On Bridging “The Gap”

the gap


In my PhD studies the concept of the “knowledge gap” is often discussed which essentially means that there are limitations in our understanding of the human body and that what is known is often ineffectively translated into clinical practice (let alone the public). I feel that the latter problem is the more pressing issue and rather complex. Many clinicians don’t consume research often or effective enough, this could be due to a lot of reasons including: interest, access and time cost. Additionally, this may be due to the rather insular method of dissemination of research findings and manuscript publication. Scientific journals are written for other scientists in their given field, which is likely due to the fact that manuscripts are reviewed for publication by fellow researchers who also consume journal articles most often. This is playing to the audience in a certain sense. As a clinician, an emerging academic/researcher, I wonder what needs to be done to address this issue. What are some issues that you all have encountered as clinicians or researchers or students and how do we address this issue? Please feel free to comment and share!

2 thoughts on “On Bridging “The Gap”

  1. I performed a literature review on knowledge translation of outcome measures into PT practice. It is extremely hard to motivate others to WANT to make a lifestyle change. Especially one that is time consuming. The most effective methods of bridging the gap are usually focus groups with a “knowledge broker” (expert in a specific field being taught). The knowledge broker facilitates an intervention such as knowledge dissemination about a topic followed by Q&A. They then follow up either in person or with online discussions.

    If you take anything from my comment, just know that changes like this are extremely time consuming. Just like primary preventative care, it is best to intervene as early as possible (DPT school).

  2. Research itself is not difficult for clinicians to decipher if it is read earnestly / honestly. Unfortunately, clinicians are busy and must put forth their personal time to read research, and with the little time they have, bang for the buck is important. As I read individual studies, I can often question the results / conclusions by careful examination of methods and population. Clinicians need a more efficient and knowledgeable resource. PEDRO, PTnow and/or CPGs are great attempts at translating what is worth looking at, but they are poorly accessed by clinicians unfortunately. Too often clinicians end up filtering abstract conclusions through their biased lenses to pick and choose what fits their own treatment ideology. Spend more time on PTnow and PEDro etc and I think the profession will eventually consider the “propensity of evidence”.

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