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.
In the globalized knowledge economy, the challenge of translating knowledge into policy and practice is universal. At the dawn of the 21st century, the clinicians, leaders, and managers of health care organizations are increasingly required to bridge the research-practice gap. A shift from moving evidence to solving problems is due. However, despite a vast literature on the burgeoning field of knowledge translation research, the “evidence-based” issue remains for many health care professionals a day-to-day debate leading to unresolved questions. On one hand, many clinicians still resist to the implementation of evidence-based clinical practice, asking themselves why their current practice should be changed or expanded. On the other hand, many leaders and managers of health care organizations are searching how to keep pace with the demand of actionable knowledge. For example, they are wondering: (a) if managerial and policy innovations are subjected to the same evidentiary standards as clinical innovations, and (b) how they can adapt the scope of evidence-based medicine to the culture, context, and content of health policy and management. This paper focuses on evidence-based health care management within the context of contemporary globalization. In this paper, our heuristic hypothesis is that decision-making process related changes within clinical/managerial/policy environments must be given a socio-historical backdrop. We argue that the relationship between research on the transfer of knowledge and its uptake by clinical, managerial and policy target audiences has undergone a shift, resulting in increasing pressures in health care for intense researcher-practitioner collaboration and the development of “integrative KT platforms” at the crossroads of different fields (the field of knowledge management and the field of knowledge translation). The objectives of this paper are: (a) to provide an answer to the questions that health professionals ask most frequently about “Why” and “How” to bridge the know-do gap, (b) to illustrate by a Canadian example how the PRO-ACTIVE program helps in closing the evidence-based practice gap.
globalization; knowledge; know-do gap; research-practice gap; knowledge translation; knowledge sharing; evidence-based decision-making; evidence-based medicine; evidence-based health care management
Research findings are of little use if they are not used to help inform the development of policy and practice. A number of studies during the last decade have indicated the continued need to move more towards evidence-informed policy and practice, yet today there remains too little use of a common language or approach between the research and policy communities. Moreover, research that is undertaken may not be timely or relevant to the current policy making context. This presentation, therefore, will focus on the identification of barriers and facilitators to knowledge transfer to policy and practice, highlighting some examples of how knowledge transfer has been achieved.
A rapid review of literature of methods of knowledge transfer was undertaken to identify state of the art in mechanisms and approaches to bridging the gap between research and policy. Subsequently, selected policy documents and grey literature in the areas of services for older people and those with disabilities were scrutinised for exemplar mechanisms that have been used to help facilitate knowledge transfer in Europe and elsewhere.
A number of different elements are key to forming successful approaches to knowledge transfer. These include better presentation of research results in brief, clear, everyday language, presenting both the strengths and limitations of different types of research, the organisation of policy dialogues to help bring researchers and policy makers together to determine feasible and policy relevant research questions, the development of a new cadre of professionals equally comfortable in both the research and policy making environments, and the use of formal assessment bodies which synthesise a range of evidence to help inform key policy making questions.
Evidence is not just generated from research: other sources of information include media reports, representations from consumer groups and general public concerns. Knowledge transfer is thus not a linear one-time event; it requires ongoing active dialogue and exchange between researchers, policy makers and practitioners. There is potential to replicate existing mechanisms and approaches to help facilitate knowledge transfer across Europe; one key challenge, however, is to strengthen the capacity not only to conduct, but also to interpret and communicate research findings.
knowledge transfer; knowledge broking; policy syntheses; implementation
The evidence base for improving reproductive health continues to grow. However, concerns remain that the translation of this evidence into appropriate policies is partial and slow. Little is known about the factors affecting the use of evidence by policy makers and clinicians, particularly in developing countries. The objective of this study was to examine the factors that might affect the translation of randomised controlled trial (RCT) findings into policies and practice in developing countries.
The recent publication of an important RCT on the use of magnesium sulphate to treat pre-eclampsia provided an opportunity to explore how research findings might be translated into policy. A range of research methods, including a survey, group interview and observations with RCT collaborators and a survey of WHO drug information officers, regulatory officials and obstetricians in 12 countries, were undertaken to identify barriers and facilitators to knowledge translation.
It proved difficult to obtain reliable data regarding the availability and use of commonly used drugs in many countries. The perceived barriers to implementing RCT findings regarding the use of magnesium sulphate for pre-eclampsia include drug licensing and availability; inadequate and poorly implemented clinical guidelines; and lack of political support for policy change. However, there were significant regional and national differences in the importance of specific barriers.
The policy changes needed to ensure widespread availability and use of magnesium sulphate are variable and complex. Difficulties in obtaining information on availability and use are combined with the wide range of barriers across settings, including a lack of support from policy makers. This makes it difficult to envisage any single intervention strategy that might be used to promote the uptake of research findings on magnesium sulphate into policy across the study settings. The publication of important trials may therefore not have the impacts on health care that researchers hope for.
Knowledge Exchange refers to activities that help to create and support the conditions and culture that lead to the most effective access, implementation, utilization, and evaluation of the most credible evidence for improved mental health outcomes for children and youth in Ontario. Although knowledge exchange and associated concepts such as knowledge transfer and translation are increasingly well developed in other aspects of health and healthcare, it is underdeveloped in mental health generally. This paper introduces some of the basic concepts of knowledge exchange and calls for more development of knowledge exchange in the area of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Research.
This is a discussion paper that presents a general overview of the Centre’s approach to knowledge exchange. It links the discussion to related concepts and to the need to overcome the research to practice gap. The Integrated Evidence and Knowledge Exchange Framework of the Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health is introduced. Areas of active development in knowledge exchange are categorized into three objectives: context, content, and capacity.
The use of an Integrated Evidence and Knowledge Exchange Framework for the Centre’s Grants and Awards program activities and evaluation has begun to explicitly and transparently link the evidence on effective knowledge exchange with the evidence on effective treatment for children and youth with mental health difficulties including ADHD. This framework is expected to produce greater transparency as well as improved attainment of outputs, outcomes, and impacts of these grants and awards in child and youth mental health.
Knowledge exchange activities may reduce the confusion for parents & care-givers, practitioners, researchers, and administrators, seeking the most credible data, information and knowledge about the most effective treatments for ADHD. An active process that seeks to improve knowledge exchange for ADHD is needed.
knowledge exchange; practice improvement; research support; communication; échange des connaissances; amélioration de la pratique; appui de la recherche; communication
Increased interest in the potential societal benefit of incorporating health economics as a part of clinical translational science, particularly nutrition interventions, led the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health to sponsor a conference to address key questions about economic analysis of nutrition interventions to enhance communication among health economic methodologists, researchers, reimbursement policy makers, and regulators. Issues discussed included the state of the science, such as what health economic methods are currently used to judge the burden of illness, interventions, or health care policies, and what new research methodologies are available or needed to address knowledge and methodological gaps or barriers. Research applications included existing evidence-based health economic research activities in nutrition that are ongoing or planned at federal agencies. International and U.S. regulatory, policy and clinical practice perspectives included a discussion of how research results can help regulators and policy makers within government make nutrition policy decisions, and how economics affects clinical guideline development.
cost-benefit analysis; primary prevention; nutrition policy; medical economics; nutrition therapy
Violence against women (VAW) is a major public health problem. Translation of VAW research to policy and practice is an area that remains understudied, but provides the opportunity to examine knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) processes in a complex, multi-stakeholder context. In a series of studies including two randomized trials, the McMaster University VAW Research Program studied one key research gap: evidence about the effectiveness of screening women for exposure to intimate partner violence. This project developed and evaluated KTE strategies to share research findings with policymakers, health and community service providers, and women's advocates.
A longitudinal cross-sectional design, applying concurrent mixed data collection methods (surveys, interviews, and focus groups), was used to evaluate the utility of specific KTE strategies, including a series of workshops and a day-long Family Violence Knowledge Exchange Forum, on research sharing, uptake, and use.
Participants valued the opportunity to meet with researchers, provide feedback on key messages, and make personal connections with other stakeholders. A number of factors specific to the knowledge itself, stakeholders' contexts, and the nature of the knowledge gap being addressed influenced the uptake, sharing, and use of the research. The types of knowledge use changed across time, and were specifically related to both the types of decisions being made, and to stage of decision making; most reported use was conceptual or symbolic, with few examples of instrumental use. Participants did report actively sharing the research findings with their own networks. Further examination of these second-order knowledge-sharing processes is required, including development of appropriate methods and measures for its assessment. Some participants reported that they would not use the research evidence in their decision making when it contradicted professional experiences, while others used it to support apparently contradictory positions. The online wiki-based 'community of interest' requested by participants was not used.
Mobilizing knowledge in the area of VAW practice and policy is complex and resource-intensive, and must acknowledge and respect the values of identified knowledge users, while balancing the objectivity of the research and researchers. This paper provides important lessons learned about these processes, including attending to the potential unintended consequences of knowledge sharing.
The arts are powerful, accessible forms of communication that have the potential to impart knowledge by attracting interest and developing meaningful connections. Knowledge translation aims to reduce the ‘evidence-practice’ gap by developing, implementing and evaluating strategies designed to enhance awareness and promote behavior change congruent with research evidence. Increasingly, innovative approaches such as narrative storytelling and other arts-based interventions are being investigated to bridge the growing gap between practice and research. This study is the first to systematically identify and synthesize current research on narrative storytelling and visual art to translate and disseminate health research.
A health research librarian will develop and implement search strategies designed to identify relevant evidence. Studies will be included if they are primary research employing narrative storytelling and/or visual art as a knowledge translation strategy in healthcare. Two reviewers will independently perform study selection, quality assessment, and data extraction using standard forms. Disagreements will be resolved through discussion or third party adjudication. Data will be grouped and analyzed by research design, type of knowledge translation strategy (that is, a narrative or visual-arts-based approach), and target audience. An overall synthesis across all studies will be conducted.
The findings from this research project will describe the ‘state of the science’ regarding the use of narrative storytelling and visual art as knowledge translation strategies. This systematic review will provide critical information for: (1) researchers conducting knowledge translation intervention studies; (2) nursing, medicine, and allied healthcare professionals; (3) healthcare consumers, including patients and families; and (4) decision makers and knowledge users who are charged to increase use of the latest research in healthcare settings.
Knowledge translation; Narrative; Research use; Storytelling; Systematic review; Visual art
The publication of Best research for best health in 2006 and the “ring-fencing” of health research funding in England marked the start of a period of change for health research governance and the structure of research funding in England. One response to bridging the ‘second translational gap’ between research knowledge and clinical practice was the establishment of nine Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs). The goal of this paper is to assess how national-level understanding of the aims and objectives of the CLAHRCs translated into local implementation and practice in North West London.
This study uses a variation of Goffman’s frame analysis to trace the development of the initial national CLAHRC policy to its implementation at three levels. Data collection and analysis were qualitative through interviews, document analysis and embedded research.
Analysis at the macro (national policy), meso (national programme) and micro (North West London) levels shows a significant common understanding of the aims and objectives of the policy and programme. Local level implementation in North West London was also consistent with these.
The macro-meso-micro frame analysis is a useful way of studying the transition of a policy from high-level idea to programme in action. It could be used to identify differences at a local (micro) level in the implementation of multi-site programmes that would help understand differences in programme effectiveness.
Policy implementation; Policy analysis; Frame analysis; Knowledge translation; Health services research; Translational gap
There is a significant gap in the knowledge translation literature related to how research evidence actually contributes to health care decision-making. Decisions around what care to provide at the population (rather than individual) level are particularly complex, involving considerations such as feasibility, cost, and population needs in addition to scientific evidence. One example of decision-making at this "population-policy" level involves what screening questions and intervention guides to include on standardized provincial prenatal records. As mandatory medical reporting forms, prenatal records are potentially powerful vehicles for promoting population-wide evidence-based care. However, the extent to which Canadian prenatal records reflect best-practice recommendations for the assessment of well-known risk factors such as maternal smoking and alcohol consumption varies markedly across Canadian provinces and territories. The goal of this study is to better understand the interaction of contextual factors and research evidence on decision-making at the population-policy level, by examining the processes by which provincial prenatal records are reviewed and revised.
Guided by Dobrow et al.'s (2004) conceptual model for context-based evidence-based decision-making, this study will use a multiple case study design with embedded units of analysis to examine contextual factors influencing the prenatal record revision process in different Canadian provinces and territories. Data will be collected using multiple methods to construct detailed case descriptions for each province/territory. Using qualitative data analysis techniques, decision-making processes involving prenatal record content specifically related to maternal smoking and alcohol use will be compared both within and across each case, to identify key contextual factors influencing the uptake and application of research evidence by prenatal record review committees. All study participants will be required to give written informed consent prior to participating in data collection.
This study will advance knowledge in the field of evidence-based decision-making by illustrating the complex interaction of contextual factors and evidence on health policy decision-making by provincial-level committees. By increasing the transparency of decision-making within provincial prenatal record committees, this study will help inform more effective strategies for enhancing the integration of best-practice evidence into prenatal records.
Knowledge translation strategies are an approach to increase the use of evidence within policy and practice decision-making contexts. In clinical and health service contexts, knowledge translation strategies have focused on individual behavior change, however the multi-system context of public health requires a multi-level, multi-strategy approach. This paper describes the design of and implementation plan for a knowledge translation intervention for public health decision making in local government.
Four preliminary research studies contributed findings to the design of the intervention: a systematic review of knowledge translation intervention effectiveness research, a scoping study of knowledge translation perspectives and relevant theory literature, a survey of the local government public health workforce, and a study of the use of evidence-informed decision-making for public health in local government. A logic model was then developed to represent the putative pathways between intervention inputs, processes, and outcomes operating between individual-, organizational-, and system-level strategies. This formed the basis of the intervention plan.
The systematic and scoping reviews identified that effective and promising strategies to increase access to research evidence require an integrated intervention of skill development, access to a knowledge broker, resources and tools for evidence-informed decision making, and networking for information sharing. Interviews and survey analysis suggested that the intervention needs to operate at individual and organizational levels, comprising workforce development, access to evidence, and regular contact with a knowledge broker to increase access to intervention evidence; develop skills in appraisal and integration of evidence; strengthen networks; and explore organizational factors to build organizational cultures receptive to embedding evidence in practice. The logic model incorporated these inputs and strategies with a set of outcomes to measure the intervention’s effectiveness based on the theoretical frameworks, evaluation studies, and decision-maker experiences.
Documenting the design of and implementation plan for this knowledge translation intervention provides a transparent, theoretical, and practical approach to a complex intervention. It provides significant insights into how practitioners might engage with evidence in public health decision making. While this intervention model was designed for the local government context, it is likely to be applicable and generalizable across sectors and settings.
Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Register ACTRN12609000953235.
Knowledge translation; Evidence; Public health; Decision-making
Knowledge Translation (KT) is a growing movement in clinical and health services research, aimed to help make research more relevant and to move research into practice and policy. This paper examines the conventional model of policy change presented in KT and assesses its applicability for increasing the impact of urban health research on urban health policy. In general, KT conceptualizes research utilization in terms of the technical implementation of scientific findings, on the part of individual decision-makers who can be “targeted” for a KT intervention, in a context that is absent of political interests. However, complex urban health problems and interventions infrequently resemble this single decision, single decision-maker model posited by KT. In order to clarify the conditions under which urban health research is more likely or not to have an influence on public policy development, we propose to supplement the conventional model with three concepts drawn from the social science: policy stages, policy networks, and a discourse analysis approach for theorizing power in policy-making.
Knowledge Translation; Urban health research; Policy-making
To improve patient care, athletic training clinicians and researchers should work together to translate research findings into clinical practice. Problems with patient care observed in clinical practice should be translated into research frameworks, where they can be studied. Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) provide a compelling model for linking clinicians and researchers so they can conduct translational research to improve patient care.
To describe (1) the translational research model, (2) practice-based research as a mechanism for translating research findings into clinical practice, (3) the PBRN model and infrastructure, (4) the research potential using the PBRN model, and (5) protection of human participants in PBRN research.
Translational research is the process of transforming research findings into health behavior that ultimately serves the public and attempts to bridge the gap between research and clinical practice. Practice-based research represents the final step in the translational research continuum and describes research conducted by providers in clinical practices. The PBRNs are characterized by an organizational framework that transcends a single site or study and serves as the clinical research “laboratory” for conducting comparative-effectiveness studies using patient-oriented measures. The PBRN approach to research has many benefits, including enhanced generalizability of results, pooling of resources, rapid patient recruitment, and collaborative opportunities. However, multisite research also brings challenges related to the protection of human participants and institutional review board oversight.
Clinical and Research Advantages
Athletic training studies frequently include relatively few participants and, consequently, are able to detect only large effects. The incidence of injury at a single site is sufficiently low that gathering enough data to adequately power a treatment study may take many years. Collaborative efforts across diverse clinical practice environments can yield larger patient samples to overcome the limitations inherent in single-site research efforts.
translational research; comparative effectiveness; clinical outcomes; HIPAA; FERPA; institutional review board
All sectors in health care are being asked to focus on the knowledge-to-practice gap, or knowledge translation, to increase service effectiveness. A social interaction approach to knowledge translation assumes that research evidence becomes integrated with previously held knowledge, and practitioners build on and co-create knowledge through mutual interactions. Knowledge translation strategies for public health have not provided anticipated positive changes in evidence-based practice, possibly due in part to a narrow conceptualization of knowledge. More work is needed to understand the role of tacit knowledge in decision-making and practice. This pilot study examined how health practitioners applied tacit knowledge in public health program planning and implementation.
This study used a narrative approach, where teams from two public health units in Ontario, Canada were conveniently selected. Respondents participated in individual interviews and focus groups at each site. Questions were designed to understand the role of tacit knowledge as it related to the program planning process. Data were analyzed through a combination of content analysis and thematic comparison.
The findings highlighted two major aspects of knowledge that arose: the use of tacit knowledge and the integration of tacit and explicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge included: past experiences, organization-specific knowledge, community contextual knowledge, and the recognition of the tacit knowledge of others. Explicit knowledge included: research literature, the Internet, popular magazines, formal assessments (surveys and interviews), legislation and regulations. Participants sometimes deliberately combined tacit and explicit knowledge sources in planning.
This pilot demonstrated that front-line public health workers draw upon both tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge in their everyday lived reality. Further, tacit knowledge plays an important role in practitioners' interpretation and implementation of explicit research findings. This indicates a need to broaden the scope of knowledge translation to include other forms of knowledge beyond explicit knowledge acquired through research. Strategies that recognize and support the use of tacit knowledge, such as communities of practice or networks, may be important components of a comprehensive approach to knowledge translation. This study provides support for further investigation of the role of tacit knowledge in the planning and delivery of effective public health services.
As part of our research team's knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) initiatives, we developed a six-minute video-clip to enable productive deliberations among technology developers, clinicians and patient representatives. This video-clip summarises in plain language the valuable goals and features that are embedded in health technology and raises questions regarding the direction that should be taken by health care innovations. The use of such video-clips creates unique opportunities for face-to-face deliberations by enabling participants to interact and debate policy issues that are pivotal to the sustainability of health care systems. In our experience, we found that audiovisual-elicitation-based KTE initiatives can fill an important communication gap among key stakeholders: pondering, from a health care system perspective, why and how certain kinds of medical technologies bring a more valuable response to health care needs when compared to others.
Health Technology; Values; Health Care Systems; Audiovisual-elicitation-based Methodology; Knowledge Transfer and Exchange.
In the past 15 years, knowledge translation in healthcare has emerged as a multifaceted and complex agenda. Theoretical and polemical discussions, the development of a science to study and measure the effects of translating research evidence into healthcare, and the role of key stakeholders including academe, healthcare decision-makers, the public, and government funding bodies have brought scholarly, organizational, social, and political dimensions to the agenda.
This paper discusses the current knowledge translation agenda in Canadian healthcare and how elements in this agenda shape the discovery and translation of health knowledge.
The current knowledge translation agenda in Canadian healthcare involves the influence of values, priorities, and people; stakes which greatly shape the discovery of research knowledge and how it is or is not instituted in healthcare delivery. As this agenda continues to take shape and direction, ensuring that it is accountable for its influences is essential and should be at the forefront of concern to the Canadian public and healthcare community. This transparency will allow for scrutiny, debate, and improvements in health knowledge discovery and health services delivery.
More than a hundred terms, often with unclear definitions and varying emphases, are used by health research and practice communities across the world who are interested in getting the best possible evidence applied (e.g., knowledge translation, implementation science, diffusion of innovations, and technology transfer). This makes finding published evidence difficult and can result in reduced, misinterpreted, or challenging interactions among professionals. Open dialogue and interaction among various professionals is needed to achieve consolidation of vocabulary. We use case report methods to describe how we sought to build an online tool to present the range of terms and facilitate the dialogue process across groups and disciplines interested in harnessing research evidence for healthcare.
We used a wiki platform from Wikispaces to present the problem of terminology and make a case and opportunity for collaboration on usage. Wikis are web sites where communities of users can collaborate online to build content and discuss progress. We gathered terms related to getting research into practice, sought published definitions, and posted these on the wiki (WhatisKT http://whatiskt.wikispaces.com/). We built the wiki in mid-2008 and promoted it through various groups and publications. This report describes the content of the site, our promotion efforts, use of the site, and how the site was used for collaboration up to the end of 2011.
The WhatisKT wiki site now includes more than 120 pages. Traffic to the site has increased substantially from an average of 200 monthly visits in 2008 to 1700 in 2011. Visitors from 143 countries viewed the wiki in 2011, compared with 12 countries in 2008. However, most use has been limited to short term accesses of about 40 seconds per visit, and discussion of consolidation and solidifying terminology is conspicuously absent.
Although considerable interest exists in the terms and definitions related to getting research into practice based on increasing numbers of accesses, use of the WhatisKT wiki site for anything beyond quick lookups was minimal. Additional efforts must be directed towards increasing the level of interaction among the members of the site to encourage collaboration on term use.
Diffusion of innovations; Research; Knowledge translation; Implementation science
Despite the availability of innovative health care research, a gap exists between research-generated knowledge and the utilization of that knowledge in real-world practice settings. This article examines the transition from research to implementation in the context of the dissemination of A. Jean Ayres’ sensory integration procedures and of the challenges currently facing the University of Southern California Well Elderly Studies research team. Drawing from the emerging field of implementation science, this article discusses how researchers can develop an implementation plan to more easily translate evidence into practice. Such plans should address the intervention’s reach (i.e., its capacity to penetrate into the intended target population), the settings for which it is applicable, the leaders who will encourage practitioner uptake, stakeholder groups, and challenges to dissemination. By taking action to ensure the more effective dissemination of research-generated knowledge, researchers can increase the likelihood that their interventions will lead to improvements in practice and more effective care for consumers.
diffusion of innovation; evidence-based practice; information dissemination; translational medical research
Canadian funding agencies are no longer content to support research that solely advances scientific knowledge, and key directives are now in place to promote research transfer to policy- and decision-makers. Therefore, it is necessary to improve our understanding of how researchers are trained and supported to facilitate knowledge translation activities. In this study, we investigated differences in health researcher characteristics and knowledge translation activities.
Our sample consisted of 240 health researchers from three Alberta universities. Respondents were classified by research domain [basic (n = 72) or applied (n = 168)] and faculty [medical school (n = 128) or other health science (n = 112)]. We examined our findings using Mode I and Mode II archetypes of knowledge production, which allowed us to consider the scholarly and social contexts of knowledge production and translation.
Differences among health researcher professional characteristics were not statistically significant. There was a significant gender difference in the applied researcher faculty group, which was predominantly female (p < .05). Research domain was linked to translation activities. Applied researchers reported engaging in significantly more Mode II activities than basic researchers (p < .001), and scored higher than basic researchers regarding the perceived importance of translation activities (Mode I, p = .01; Mode II, p < .001). Main effects of faculty were limited to engaged dissemination (medical school < other faculties; p = .025) and number of publications (medical school > other faculties; p = .004). There was an interaction effect for research domain and faculty group for number of publications (p = .01), in that applied researchers in medical faculties published more than their peers in other faculty groups.
Our findings illustrate important differences between health researchers and provide beginning insights into their professional characteristics and engagement in Mode I and Mode II activities. A future study designed to examine these dimensions in greater detail, including potential covariates across more varied institutions, would yield richer insights and enable an examination of relative influences, needs and costs of each mode of activity.
Research evidence underpins best practice, but is not always used in healthcare. The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) framework suggests that the nature of evidence, the context in which it is used, and whether those trying to use evidence are helped (or facilitated) affect the use of evidence. Urinary incontinence has a major effect on quality of life of older people, has a high prevalence, and is a key priority within European health and social care policy. Improving continence care has the potential to improve the quality of life for older people and reduce the costs associated with providing incontinence aids.
This study aims to advance understanding about the contribution facilitation can make to implementing research findings into practice via: extending current knowledge of facilitation as a process for translating research evidence into practice; evaluating the feasibility, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of two different models of facilitation in promoting the uptake of research evidence on continence management; assessing the impact of contextual factors on the processes and outcomes of implementation; and implementing a pro-active knowledge transfer and dissemination strategy to diffuse study findings to a wide policy and practice community.
Setting and sample
Four European countries, each with six long-term nursing care sites (total 24 sites) for people aged 60 years and over with documented urinary incontinence
Methods and design
Pragmatic randomised controlled trial with three arms (standard dissemination and two different programmes of facilitation), with embedded process and economic evaluation. The primary outcome is compliance with the continence recommendations. Secondary outcomes include proportion of residents with incontinence, incidence of incontinence-related dermatitis, urinary tract infections, and quality of life. Outcomes are assessed at baseline, then at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after the start of the facilitation interventions. Detailed contextual and process data are collected throughout, using interviews with staff, residents and next of kin, observations, assessment of context using the Alberta Context Tool, and documentary evidence. A realistic evaluation framework is used to develop explanatory theory about what works for whom in what circumstances.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN11598502.
The salient role of knowledge translation process, by which knowledge is put into practice, is increasingly recognized by various research stakeholders. However, medical schools are slow in providing medical students and health professionals engaged in research with the sufficient opportunities to examine more closely the facilitators and barriers to utilization of research evidence in policymaking and implementation, or the effectiveness of their research communication strategies. Memorial University of Newfoundland now offers a knowledge translation course that equips students of community health and applied health research with the knowledge and skills necessary for conducting research, that responds more closely to the needs of their communities, and for improving the utilization of their research by a variety of research consumers. This case study illustrates how the positive research outcomes resulted from implementing the knowledge translation strategies learned in the course. Knowledge translation can be useful also in attracting more funding and support from research agencies, industry, government agencies and the public. These reasons offer a compelling rationale for the standard inclusion of knowledge translation courses in health sciences education.
health sciences curriculum; knowledge translation; research utilization
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.
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.
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
A major obstacle to the progress of the Millennium Development Goals has been the
inability of health systems in many low- and middle-income countries to effectively
implement evidence-informed interventions. This article discusses the relationships
between implementation research and knowledge translation and identifies the role of
implementation research in the design and execution of evidence-informed policy.
After a discussion of the benefits and synergies needed to translate implementation
research into action, the article discusses how implementation research can be used
along the entire continuum of the use of evidence to inform policy. It provides
specific examples of the use of implementation research in national level programmes
by looking at the scale up of zinc for the treatment of childhood diarrhoea in
Bangladesh and the scaling up of malaria treatment in Burkina Faso. A number of
tested strategies to support the transfer of implementation research results into
policy-making are provided to help meet the standards that are increasingly expected
from evidence-informed policy-making practices.
Evidence-informed policy; Implementation; Knowledge translation; Policy; Policy-making