TP 86 Closing the Gap: Translating Research Evidence on Social Determinants into Practice to Reduce Health Disparities in Sexually Transmitted and Blood Borne Infections

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Exhibit Hall
Lisa Smylie, PhD, Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Background:  There is a large body of evidence of the impact of social determinants on health outcomes, including sexually transmitted and blood borne infections (STBBIs). While there is improved understanding of the contribution of social, economic, cultural and historical factors to vulnerability to infection, there is less clarity in how those working in the health sector can address these social determinants in practice. Translating research evidence into prevention policy or practice remains a critical gap in the prevention of STBBIs. This presentation will provide an overview of factors that facilitate translating knowledge into policy and practice, by highlighting examples of how knowledge translation has been achieved by the Public Health Agency of Canada (Agency).

Methods:  A systematic review of the literature on methods of knowledge translation was undertaken to identify mechanisms and approaches to bridging the gap between research evidence and policy or practice.  Using a series of documents published by the Agency as a case study, the presentation will provide an overview of how action on the social determinants of vulnerability to STBBIs can be supported at a national level. Using results from descriptive statistics of data collected from end-users of the documents through a computer-assisted self-administered survey (n=514), the presentation will highlight key elements of successful knowledge translation.

Results:  Several elements are key in forming successful approaches to translation of research into policy or practice for the prevention of STBBIs. These include: presentation of results in brief, clear, accessible language; organization of material to address key issues and questions of the target audience; active consultation of end-users; and identification of feasible practice points.

Conclusions:  There is potential to replicate these mechanisms of knowledge translation to facilitate the implementation of evidence-based practice for the prevention of STBBIs and to strengthen capacity of policy-makers and practitioners to interpret research findings.