Background: A wide range of diverse and inconsistent terminology exists in the field of knowledge translation. This limits the conduct of evidence syntheses, impedes communication and collaboration, and undermines knowledge translation of research findings in diverse settings. Improving uniformity of terminology could help address these challenges. In 2012, we convened an international working group to explore the idea of developing a common terminology and an overarching framework for knowledge translation interventions.
Findings: Methods included identifying and summarizing existing frameworks, mapping together a subset of those frameworks, and convening a multi-disciplinary group to begin working toward consensus. The group considered four potential approaches to creating a simplified framework: melding existing taxonomies, creating a framework of intervention mechanisms rather than intervention strategies, using a consensus process to expand one of the existing models/frameworks used by the group, or developing a new consensus framework.
Conclusions: The work group elected to draft a new, simplified consensus framework of interventions to promote and integrate evidence into health practices, systems and policies. The framework will include four key components: strategies and techniques (active ingredients), how they function (causal mechanisms), how they are delivered (mode of delivery), and what they aim to change (intended targets). The draft framework needs to be further developed by feedback and consultation with the research community and tested for usefulness through application and evaluation.