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£8 billion pounds/year is spent on health related research and there is a responsibility to demonstrate a return on investment (Walshe & Davies 2013). Yet currently the translation of health services research knowledge into everyday practice remains a challenge (World Health Organisation, 2006). This challenge is known as the second knowledge translation gap (T2) or ‘campus to clinic’ gap (Greenhalgh & Wieringa 2011).\ud
Knowledge is defined by Aristotle in three distinct forms: episteme (facts), techne (skills) and phronesis (practical wisdom). In the context of health services research ‘knowledge’ is often interchangeable with ‘evidence’ and is defined as ‘research evidence’, ‘clinical experience’, ‘patient experience’ and ‘information about the local context’ (Rycroft-Malone et al. 2004).\ud
‘Translation’ has many broad interpretations, with the process element being described as ‘transfer’, ‘exchange’, ‘brokering’, ‘utilisation’, ‘implementation’ and most recently ‘mobilisation’. \ud This gap has given rise to a focused scientific field of study specifically exploring implementation, and resulted in models of factors affecting the implementation of research knowledge into everyday practice.\ud
In this research, the author started from the position that implementation is not a science but a practice; a practice that shares many similar traits with design practice. And therefore design practice can offer suggestions as to how to improve implementation of health research knowledge into practice.\ud
A review of concepts underpinning participatory design and design practice was conducted and compared to the consolidated framework complied by Damschroder et al (2009). This created two distinct descriptions that were overlaid. This paper presents these and the similarities and differences between the two are discussed to present an argument for the use of design practice to support the implementation of health services research knowledge into everyday practice.
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