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Essay: Literature review: ‘From research to action: Perception and practices of knowledge translation in academic/research organization’

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  • Published: 9 September 2015*
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Knowledge translation is continuous process of gaining new knowledge by research and use of this for improving the health outcome (CIHR, 2005). According to, World Report on Knowledge for Better Health Report, there is huge difference in life expectancy between developing and developed nation. Approximately, 6 million child deaths are attributable to preventable causes just because we are not able to implement available knowledge efficiently, which come as a gap between knowing and doing- ‘the know-do gap'(WHO, 2004). The situation is worse in developing countries, where 90% of global disease burden lies and only about 10% of total global health research funding is available; the 10/90 gap( Santesso & Tugwell, 2006).
In this study we will explore different views and perceptions of researchers about knowledge translation & will rediscover determinants of knowledge action gap, challenges to bridge know to do gap & strategies to address these gaps with scope of further study. The search pattern followed is non-systematic and references are made accordingly.
Various factors determine the gap between knowledge and its implementation in field. Grimshaw, Eccles, Lavis, Hill, & Squires argue that because of the lack of accountability at all level of decision making from the frontline workers to high level policy makers, none of the country is spared of this ‘know- do gap’. This research to action gap is not confined to any one specific area of service delivery but it is a cross cutting issue (2012). There are many challenges being faced by policy and decision makers such as the lack of skills to use the knowledge, in sufficient no. of the skilled manpower (Devis et al., 2003).
These challenges are also evident at different level of health system like lack of funding and finances to support and sustain the action, lack of logistics, lack of skilled health work force and lack of compliance of the target population to the services they are getting. The bridging of knowledge to action gap; the know-do gap is indispensable to improve the health outcome.
(Brouwers, Stacey & O’Connor, 2013).
The knowledge translation is important in addressing the Know’do gap. This gap has unmasked many areas related with health inequity. Many countries are lagging behind the achievement of MDGs by 2015 (Santesso & Tugwell, 2006). It is not that we do not have research to address all these preventable causes of mortality, instead it is the failure to convert this knowledge into action. Besides this there are issues like restricted access to information, less reliability on evidence based problem solving and learning, problem with scaling up of the success of a program (Pablos’Mendez & Shademani, 2006). There are many strategies and initiatives being undertaken by various organizations to tackle these shortcomings.
The WHO has come up with a knowledge management (KM) strategy to overcome the know-do gap by improving access to world’s health information, translation of knowledge into action, sharing of knowledge, e-health and supportive environment for KM (Santesso & Tugwell,2006).
The Ottawa Model of Research Use (OMRU) developed by Logan and Graham is a conceptual framework for selecting and tailoring strategies to promote the application of research and to assess, monitor, and evaluate knowledge translation strategies based. (Landry, Amara, Pablos-Mendes, Shademani & Gold, 2006)
Most of the causes of premature death and disability are treatable with the available knowledge and research (Armstrong, Waters, Roberts, Oliver & Popay, 2006).). There are studies on the gap between know and do in global scenario, but there is limited literature on how the researchers and their organization perceive this gap and how their perception could be translated towards the larger implication of effective knowledge translation. Considering this, a qualitative study might help to delineate our understanding about the perception of researchers regarding knowledge translation and setting effective strategy.
Armstrong, R., Waters, E., Roberts, H., Oliver, S., & Popay, J. (2006). The role and theoretical evolution of knowledge translation and exchange in public health. Journal of Public Health, 28(4), 384-389.
Brouwers, M., Stacey, D., & O’Connor, A. (2013).Knowledge translation tools.In S. Straus, J. Tetroe & I. D. Graham(Eds.), Knowledge translation in health care: Moving from evidence to practice, (pp.50-62).UK:John Willy .
Canadian Institutes of Health Research .(2005). About knowledge translation. Retrieved February 27, 2014, from http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/29418.html
Davis, D., Davis, M. E., Jadad, A., Perrier, L., Rath, D., Ryan, D., … & Zwarenstein, M. (2003). The case for knowledge translation: Shortening the journey. British Medical Journal, 327(7405), 33-35.
Grimshaw, J. M., Eccles, M. P., Lavis, J. N., Hill, S. J., & Squires, J. E. (2012). Knowledge translation of research findings. Implementation Science, 7(50). doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-50
Landry, R., Amara, N., Pablos-Mendes, A., Shademani, R., & Gold, I. (2006). The knowledge-value chain: A conceptual framework for knowledge translation in health. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 84(8), 597-602.
Pablos’Mendez, A., & Shademani, R. (2006). Knowledge translation in global health. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 26(1), 81-86.
Santesso, N., & Tugwell, P. (2006). Knowledge translation in developing countries. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 26(1), 87-96.
Sudsawad, P. (2007). Knowledge translation: Introduction to models, strategies, and measures. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research. Retrieved from http://www.ktdrr.org/ktlibrary/articles_pubs/ktmodels/index.html
World Health Organization (2004). World report on knowledge for better health: Strengthening health systems. World Health Organization.

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