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Moving the needle: a call to action for sports injury and illness prevention researchers to embrace knowledge translation principles
  1. Oluwatoyosi B A Owoeye
  1. Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Oluwatoyosi B A Owoeye, Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, USA; olu.owoeye{at}

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What is the point of evidence if you cannot use it in the real world? This editorial is a call to action to reduce current knowledge-to-practice gaps and to emphasise the need for dissemination and implementation research in the field of sports injury and illness prevention.

Why is dissemination and implementation research needed?

A challenging question exists for effective injury and illness prevention programmes: ‘Why is it that so many interventions in sports injury and illness prevention are not used by end users despite available evidence?’ For example, why do youth sport coaches not implement neuromuscular training warm-up programmes and sports medicine professionals and coaches not implement concussion management guidelines?1 2

There are several evidence-based interventions, including clinical interventions, community programmes, practices, technologies, services, guidelines and policies, which are not being optimally used or not being used at all.1 The problem of non-use or suboptimal use of evidence is not limited to sports and exercise medicine, but a problem in general medicine and public health as well.3 Described as a ‘wicked’ problem, poor use of evidence is associated with human behaviour across multiple socioecological levels.4 5 The integration of best evidence into practice is usually within complex systems; as such, effective implementation is dependent on several factors that are often dynamic and specific to different social, organisational and political contexts. …

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  • Contributors OBAO drafted the article, critically revised it for important intellectual content and approved the final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests Dr. Owoeye is a deputy editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.