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From study to scalpel: knowledge translation for research in orthopaedic surgery
  1. Hana Marmura1,2,
  2. Anita Kothari3,
  3. Alan MJ Getgood2,4,
  4. Jane S Thornton5,6,
  5. Dianne M Bryant7,8
  1. 1Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Western Ontario Faculty of Health Sciences, London, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Orthopaedic Sport Medicine, Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, London, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Lab for Knowledge Translation in Health, University of Western Ontario Faculty of Health Sciences, London, Ontario, Canada
  4. 4Surgery, University of Western Ontario Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5Family Medicine, University of Western Ontario Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, Ontario, Canada
  6. 6Sport & Exercise Medicine, Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, London, Ontario, Canada
  7. 7School of Physical Therapy, University of Western Ontario Faculty of Health Sciences, London, Ontario, Canada
  8. 8Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Dianne M Bryant, School of Physical Therapy, University of Western Ontario Faculty of Health Sciences, London, ON N6A 5B9, Canada; dianne.bryant{at}uwo.ca

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Why should I care about knowledge translation?

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) requires current best evidence to support treatment decisions for individuals.1 Despite substantial growth in EBM, medical practice continues to lag behind best evidence, and orthopaedics is no exception. In one study, American patients were only receiving about 57% of recommended care for orthopaedic conditions, indicating a research-to-practice gap.2

Orthopaedic research investigating surgical interventions is time consuming, costly and complex. Additionally, findings must reach a wide population of surgeons and patients to have impact. Researchers commonly rely on two main channels of dissemination: journal publication and conference presentations,3 often only reaching like-minded researchers and clinicians.

Knowledge translation (KT) supports EBM and is the synthesis, dissemination, exchange and ethically sound application of knowledge to improve health care.4 Strong KT plans can help secure research funding, scale up interventions, strengthen the quality of research and widen the impact of important studies. A concerted effort to improve KT within orthopaedics has the potential for rapid improvement in the field, by narrowing the knowledge to action gap, influencing decision-makers, and ultimately improving patient outcomes.

This editorial will walk readers through five key steps to develop feasible and effective KT plans to disseminate evidence-based best practices in orthopaedic surgery (figure 1). The steps are structured according to John Lavis’ five questions and organisation framework for effective translation of research knowledge5 (box 1).

Figure 1

Five steps to creating an effective knowledge translation plan for research in orthopaedic surgery.

Box 1

Five guiding questions for knowledge translation plans5

  • What should be transferred to …

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @HanaMarmura, @janesthornton

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it has been been published Online First. Figure 1 has been added.

  • Contributors HM contributed to conceptualisation, wrote the article, wrote the supplemental material KT plan and created the infographic. AK, AMJG and DMB contributed to conceptualisation, supervision, and revision of the article, supplement and infographic. JST contributed to revision of the article, supplement and infographic.

  • 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 AG has received royalties from Smith & Nephew and Graymont, and consulting fees from Smith & Nephew, Ossur, and Olympus. JST is an editor of BJSM and Canada Research Chair in Injury Prevention and Physical Activity for Health.

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

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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