaires.
The primary outcome measure is the incidence of either pain or infection related to dental caries.
Secondary outcomes are; incidence of caries in primary and permanent teeth, patient quality of life, cost-effectiveness, acceptability of treatment strategies to patients and parents and their experiences, and dentists’ preferences.
FiCTION will provide evidence for the most clinically-effective and cost-effective approach to managing caries in children’s primary teeth in Primary Care. This will support general dental practitioners in treatment decision making for child patients to minimize pain and infection in primary teeth. The trial is currently recruiting patients.
Protocol ID: NCTU: ISRCTN77044005
Dental caries; Caries prevention; Primary teeth; Prevention; Paediatric Dentistry; Restoration; Fillings; RCT; Primary care
Research on the information-seeking behaviors of dental practitioners is scarce. Knowledge of dentists’ information-seeking behaviors should advance the translational gap between clinical dental research and dental practice. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to examine the self-reported information-seeking behaviors of dentists in three dental practice-based research networks (PBRNs). A total of 950 dentists (65 percent response rate) completed the survey. Dental journals and continuing dental education (CDE) sources used and their influence on practice guidance were assessed. PBRN participation level and years since dental degree were measured. Full-participant dentists reported reading the Journal of the American Dental Association and General Dentistry more frequently than did their reference counterparts. Printed journals were preferred by most dentists. A lower proportion of full participants obtained their CDE credits at dental meetings compared to partial participants. Experienced dentists read other dental information sources more frequently than did less experienced dentists. Practitioners involved in a PBRN differed in their approaches to accessing information sources. Peer-reviewed sources were more frequently used by full participants and dentists with fifteen years of experience or more. Dental PBRNs potentially play a significant role in the dissemination of evidence-based information. This study found that specific educational sources might increase and disseminate knowledge among dentists.
evidence-based dentistry; evidence-based practice; information-seeking behaviors; information sources; continuing dental education; dental practitioners; dentists; practice-based research networks
The importance of basing health policy and health care practices on the best available international evidence (“evidence-based health care”) and on translating knowledge or evidence into action (“translation science” or “translational research”) is increasingly being emphasized across all health sectors inmost countries. Evidence-based healthcare is a process that identifies policy or clinical questions and addresses these questions by generating knowledge and evidence to effectively and appropriately deliver healthcare in ways that are effective, feasible, and meaningful to specific populations, cultures, and settings. This evidence is then appraised, synthesized, and transferred to service delivery settings and health professionals who then utilize it and evaluate its impact on health outcomes, health systems, and professional practice. Many of the common theories that address this translational process place it apart from the evidence-based practice cycle and most recognise only two translational gaps. This paper seeks to clarify the nature of evidence-based healthcare and translation science and proposes a reconceptualization that both brings together these two dominant ideas in modern healthcare and asserts the existence of a third fundamental gap that is rarely addressed the gap between knowledge need and discovery.
The process of tooth mineralization and the role of molecular control of cellular behavior during embryonic tooth development have attracted much attention the last few years. The knowledge gained from the research in these fields has improved the general understanding about the formation of dental tissues and the entire tooth and set the basis for teeth regeneration. Tissue engineering using scaffold and cell aggregate methods has been considered to produce bioengineered dental tissues, while dental stem/progenitor cells, which can differentiate into dental cell lineages, have been also introduced into the field of tooth mineralization and regeneration. Some of the main strategies for making enamel, dentin, and complex tooth-like structures are presented in this paper. However, there are still significant barriers that obstruct such strategies to move into the regular clinic practice, and these should be overcome in order to have the regenerative dentistry as the important mean that can treat the consequences of tooth-related diseases.
Knowledge translation (KT) aims to close the gap between knowledge and practice in order to realize the benefits of research through (a) improved health outcomes, (b) more effective health services and products, and (c) strengthened healthcare systems. While there is some understanding of strategies to put research findings into practice within nursing and medicine, we have limited knowledge of KT strategies in allied health professions. Given the interprofessional nature of healthcare, a lack of guidance for supporting KT strategies in the allied health professions is concerning. Our objective in this study is to systematically review published research on KT strategies in five allied health disciplines.
A medical research librarian will develop and implement search strategies designed to identify evidence that is relevant to each question of the review. Two reviewers will perform study selection and quality assessment using standard forms. For study selection, data will be extracted by two reviewers. For quality assessment, data will be extracted by one reviewer and verified by a second. Disagreements will be resolved through discussion or third party adjudication. Within each profession, data will be grouped and analyzed by research design and KT strategies using the Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Review Group classification scheme. An overall synthesis across professions will be conducted.
A uniprofessional approach to KT does not represent the interprofessional context it targets. Our findings will provide the first systematic overview of KT strategies used in allied health professionals' clinical practice, as well as a foundation to inform future KT interventions in allied healthcare settings.
Guidance on the cleaning of dental instruments in primary care has recently been published. The aims of this study are to determine if the publication of the guidance document was enough to influence decontamination best practice and to design an implementation intervention strategy, should it be required.
A postal questionnaire assessing current decontamination practice and beliefs was sent to a random sample of 200 general dental practitioners.
Fifty-seven percent (N = 113) of general dental practitioners responded. The survey showed large variation in what dentists self-reported doing, perceived as necessary or practical to do, were willing to do, felt able to do, as well as what they planned to change. Only 15% self-reported compliance with the five key guideline-recommended individual-level decontamination behaviours; only 2% reported compliance with all 11 key practice-level behaviours. The results also showed that our participants were almost equally split between dentists who were completely unmotivated to implement best decontamination practice or else highly motivated. The results suggested there was scope for further enhancing the implementation of decontamination guidance, and that an intervention with the greatest likelihood of success would require a tailored format, specifically targeting components of the theory of planned behaviour (attitude, perceived behavioural control, intention) and implementation intention theory (action planning).
Considerable resources are devoted to encouraging clinicians to implement evidence-based practice using interventions with erratic success records, or no known applicability to a specific clinical behaviour, selected mainly by means of researchers' intuition or optimism. The methodology used to develop this implementation intervention is not limited to decontamination or to a single segment of primary care. It is also in accordance with the preliminary stages of the framework for evaluating complex interventions suggested by the medical research council. The next phases of this work are to test the intervention feasibility and evaluate its effectiveness in a randomised control trial.
Multi-disciplinary and multi-site biomedical research programs frequently require infrastructures capable of enabling the collection, management, analysis, and dissemination of heterogeneous, multi-dimensional, and distributed data and knowledge collections spanning organizational boundaries. We report on the design and initial deployment of an extensible biomedical informatics platform that is intended to address such requirements.
A common approach to distributed data, information, and knowledge management needs in the healthcare and life science settings is the deployment and use of a service-oriented architecture (SOA). Such SOA technologies provide for strongly-typed, semantically annotated, and stateful data and analytical services that can be combined into data and knowledge integration and analysis “pipelines.” Using this overall design pattern, we have implemented and evaluated an extensible SOA platform for clinical and translational science applications known as the Translational Research Informatics and Data-management grid (TRIAD). TRIAD is a derivative and extension of the caGrid middleware and has an emphasis on supporting agile “working interoperability” between data, information, and knowledge resources.
Based upon initial verification and validation studies conducted in the context of a collection of driving clinical and translational research problems, we have been able to demonstrate that TRIAD achieves agile “working interoperability” between distributed data and knowledge sources.
Informed by our initial verification and validation studies, we believe TRIAD provides an example instance of a lightweight and readily adoptable approach to the use of SOA technologies in the clinical and translational research setting. Furthermore, our initial use cases illustrate the importance and efficacy of enabling “working interoperability” in heterogeneous biomedical environments.
Clinical research informatics; data access; data integration; data analysis; standards; workflow; socio-organizational issues
One of the most consistent findings from clinical and health services research is the failure to translate research into practice and policy. As a result of these evidence-practice and policy gaps, patients fail to benefit optimally from advances in healthcare and are exposed to unnecessary risks of iatrogenic harms, and healthcare systems are exposed to unnecessary expenditure resulting in significant opportunity costs. Over the last decade, there has been increasing international policy and research attention on how to reduce the evidence-practice and policy gap. In this paper, we summarise the current concepts and evidence to guide knowledge translation activities, defined as T2 research (the translation of new clinical knowledge into improved health). We structure the article around five key questions: what should be transferred; to whom should research knowledge be transferred; by whom should research knowledge be transferred; how should research knowledge be transferred; and, with what effect should research knowledge be transferred?
We suggest that the basic unit of knowledge translation should usually be up-to-date systematic reviews or other syntheses of research findings. Knowledge translators need to identify the key messages for different target audiences and to fashion these in language and knowledge translation products that are easily assimilated by different audiences. The relative importance of knowledge translation to different target audiences will vary by the type of research and appropriate endpoints of knowledge translation may vary across different stakeholder groups. There are a large number of planned knowledge translation models, derived from different disciplinary, contextual (i.e., setting), and target audience viewpoints. Most of these suggest that planned knowledge translation for healthcare professionals and consumers is more likely to be successful if the choice of knowledge translation strategy is informed by an assessment of the likely barriers and facilitators. Although our evidence on the likely effectiveness of different strategies to overcome specific barriers remains incomplete, there is a range of informative systematic reviews of interventions aimed at healthcare professionals and consumers (i.e., patients, family members, and informal carers) and of factors important to research use by policy makers.
There is a substantial (if incomplete) evidence base to guide choice of knowledge translation activities targeting healthcare professionals and consumers. The evidence base on the effects of different knowledge translation approaches targeting healthcare policy makers and senior managers is much weaker but there are a profusion of innovative approaches that warrant further evaluation.
Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) contribute greatly to reducing health disparities by providing care to underserved communities. Yet these safety-net clinics face chronic manpower shortages and turnover. Practice-Based Research Networks aid in translating medical science from bench to clinical practice. These networks have been used to understand and improve health-care delivery and reduce disparities. Initiatives to strengthen lagging translational research in dentistry have begun, but there is no FQHC research network that addresses oral health.
This article reviews the potential for, and outlines a model of, an Oral Health FQHC Research Network. It characterizes the needs for an FQHC research network, describes a successful FQHC research-oriented program, and outlines an Oral Health FQHC Research Network conceptual model. It argues that strengthening FQHCs through involvement of their dental staff in clinical research may enhance their jobs, draw staff closer to the community, and strengthen their ability to reduce health disparities.
Development or synthesis of the best clinical research is in itself insufficient to change practice. Knowledge translation (KT) is an emerging field focused on moving knowledge into practice, which is a non-linear, dynamic process that involves knowledge synthesis, transfer, adoption, implementation, and sustained use. Successful implementation requires using KT strategies based on theory, evidence, and best practice, including tools and processes that engage knowledge developers and knowledge users. Tools can provide instrumental help in implementing evidence. A variety of theoretical frameworks underlie KT and provide guidance on how tools should be developed or implemented. A taxonomy that outlines different purposes for engaging in KT and target audiences can also be useful in developing or implementing tools. Theoretical frameworks that underlie KT typically take different perspectives on KT with differential focus on the characteristics of the knowledge, knowledge users, context/environment, or the cognitive and social processes that are involved in change. Knowledge users include consumers, clinicians, and policymakers. A variety of KT tools have supporting evidence, including: clinical practice guidelines, patient decision aids, and evidence summaries or toolkits. Exemplars are provided of two KT tools to implement best practice in management of neck pain—a clinician implementation guide (toolkit) and a patient decision aid. KT frameworks, taxonomies, clinical expertise, and evidence must be integrated to develop clinical tools that implement best evidence in the management of neck pain.
Knowledge translation; neck pain; tools; implementation.
Translational research using evidence-based and comparative effectiveness research continues to evolve, becoming a useful tool in improving informed
consent and decision-making in the clinical setting. While in development, emerging technologies, including cellular and molecular biology, are leading to
establishing evidence-based dental practices. One emerging technology, which conjoins bench proteomic findings to clinical decision-making for
treatment intervention, is the Translational Evidence Mechanism. This mechanism was developed to be a foundation for a compact between researcher,
translational researcher, clinician, and patient. The output of such a mechanism is the clinical practice guideline (CPG), an interactive tool for dentists and
patients to game evidence in reaching optimum clinical decisions that correspond to individual patient preferences and values. As such, the clinical
practice guideline requires the vesting of decision, utility, and cost best evidence. Evidence-based research provides decision data, a first attempt at
supporting decision-making by providing best outcome data. Since then comparative effectiveness research has emerged, using systematic review analysis
to compare similar treatments or procedures in maximizing the choice of the most effective cost/benefit option within the context of best evidence. With
innovation in the clinical practice guideline for optimizing efficacy and comparative effectiveness research, evidence-based practices will shape a new
approach to health-based systems that adhere to shared decision-making between bench scientists, healthcare providers and patients.
Translational evidence; clinical decision-making; clinical practice guidelines (CPG's); evidence-based practice; comparative efficacy; effectiveness research
A key question for healthcare is how to operationalize the vision of the Learning Healthcare System, in which electronic health record data become a continuous information source for quality assurance and research. This project presents an initial, ontology-based, method for secondary use of electronic dental record (EDR) data. We defined a set of dental clinical research questions; constructed the Oral Health and Disease Ontology (OHD); analyzed data from a commercial EDR database; and created a knowledge base, with the OHD used to represent clinical data about 4,500 patients from a single dental practice. Currently, the OHD includes 213 classes and reuses 1,658 classes from other ontologies. We have developed an initial set of SPARQL queries to allow extraction of data about patients, teeth, surfaces, restorations and findings. Further work will establish a complete, open and reproducible workflow for extracting and aggregating data from a variety of EDRs for research and quality assurance.
The implementation of digital radiography in dentistry in a large healthcare enterprise setting is discussed. A distinct need for a dedicated dental picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) exists for seamless integration of different vendor products across the system. Complex issues are contended with as each clinical department migrated to a digital environment with unique needs and workflow patterns. The University of Florida has had a dental PACS installed over 2 years ago. This paper describes the process of conversion from film-based imaging from the planning stages through clinical implementation. Dentistry poses many unique challenges as it strives to achieve better integration with systems primarily designed for imaging; however, the technical requirements for high-resolution image capture in dentistry far exceed those in medicine, as most routine dental diagnostic tasks are challenging. The significance of specification, evaluation, vendor selection, installation, trial runs, training, and phased clinical implementation is emphasized.
Computed radiography; digital radiography; PACS implementation; tomography; x-ray computed; Digital Imaging and Communications In Medicine (DICOM)
Rubber dam use during operative dentistry procedures has been quantified based on questionnaires completed by dentists. However, to our knowledge there are no reports based on use during actual clinical procedures other than in dental materials studies, and none based on routine care. Our objectives were to: (1) quantify how commonly the rubber dam is used during operative dentistry procedures; (2) test the hypothesis that certain dentist-, restoration- and patient-level factors are associated with its use.
A total of 229 dentist practitioner-investigators in “The Dental Practice-Based Research Network (DPBRN)” participated. DPBRN comprises five regions: Alabama/Mississippi, Florida/Georgia, Minnesota, Permanente Dental Associates, and Scandinavia. Practitioner-investigators collected data on 9,890 consecutive restorations done in previously-unrestored tooth surfaces from 5,810 patients.
Most dentists (63%) did not use a rubber dam for any restoration in the study. A rubber dam was used for only 12% of restorations, 83% of which were used in one DPBRN region. With region accounted for, no other dentist characteristics were significant. A multi-level multiple logistic regression of rubber dam use was done with restoration- and patient-level variables modeled simultaneously. In this multi-variable context, these restoration-level characteristics were statistically significant: tooth-arch type, restoration classification, and reason for placing the restoration. These patient-level characteristics were statistically significant: ethnicity, dental insurance, and age.
These results, obtained from actual clinical procedures rather than questionnaires, document a low prevalence of usage of rubber dam during operative dentistry procedures. Usage varied with certain dentist-, restoration-, and patient-level characteristics.
rubber dam; restorative dentistry; practice-based research; private practice; dental restoration; dental general practice
Shared decision making (SDM) is a process by which a healthcare choice is made jointly by the healthcare professional and the patient. SDM is the essential element of patient-centered care, a core concept of primary care. However, SDM is seldom translated into primary practice. Continuing professional development (CPD) is the principal means by which healthcare professionals continue to gain, improve, and broaden the knowledge and skills required for patient-centered care. Our international collaboration seeks to improve the knowledge base of CPD that targets translating SDM into the clinical practice of primary care in diverse healthcare systems.
Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), our project is to form an international, interdisciplinary research team composed of health services researchers, physicians, nurses, psychologists, dietitians, CPD decision makers and others who will study how CPD causes SDM to be practiced in primary care. We will perform an environmental scan to create an inventory of CPD programs and related activities for translating SDM into clinical practice. These programs will be critically assessed and compared according to their strengths and limitations. We will use the empirical data that results from the environmental scan and the critical appraisal to identify knowledge gaps and generate a research agenda during a two-day workshop to be held in Quebec City. We will ask CPD stakeholders to validate these knowledge gaps and the research agenda.
This project will analyse existing CPD programs and related activities for translating SDM into the practice of primary care. Because this international collaboration will develop and identify various factors influencing SDM, the project could shed new light on how SDM is implemented in primary care.
The IADR Global Oral Health Inequalities Task Group on Dental Caries has synthesized current evidence and opinion to identify a five-year implementation and research agenda which should lead to improvements in global oral health, with particular reference to the implementation of current best evidence as well as integrated action to reduce caries and health inequalities between and within countries. The Group determined that research should: integrate health and oral health wherever possible, using common risk factors; be able to respond to and influence international developments in health, healthcare, and health payment systems as well as dental prevention and materials; and exploit the potential for novel funding partnerships with industry and foundations. More effective communication between and among the basic science, clinical science, and health promotion/public health research communities is needed. Translation of research into policy and practice should be a priority for all. Both community and individual interventions need tailoring to achieve a more equal and person-centered preventive focus and reduce any social gradient in health. Recommendations are made for both clinical and public health implementation of existing research and for caries-related research agendas in clinical science, health promotion/public health, and basic science.
Dental caries; health inequalities; health disparities; implementation research; translational research
Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field that combines the principles of engineering, material and biological sciences toward the development of therapeutic strategies and biological substitutes that restore, maintain, replace or improve biological functions. The association of biomaterials, stem cells, growth and differentiation factors have yielded the development of new treatment opportunities in most of the biomedical areas, including Dentistry. The objective of this paper is to present the principles underlying tissue engineering and the current scenario, the challenges and the perspectives of this area in Dentistry.
The growth of tissue engineering as a research field have provided a novel set of therapeutic strategies for biomedical applications. The emerging knowledge arisen from studies in the dental area may translate into new methods for caring or improving the alternatives used to treat patients in the daily clinic.
Tissue engineering; stem cells; scaffolds; molecular biology; restorative dentistry
Translating knowledge from research into clinical practice has emerged as a practice of increasing importance. This has led to the creation of new organizational entities designed to bridge knowledge between research and practice. Within the UK, the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) have been introduced to ensure that emphasis is placed in ensuring research is more effectively translated and implemented in clinical practice. Knowledge translation (KT) can be accomplished in various ways and is affected by the structures, activities, and coordination practices of organizations. We draw on concepts in the innovation literature—namely exploration, exploitation, and ambidexterity—to examine these structures and activities as well as the ensuing tensions between research and implementation.
Using a qualitative research approach, the study was based on 106 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with the directors, theme leads and managers, key professionals involved in research and implementation in nine CLAHRCs. Data was also collected from intensive focus group workshops.
In this article we develop five archetypes for organizing KT. The results show how the various CLAHRC entities work through partnerships to create explorative research and deliver exploitative implementation. The different archetypes highlight a range of structures that can achieve ambidextrous balance as they organize activity and coordinate practice on a continuum of exploration and exploitation.
This work suggests that KT entities aim to reach their goals through a balance between exploration and exploitation in the support of generating new research and ensuring knowledge implementation. We highlight different organizational archetypes that support various ways to maintain ambidexterity, where both exploration and exploitation are supported in an attempt to narrow the knowledge gaps. The KT entity archetypes offer insights on strategies in structuring collaboration to facilitate an effective balance of exploration and exploitation learning in the KT process.
Knowledge translation; Exploration; Exploitation; Ambidexterity; Collaboration; Research implementation; Absorptive capacity; Innovation
The organizational context in which healthcare is delivered is thought to play an important role in mediating the use of knowledge in practice. Additionally, a number of potentially modifiable contextual factors have been shown to make an organizational context more amenable to change. However, understanding of how these factors operate to influence organizational context and knowledge use remains limited. In particular, research to understand knowledge translation in the long-term care setting is scarce. Further research is therefore required to provide robust explanations of the characteristics of organizational context in relation to knowledge use.
To develop a robust explanation of the way organizational context mediates the use of knowledge in practice in long-term care facilities.
This is longitudinal, in-depth qualitative case study research using exploratory and interpretive methods to explore the role of organizational context in influencing knowledge translation. The study will be conducted in two phases. In phase one, comprehensive case studies will be conducted in three facilities. Following data analysis and proposition development, phase two will continue with focused case studies to elaborate emerging themes and theory. Study sites will be purposively selected. In both phases, data will be collected using a variety of approaches, including non-participant observation, key informant interviews, family perspectives, focus groups, and documentary evidence (including, but not limited to, policies, notices, and photographs of physical resources). Data analysis will comprise an iterative process of identifying convergent evidence within each case study and then examining and comparing the evidence across multiple case studies to draw conclusions from the study as a whole. Additionally, findings that emerge through this project will be compared and considered alongside those that are emerging from project one. In this way, pattern matching based on explanation building will be used to frame the analysis and develop an explanation of organizational context and knowledge use over time.
An improved understanding of the contextual factors that mediate knowledge use will inform future development and testing of interventions to enhance knowledge use, with the ultimate aim of improving the outcomes for residents in long-term care settings.
The effective and timely integration of the best available research evidence into healthcare practice has considerable potential to improve the quality of provided care. Knowledge translation (KT) approaches aim to develop, implement, and evaluate strategies to address the research-practice gap. However, most KT research has been directed toward implementation strategies that apply cognitive, behavioral, and, to a lesser extent, organizational theories. In this paper, we discuss the potential of institutional theory to inform KT-related research.
Despite significant research, there is still much to learn about how to achieve KT within healthcare systems and practices. Institutional theory, focusing on the processes by which new ideas and concepts become accepted within their institutional environments, holds promise for advancing KT efforts and research. To propose new directions for future KT research, we present some of the main concepts of institutional theory and discuss their application to KT research by outlining how institutionalization of new practices can lead to their ongoing use in organizations. In addition, we discuss the circumstances under which institutionalized practices dissipate and give way to new insights and ideas that can lead to new, more effective practices.
KT research informed by institutional theory can provide important insights into how knowledge becomes implemented, routinized, and accepted as institutionalized practices. Future KT research should employ both quantitative and qualitative research designs to examine the specifics of sustainability, institutionalization, and deinstitutionalization of practices to enhance our understanding of these complex constructs.
Computerized clinical decision support systems are information technology-based systems designed to improve clinical decision-making. As with any healthcare intervention with claims to improve process of care or patient outcomes, decision support systems should be rigorously evaluated before widespread dissemination into clinical practice. Engaging healthcare providers and managers in the review process may facilitate knowledge translation and uptake. The objective of this research was to form a partnership of healthcare providers, managers, and researchers to review randomized controlled trials assessing the effects of computerized decision support for six clinical application areas: primary preventive care, therapeutic drug monitoring and dosing, drug prescribing, chronic disease management, diagnostic test ordering and interpretation, and acute care management; and to identify study characteristics that predict benefit.
The review was undertaken by the Health Information Research Unit, McMaster University, in partnership with Hamilton Health Sciences, the Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, and Brant Local Health Integration Network, and pertinent healthcare service teams. Following agreement on information needs and interests with decision-makers, our earlier systematic review was updated by searching Medline, EMBASE, EBM Review databases, and Inspec, and reviewing reference lists through 6 January 2010. Data extraction items were expanded according to input from decision-makers. Authors of primary studies were contacted to confirm data and to provide additional information. Eligible trials were organized according to clinical area of application. We included randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effect on practitioner performance or patient outcomes of patient care provided with a computerized clinical decision support system compared with patient care without such a system.
Data will be summarized using descriptive summary measures, including proportions for categorical variables and means for continuous variables. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models will be used to investigate associations between outcomes of interest and study specific covariates. When reporting results from individual studies, we will cite the measures of association and p-values reported in the studies. If appropriate for groups of studies with similar features, we will conduct meta-analyses.
A decision-maker-researcher partnership provides a model for systematic reviews that may foster knowledge translation and uptake.
Health services researchers have consistently identified a gap between what is identified as “best practice” and what actually happens in clinical care. Despite nearly two decades of a growing evidence-based practice movement, narrowing the knowledge–practice gap continues to be a slow, complex, and poorly understood process. Here, we contend that cross-disciplinary research is increasingly relevant and important to reducing that gap, particularly research that encompasses the notion of transdisciplinarity, wherein multiple academic disciplines and non-academic individuals and groups are integrated into the research process. The assimilation of diverse perspectives, research approaches, and types of knowledge is potentially effective in helping research teams tackle real-world patient care issues, create more practice-based evidence, and translate the results to clinical and community care settings. The goals of this paper are to present and discuss cross-disciplinary approaches to health research and to provide two examples of how engaging in such research may optimize the use of research in cancer care.
Knowledge translation; evidence-based practice; cross-disciplinary research; cancer
Background. Achieving knowledge translation in healthcare is growing in importance but methods to capture impact of research are not well developed. We present an attempt to capture impact of a programme of research in prehospital emergency care, aiming to inform the development of EMS models of care that avoid, when appropriate, conveyance of patients to hospital for immediate care. Methods. We describe the programme and its dissemination, present examples of its influence on policy and practice, internationally, and analyse routine UK statistics to determine whether conveyance practice has changed. Results. The programme comprises eight research studies, to a value of >£4 m. Findings have been disseminated through 18 published papers, cited 274 times in academic journals. We describe examples of how evidence has been put into practice, including new models of care in Canada and Australia. Routine statistics in England show that, alongside rising demand, conveyance rates have fallen from 90% to 58% over a 12-year period, 2,721 million fewer journeys, with publication of key studies 2003–2008. Comment. We have set out the rationale, key features, and impact on practice of a programme of publicly funded research. We describe evidence of knowledge translation, whilst recognising limitations in methods for capturing impact.
A Web-based teledentistry consultation system has been developed for the US Department of Defence dental clinics at various sites in Europe and the United States. This system is being used in over 55 dental clinics in Europe and 18 US Army dental clinics in the US. The system enables referring dentists to send consults, including dental images or radiographs to specialists, via Internet. Specialists review the consults and provide the diagnosis and treatment. This paper focuses on the implementation of this system, and focuses on the various areas in dentistry where this system is being currently utilized. The emphasis of this project has been on development of a scalable and expandable Internet-based teledentistry consultation system. The results of this study will expand the knowledge base of the technologies and clinical practices required changing the needs of modern, military dental care systems. One of the goals of the teledentistry project is to increase patient access to quality dental care. The other goal is to establish a cost effective teledentistry system.
A teledentistry workstation consists of a laptop, a digital camera and requires Internet access. The referring dentist logs into a secure Web server, fills in the patient's demographics, chief complaints, provisional diagnosis information, attaches dental radiographs and sends it to the specialist of his choice. The specialist will receive an Email and the data is then sent to a database server. The specialist subsequently logs into the secure Web server and reviews the consult, radiographs and suggests his diagnosis and treatment.
The data collected on the database server shows an average of 40 consults per month. Currently, referrals to oral surgery have the highest number of consults, followed by prosthodontics and periodontics. An economic analysis has been conducted on the data that has been collected using this system. The results from this analysis show a return on investment within 21.5 months of deployment.
Videoconferencing, Web and Internet based technologies may be used to implement a user-friendly teledentistry solution. There are many advantages in using these technologies for retrieving dental information. Some of these advantages are:
Ease of use and development
Platform independence to the end user
By providing dentists with easy, cost-effective access to specialists, it might be possible to improve the quality of care. This is achieved by facilitating the access to better and timely information to the dentists for better decision making and better communication between them and their patients. In the end, a telemedicine system is a tool for practising medicine: the science and art of healing.
Dental Informatics; Teledentistry; Dentistry; Internet; Education
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has defined knowledge translation (KT) as a dynamic and iterative process that includes the synthesis, dissemination, exchange, and ethically-sound application of knowledge to improve the health of Canadians, provide more effective health services and products, and strengthen the healthcare system. CIHR, the national health research funding agency in Canada, has undertaken to advance this concept through direct research funding opportunities in KT. Because CIHR is recognized within Canada and internationally for leading and funding the advancement of KT science and practice, it is essential and timely to evaluate this intervention, and specifically, these funding opportunities.
The study will employ a novel method of participatory, utilization-focused evaluation inspired by the principles of integrated KT. It will use a mixed methods approach, drawing on both quantitative and qualitative data, and will elicit participation from CIHR funded researchers, knowledge users, KT experts, as well as other health research funding agencies. Lines of inquiry will include an international environmental scan, document/data reviews, in-depth interviews, targeted surveys, case studies, and an expert review panel. The study will investigate how efficiently and effectively the CIHR model of KT funding programs operates, what immediate outcomes these funding mechanisms have produced, and what impact these programs have had on the broader state of health research, health research uptake, and health improvement.
The protocol and results of this evaluation will be of interest to those engaged in the theory, practice, and evaluation of KT. The dissemination of the study protocol and results to both practitioners and theorists will help to fill a gap in knowledge in three areas: the role of a public research funding agency in facilitating KT, the outcomes and impacts KT funding interventions, and how KT can best be evaluated.