Bridging the gap: translating research into policy and practice

Prev Med. 2009 Oct;49(4):313-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2009.06.008. Epub 2009 Jun 22.


Effective physical activity interventions do not achieve their full potential if they are not applied beyond their original testing in research studies. Potentially effective interventions can be adopted in community settings through the efforts of numerous agencies, organizations, and individuals. This paper highlights the important roles of public health practitioners and policy makers, who differ in their decision-making processes. To enhance the uptake of evidence-based interventions, several steps are needed to: build the science by moving upstream, increase the understanding of practice-based evidence, move beyond the "what" to the "how," re-frame the dissemination challenges, place greater emphasis on workforce development, and make research more accessible for policy audiences. The most effective strategies to bridge the gap between research and practice, will have at their heart, effective academic-practice-policy maker partnerships.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Exercise*
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity
  • Public Health
  • Public Health Practice*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical*
  • United States