Systematic Review of Knowledge Translation Strategies to Promote Research Uptake in Child Health Settings

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Abstract

Background:

Strategies to assist evidence-based decision-making for healthcare professionals are crucial to ensure high quality patient care and outcomes. The goal of this systematic review was to identify and synthesize the evidence on knowledge translation interventions aimed at putting explicit research evidence into child health practice.

Methods:

A comprehensive search of thirteen electronic databases was conducted, restricted by date (1985–2011) and language (English). Articles were included if: 1) studies were randomized controlled trials (RCT), controlled clinical trials (CCT), or controlled before-and-after (CBA) studies; 2) target population was child health professionals; 3) interventions implemented research in child health practice; and 4) outcomes were measured at the professional/process, patient, or economic level. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed methodological quality. Study data were aggregated and analyzed using evidence tables.

Results:

Twenty-one studies (13 RCT, 2 CCT, 6 CBA) were included. The studies employed single (n = 9) and multiple interventions (n = 12). The methodological quality of the included studies was largely moderate (n = 8) or weak (n = 11). Of the studies with moderate to strong methodological quality ratings, three demonstrated consistent, positive effect(s) on the primary outcome(s); effective knowledge translation interventions were two single, non-educational interventions and one multiple, educational intervention.

Conclusions:

This multidisciplinary systematic review in child health setting identified effective knowledge translation strategies assessed by the most rigorous research designs. Given the overall poor quality of the research literature, specific recommendations were made to improve knowledge translation efforts in child health.

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