Methodologies to evaluate the effectiveness of knowledge translation interventions: a primer for researchers and health care managers

J Clin Epidemiol. 2011 Jan;64(1):32-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2010.02.022.


Objective: The evidence base for interventions to change clinical practice is modest but growing. Given the large variation in impact and costs, this review aims to highlight the importance of evaluating knowledge translation (KT) interventions by managers and researchers.

Study design and setting: To meet its objectives, this review article discusses how the need for local or generalizable information and the resources available guide the evaluations. Furthermore, we discuss how study designs can focus on establishing internal validity or applicability and how the choice of focus affects the study design.

Results: This review argues that managers should routinely incorporate simple evaluation designs into program implementation to assess and increase the impact of their services, whereas researchers should focus on creating cumulative knowledge through rigorous designs and rich descriptions of context and implementation to explore reasons for success and failure.

Conclusion: We suggest that the combined effort of managers and researchers will provide a richer knowledge base to move the field of KT forward and increase the use of evidence-based implementation strategies to improve the quality of health care provided.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / standards*
  • Research Design
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / methods
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / standards*