Knowledge translation studies in paediatric emergency medicine: A systematic review of the literature

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Systematic review of knowledge translation studies focused on paediatric emergency care to describe and assess the interventions used in emergency department settings.


Electronic databases were searched for knowledge translation studies conducted in the emergency department that included the care of children. Two researchers independently reviewed the studies.


From 1305 publications identified, 15 studies of varied design were included. Four were cluster-controlled trials, two patient-level randomised controlled trials, two interrupted time series, one descriptive study and six before and after intervention studies. Knowledge translation interventions were predominantly aimed at the treating clinician, with some targeting the organisation. Studies assessed effectiveness of interventions over 6–12 months in before and after studies, and 3–28 months in cluster or patient level controlled trials. Changes in clinical practice were variable, with studies on single disease and single treatments in a single site showing greater improvement.


Evidence for effective methods to translate knowledge into practice in paediatric emergency medicine is fairly limited. More optimal study designs with more explicit descriptions of interventions are needed to facilitate other groups to effectively apply these procedures in their own setting.

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