Bridging the Gap Between Research and Action in Rehabilitation Care
It can take years for health research to change everyday health care practice. This delay can result in substandard care for patients and a great deal of waste when it comes to research. Canada needs a better way to move research “from the bench to the bedside”—that is, a more efficient transfer of knowledge between researchers, clinicians and policy-makers.
As a specialized area of health care, the goal of rehabilitation is to optimize physical function and quality of life. But continuing gaps between research and practice are leading to poorer patient outcomes. As Canada Research Chair in Integrated Knowledge Translation in Rehabilitation Science, Dr. Kathryn Sibley is looking at how to move research into action in rehabilitation sciences.
Sibley and her research team are using an integrated approach, where the end-users of rehabilitation research— patients, clinicians, and decision makers—are involved in the research process from start to finish. They are identifying critical research-to-practice gaps and testing methods to close them. They are also promoting more consistent research practices to ensure rehabilitation treatments can be accurately compared across studies, and developing better ways to share new research.
By increasing the application and use of rehabilitation strategies that are backed by research evidence, Sibley’s work will help improve Canadians’ health, function and quality of life. What’s more, her methods will transform rehabilitation science by integrating knowledge translation throughout the research and innovation pipeline.