About Knowledge Translation & Exchange
Health care providers recognize the importance of using research in their day-to-day practice and the overall impact this can have on the health of their clients. However, effectively using research knowledge in practice can be challenging, as there are many barriers to this process, often leading to a "gap" between knowledge and practice. Researchers have recently begun to explore ways to bridge this gap by studying the process of Knowledge Translation (KT). Knowledge Translation involves gathering, evaluating, summarizing and sharing relevant knowledge on a particular topic. It is a complex, two-way process between those who develop the knowledge and those who will use the knowledge. Many terms have been used to describe this process including knowledge transfer, knowledge transfer and exchange, knowledge dissemination, knowledge management, and research utilization.
In the research literature, the effectiveness of many KT strategies have been studied including the use of published articles, lay summaries, training workshops, customized messages (such as email alerts) and the use of local opinion leaders, sometimes referred to as "Knowledge Brokers" or KBs. The evidence suggests some differences in the effectiveness of these strategies and it is not yet known which of these approaches, either alone or in combination, will result in the most effective knowledge translation.