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Eval Health Prof. 2006 Sep;29(3):334-47.

What's next for translation research?

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National Institute on Drug Abuse, Prevention Research Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 5185 MSC 9589, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are under increasing pressure to identify practical, cost-effective interventions, therapies, and medications. Overall, the public health impact could be substantial if effective science-based prevention and treatment programs were implemented on large scales with sufficient fidelity. Yet penetration of even the most successful interventions rarely occurs at a quick pace. Research-to-practice gaps are pervasive throughout various fields of behavioral health and safety. In this article the authors explore factors contributing to the pace of translation and reaffirm that research advances or retreats the progress of scientific discovery as data accumulate in what can be described as a translational research loop that is iterative and bidirectional. They also touch on the challenges inherent in deploying science to the marketplace, and in an attempt to foreshadow what's next for translational efforts, they conclude by offering some ideas about how researchers might more accurately conceptualize "best practices."

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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