Identifying barriers and facilitators of translating research evidence into clinical practice: A systematic review of reviews
Health and Social Care in the Community
Translating research into clinical practice is a global priority because of its potential impact on health services delivery and outcomes. Despite the ever-increasing depth and breadth of health research, most areas across the globe seem to be slow to translate relevant research evidence into clinical practice. Thus, this review sought to synthesise existing literature to elucidate the barriers and facilitators to the translation of health research into clinical practice. A systematic review of reviews approach was utilised. Review studies were identified across PubMed, Scopus, Embase, CINAHL and Web of Science databases, from their inception to 15 March 2021. Searching was updated on 30 March 2022. All retrieved articles were screened by two authors; reviews meeting the inclusion criteria were retained. Based on the review type, two validated tools were employed to ascertain their quality: A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews-2 and International Narrative Systematic assessment. The framework synthesis method was adopted to guide the analysis and narrative synthesis of data from selected articles. Ten reviews met the inclusion criteria. The study revealed that the translation of new evidence was limited predominantly by individual-level issues and less frequently by organisational factors. Inadequate knowledge and skills of individuals to conduct, organise, utilise and appraise research literature were the primary individual-level barriers. Limited access to research evidence and lack of equipment were the key organisational challenges. To circumvent these barriers, it is critical to establish collaborations and partnerships between policy makers and health professionals at all levels and stages of the research process. The study concluded that recognising barriers and facilitators could help set key priorities that aid in translating and integrating research evidence into practice. Effective stakeholder collaboration and co-operation should improve the translation of research findings into clinical practice.
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