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Translating research for evidence-based public health: key concepts and future directions
  1. Lucie Rychetnik1,
  2. Adrian Bauman2,
  3. Rachel Laws2,
  4. Lesley King2,
  5. Chris Rissel2,
  6. Don Nutbeam3,
  7. Stephen Colagiuri2,
  8. Ian Caterson2
  1. 1School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Prevention Research Collaboration, Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lucie Rychetnik, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; lucie.rychetnik{at}


Applying research to guide evidence-based practice is an ongoing and significant challenge for public health. Developments in the emerging field of ‘translation’ have focused on different aspects of the problem, resulting in competing frameworks and terminology. In this paper the scope of ‘translation’ in public health is defined, and four related but conceptually different ‘translation processes’ that support evidence-based practice are outlined: (1) reviewing the transferability of evidence to new settings, (2) translation research, (3) knowledge translation, and (4) knowledge translation research. Finally, an integrated framework is presented to illustrate the relationship between these domains, and priority areas for further development and empirical research are identified.

  • Translation research
  • knowledge translation
  • evidence-based practice
  • evidence-based public health
  • public health
  • health promotion
  • ethics

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  • Funding This work was partly supported by a Capacity Building Infrastructure Grant (CBIG 2010-2013) from the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Health, Australia.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.