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J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2006 Winter;26(1):13-24.

Lost in knowledge translation: time for a map?

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School of Nursing and Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, and Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Health Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


There is confusion and misunderstanding about the concepts of knowledge translation, knowledge transfer, knowledge exchange, research utilization, implementation, diffusion, and dissemination. We review the terms and definitions used to describe the concept of moving knowledge into action. We also offer a conceptual framework for thinking about the process and integrate the roles of knowledge creation and knowledge application. The implications of knowledge translation for continuing education in the health professions include the need to base continuing education on the best available knowledge, the use of educational and other transfer strategies that are known to be effective, and the value of learning about planned-action theories to be better able to understand and influence change in practice settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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