Knowledge Translation

Original Editor - Redisha Jakibanjar Top Contributors - Redisha Jakibanjar

Definition[edit | edit source]

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) defines knowledge translation as: "Knowledge translation is the exchange, synthesis and ethically-sound application of knowledge – within a complex system of interactions among researchers and users – to accelerate the capture of the benefits of research for Canadians through improved health, more effective services and products, and a strengthened health care system."[1]

The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined knowledge translation as: "The synthesis, exchange, and application of knowledge by relevant stakeholders to accelerate the benefits of global and local innovation in strengthening health systems and improving people's health."[2]

Knowledge translation can also be replaced by the terms: implementation sciences, research utilization dissemination and diffusion, research use, knowledge transfer and uptake, and knowledge transfer and exchange.[3]

Features[edit | edit source]

Knowledge translation activity needs good partnership and interaction with various groups or organizations. Some of the interactive groups are[1]:

  • researchers, within and across research disciplines
  • policy-makers, planners and managers, throughout the health care, public health, and healthy public policy systems
  • health care providers in formal and informal systems of care
  • general public, patient groups and those who help to shape their views and/or represent their interests including the media, educators, non-governmental organizations, and the voluntary sector
  • the private sector, including venture capital firms, manufacturers and distributors

Knowledge translation includes multiple steps which are more comprehensive, more sophisticated, and highly embedded in the actual contexts. It is an interactive, non-linear, and interdisciplinary process which includes all steps between the creation of knowledge and it's application. It needs multidirectional communications, ongoing collaborations among relevant parties, and includes multiple activities. It involves diverse knowledge-user groups. Knowledge translation focuses on the use of research-generated knowledge that may be used in conjunction with other types of knowledge. It is user- and context-specific along with impact-oriented.[4]

Determinants of knowledge translation[edit | edit source]

There are various factors that affect the knowledge translation process. Some of the challenges faced by all the decision makers are[3]:

  • Lack of skills in knowledge management and infrastructure.
  • Lack of skills required for appraising evidence.
  • Needs of the end-users don't meet the content of evidence resources.
  • Ineffective health care system

Knowledge translation models[edit | edit source]

There are numerous models/framework available for knowledge translation. They are[4]:

  • CIHR model of knowledge translation
  • Interaction-focused frameworks

- Understanding -user-context framework

  • Context-focused models and frameworks

-The Ottawa model of research use

- The knowledge-to-action process framework

- The promoting action on research implementation in health services

- The coordinated implementation models

  • Individual-focused models

- The Stetler model of research utilization

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Knowledge translation strategy 2004–2009: Innovation in action. Accessed on: 2021/09/15.  Available from:
  2. PAHO. Knowledge Translation for Health Decision Making. Accessed on: 2021/09/15. Available from:
  3. 3.0 3.1 Straus SE, Tetroe J, Graham I. Defining knowledge translation. Cmaj. 2009 Aug 4;181(3-4):165-8.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sudsawad P. Knowledge translation: introduction to models, strategies and measures. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research; 2007 Aug. Available from: