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Research agenda for integrated knowledge translation (IKT) in healthcare: what we know and do not yet know
  1. Anna R Gagliardi1,
  2. Anita Kothari2,
  3. Ian D Graham3
  1. 1Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
  2. 2Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University, London, Canada
  3. 3Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Anna R Gagliardi, 200 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G2C4; anna.gagliardi{at}

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Integrated knowledge translation (IKT)

In the health sector, considerable resources are deployed for knowledge translation (KT) to ensure that stakeholders are aware of, and use research to inform policies, programmes and practices, leading to improved health.1 However, commonly used strategies, often based on one-way communication of research syntheses or summaries, have had inconsistent impact on the actual use of research and associated outcomes such as improved healthcare delivery and health gains.2 IKT represents an alternative approach for promoting research use in which research users function as active partners to generate research from conceptualisation to implementation, rather than passive recipients of research or research products.3 ,4 Sometimes referred to as engaged scholarship, participatory research, co-production of knowledge or mode 2 research, IKT appears to enhance researcher understanding of the research user context and needs, thereby enhancing the relevance of the generated research, and increasing research user understanding of the research process, awareness of the research, and appreciation for how and when it can be applied.3 ,4

The imperative to optimise patient and population outcomes is driving a growing interest in IKT among those who fund and deliver health programmes and services. The UK instituted Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, and the Netherlands implemented Academic Collaborative Centres for public health to integrate research, policy and practice, with the overall aim of improving health.5 ,6 Funders of research also promote IKT by stipulating that research teams include research users.7 As a result, syntheses of studies that describe and evaluate research–research user collaboration have emerged. For example, we conducted a scoping review of 13 studies published between 2005 and …

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