What is it about?

TEKT stands for technology-enabled knowledge translation. This plain language summary is one example of a TEKT ‘strategy’ to get research used more, there are many examples of such strategies, including social media, webinars and databases. Our review explored: if these strategies can get research used in practice? The short answer… maybe. We found that the strategies were able to improve knowledge, but less so behaviour, practice and policy change. The technology-based strategies seemed to be able to improve knowledge as much as face to face approaches. It is difficult to know whether they work on changing behaviour, practice and policy change as all studies reviewed were very different to one another, making it difficult to draw concrete conclusions. In short, more research is needed in this area.

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Why is it important?

Thousands of public health research articles are published each year, yet often these research findings are not used in practice for a very long time. Technology may offer one approach to speed up the transfer of knowledge, which ultimately may improve current public health issues. Put very simply, research needs to get to the right people, at the right time, in the right role. If that can be accelerated through the use of technology, then brilliant!

Perspectives

TEKT strategies appear to show some promise. We need more evaluation to see if they can change more than just someone’s knowledge, but also have an impact on behaviour and policy change.

Dr Rachel Sutherland
University of Newcastle

At the moment it’s difficult to say what the best technology-based strategies are for knowledge translation. Unfortunately, moving findings from research to practice and policy typically takes years, yet technology may be able to speed that up. More research required!

Matthew Mclaughlin
University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Population Health

This review may be repeated in a few years and include more studies, so more definitive recommendations can be made about the effectiveness of technology-enabled knowledge translation strategies. But for now, it seems they are as effective at changing knowledge as traditional face to face approaches. Though more work is needed to see their effect of policy and practice.

Professor Luke Wolfenden
University of Newcastle

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Effectiveness of Technology-Enabled Knowledge Translation Strategies in Improving the Use of Research in Public Health: Systematic Review, Journal of Medical Internet Research, July 2020, JMIR Publications Inc., DOI: 10.2196/17274.
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