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Towards a common terminology: a simplified framework of interventions to promote and integrate evidence into health practices, systems, and policies

Heather Colquhoun1*, Jennifer Leeman2, Susan Michie3, Cynthia Lokker4, Peter Bragge5, Susanne Hempel6, K Ann McKibbon4, Gjalt-Jorn Y Peters7, Kathleen R Stevens8, Michael G Wilson9 and Jeremy Grimshaw110

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Ottawa Hospital – General Campus, 501 Smyth Road, C.P. 711, K1H 8 L6 Ottawa, ON, Canada

2 School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

3 Research Department of Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, WC1E 7HB, London, UK

4 Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Health Information Research Unit, McMaster University, CRL Building, 1280 Main Street West, L8S 4 K1, Hamilton, ON, Canada

5 National Trauma Research Institute, Monash University and The Alfred Hospital, Level 4, 89 Commercial Road, 3004 Melbourne, VIC, Australia

6 RAND Corporation, 1776 Main Street, m4339, Santa Monica 90407, CA, USA

7 Methology & Statistics of the Faculty of Psychology, Open University of the Netherlands, P.O. box 2960, 6401 DL Heerlen, The Netherlands

8 Academic Center for Evidence-Based Practice, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, 78229-3900 San Antonio, TX, USA

9 Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and The McMaster Health Forum, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, McMaster University, CRL 223, 1280 Main Street West, L8S 4 K1, Hamilton, ON, Canada

10 Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa Hospital – General Campus, 501 Smyth Road, C.P. 711, K1H 8 L6 Ottawa, ON, Canada

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Implementation Science 2014, 9:51  doi:10.1186/1748-5908-9-51

Published: 1 May 2014

Abstract

Background

A wide range of diverse and inconsistent terminology exists in the field of knowledge translation. This limits the conduct of evidence syntheses, impedes communication and collaboration, and undermines knowledge translation of research findings in diverse settings. Improving uniformity of terminology could help address these challenges. In 2012, we convened an international working group to explore the idea of developing a common terminology and an overarching framework for knowledge translation interventions.

Findings

Methods included identifying and summarizing existing frameworks, mapping together a subset of those frameworks, and convening a multi-disciplinary group to begin working toward consensus. The group considered four potential approaches to creating a simplified framework: melding existing taxonomies, creating a framework of intervention mechanisms rather than intervention strategies, using a consensus process to expand one of the existing models/frameworks used by the group, or developing a new consensus framework.

Conclusions

The work group elected to draft a new, simplified consensus framework of interventions to promote and integrate evidence into health practices, systems and policies. The framework will include four key components: strategies and techniques (active ingredients), how they function (causal mechanisms), how they are delivered (mode of delivery), and what they aim to change (intended targets). The draft framework needs to be further developed by feedback and consultation with the research community and tested for usefulness through application and evaluation.

Keywords:
Knowledge translation; Implementation science; Classification; Consensus; Dissemination; Implementation