Bridging science to service: using a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center Program to ensure that research knowledge makes a difference

Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
The Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (Impact Factor: 1.43). 02/2007; 44(6):879-92. DOI: 10.1682/JRRD.2006.08.0101
Source: PubMed


The challenge of bridging science to service is increasingly visible in the healthcare field, with emphasis on the influence of evidence-based knowledge on both policy and practice. Since its inception more than 40 years ago, the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) program has provided grants for both research and training activities designed to ensure that research knowledge is translated into practice. The RRTC program is unique in that its mission and funding have always required that both time and money be invested in the translation and dissemination of research-generated knowledge to users in the field, i.e., decision makers and practitioners. Boston University's Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation has been an RRTC for more than 25 years and provides an example of the effect of the RRTC program in bridging science to service. The Center's mission as an RRTC has been to develop and transfer research knowledge to decision makers and practitioners who can then inform change and promote progress in mental health disability policy and practice. This article reviews five basic dissemination and utilization principles for overcoming the most common barriers to effective dissemination of evidence-based knowledge and provides examples of the Center's activities related to each principle. In addition, a knowledge-transfer framework developed by the Center to organize dissemination and utilization efforts is described.

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    • "While the enviable economic context of this arrangement is unusual it is not unique (Farkas & Anthony, 2007) and it could be reproduced elsewhere. Nevertheless, the regular presentation of research findings directly to knowledge users is a common strategy for influencing decision makers (Bogenschneider et al., 2000) and we have demonstrated that its success can be measured. "
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    ABSTRACT: Researchers are increasingly being asked to demonstrate the impact of their research on policy. Unfortunately, evidence on what works is scarce because it is rarely reported and evaluated. This paper describes a programme of facilitated engagement between knowledge producers and users on topics of joint research and policy interest, and validates a six-item evaluation instrument. Our results confirm a simple instrument can be used to assess the effectiveness and relevance of presentations and to gauge the users’ receptivity to research. The success of our knowledge mobilisation strategy relies upon a favourable alignment of the social, political and economic contexts.
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    • "2008 ) . Farkas and Anthony ( 2007 ) demonstrate that the perceived value of research evidence is directly affected by the credi - bility of the person who shares it with knowledge users . They suggest that knowledge brokers are integral to earning credibility as they assist in creating action from knowledge , build reciprocal and regular interactive relationships and can identify key stakeholders . "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents the results of a review of literature relating to knowledge transfer and exchange in healthcare. Treatment, planning and policy decisions in contemporary nursing and healthcare should be based on sound evidence wherever possible, but research knowledge remains generally underused. Knowledge transfer and exchange initiatives aim to facilitate the accessibility, application and production of evidence and may provide solutions to this challenge. This review was conducted to help inform the design and implementation of knowledge transfer and exchange activities for a large healthcare organization. Databases: ASSIA, Business Source Premier, CINAHL, PsychInfo, Medline and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. An integrative literature review was carried out including an extensive literature search. English language systematic reviews, literature reviews, primary quantitative and qualitative papers and grey literature of high relevance evaluating, describing or discussing knowledge transfer or exchange activities in healthcare were included for review (January 1990-September 2009). Thirty-three papers were reviewed (four systematic reviews, nine literature reviews, one environmental scan, nine empirical studies and ten case studies). Robust research into knowledge transfer and exchange in healthcare is limited. Analysis of a wide range of evidence indicates a number of commonly featured characteristics but further evaluation of these activities would benefit their application in facilitating evidence-based practice in nursing.
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