Knowledge translation introduction

A Summary of

Sudsawad, P. (2007). Knowledge translation: Introduction to models, strategies, and measures. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research. Available from:


This report provides an overview of frequently cited models, strategies and measures of knowledge translation. Although written to support knowledge translation initiatives in disability and rehabilitation research, this paper is useful for any individual or organization interested in gaining a general understanding of knowledge translation.

This paper draws on the Canadian Institute for Health Research definition of knowledge translation: "the exchange, synthesis, and ethically-sound application of knowledge—within a complex system of interactions among researchers and users—to accelerate the capture of the benefits of research for Canadians through improved health, more effective services and products, and a strengthened health care system" (CIHR, 2005).

There are three sections in this report:

1. Knowledge Translation Models

2. Effectiveness of Knowledge Translation Strategies (discusses implementation strategies)

3. Measures of Knowledge Use (provides information on evaluation techniques)

Access the Method

Format of the Method


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Using the Method

Time for Participation/Completion

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Additional Resources and/or Skills Needed for Implementation


Steps for Using Method/Tool

This paper outlines several models, strategies and measures of knowledge translation (KT). The user can read concise descriptions of each to gain an overall understanding of prominent concepts within the KT literature. In this paper the author includes:

1. Knowledge Translation Models

  • CIHR Model of Knowledge Translation
  • Understanding-User-Context Framework by Jacobson et al. (2003) (to see a summary statement on this framework, click here)
  • The Ottawa Model of Research Use (for a summary statement, click here)
  • The Knowledge-to-Action Process Framework
  • The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services Framework
  • The Coordinated Implementation Model
  • The Stetler Model of Research Utilization (for a summary statement, click here)

2. Effectiveness of Knowledge Translation Strategies

  • Overall Effectiveness
  • Audit and Feedback
  • Tailored Interventions
  • Organizational Structures
  • Interactive Strategies

3. Measures of Knowledge Use

  • Types of Knowledge Use (instrumental, conceptual, symbolic)
  • Frameworks in Knowledge Use (Conner's Conceptual Model for Research Utilization Evaluation)
  • Examples of levels of use scales and other tools.

Who is involved

Any public health practitioner could use this document to gain and understanding of the theoretical and practical basis of knowledge translation. Individuals and organizations could use the frameworks, methods and tools contained in this document to assess how effectively their are sharing research within their organization and with stakeholders.

Conditions for Use

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Evaluation of the Method


Has not been evaluated


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Methodological Rating

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Development of the Method


Pimjai Sudsawad
The National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research

Method of Development

This document was developed in response to the growing demand for knowledge translation in health research. The publication was created by The National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research, housed at the Southeast Educational Development Laboratory.

Release Date


Contact Person/Source

Pimjai Sudsawad
The National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research
Austin, USA 78723

These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.

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