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Methods in translation science.

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  • 1Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, USA.



The gap between research findings and practice has been, and continues to be, a concern for the international community. A number of descriptive studies have elucidated barriers and facilitators of evidence-based practice in nursing. It is argued that it is now time to use findings from these studies to design and test interventions that explicitly target barriers to the use of evidence in practice rather than doing further research to describe generic barriers and facilitators to evidence-based practice. This article discusses research methods to advance our knowledge regarding the efficacy of translating research into practice (TRIP) interventions that promote and hasten adoption of evidence in practice.


Published research is reviewed and used as exemplars of translation studies. The benefits and challenges in studying natural experiments are addressed as are the benefits and challenges in conducting TRIP studies using experimental designs.


The article discusses factors such as sample attainment, unit of analysis, intervention characteristics, outcome measurement, and sustainability. Although there are a myriad of initiatives aimed at increasing use of evidence in practice, there is little systematic evidence of the effectiveness of these initiatives. In order to advance knowledge, translation research needs more experimental studies that test TRIP interventions through, for example, partnership models.

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