Implementation Science (Jun 2011)
A protocol for a systematic review of knowledge translation strategies in the allied health professions
Abstract Background Knowledge translation (KT) aims to close the gap between knowledge and practice in order to realize the benefits of research through (a) improved health outcomes, (b) more effective health services and products, and (c) strengthened healthcare systems. While there is some understanding of strategies to put research findings into practice within nursing and medicine, we have limited knowledge of KT strategies in allied health professions. Given the interprofessional nature of healthcare, a lack of guidance for supporting KT strategies in the allied health professions is concerning. Our objective in this study is to systematically review published research on KT strategies in five allied health disciplines. Methods A medical research librarian will develop and implement search strategies designed to identify evidence that is relevant to each question of the review. Two reviewers will perform study selection and quality assessment using standard forms. For study selection, data will be extracted by two reviewers. For quality assessment, data will be extracted by one reviewer and verified by a second. Disagreements will be resolved through discussion or third party adjudication. Within each profession, data will be grouped and analyzed by research design and KT strategies using the Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Review Group classification scheme. An overall synthesis across professions will be conducted. Significance A uniprofessional approach to KT does not represent the interprofessional context it targets. Our findings will provide the first systematic overview of KT strategies used in allied health professionals' clinical practice, as well as a foundation to inform future KT interventions in allied healthcare settings.