Why Don’t We See More Translation of Health Promotion Research to Practice? Rethinking the Efficacy-to-Effectiveness Transition

Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, Oregon, United States
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 09/2003; 93(8):1261-7. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.93.8.1261
Source: PubMed


The gap between research and practice is well documented. We address one of the underlying reasons for this gap: the assumption that effectiveness research naturally and logically follows from successful efficacy research. These 2 research traditions have evolved different methods and values; consequently, there are inherent differences between the characteristics of a successful efficacy intervention versus those of an effectiveness one. Moderating factors that limit robustness across settings, populations, and intervention staff need to be addressed in efficacy studies, as well as in effectiveness trials. Greater attention needs to be paid to documenting intervention reach, adoption, implementation, and maintenance. Recommendations are offered to help close the gap between efficacy and effectiveness research and to guide evaluation and possible adoption of new programs.

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