Application of Evidence in Injury Treatment
The application of research findings in actual practice has always been fraught with challenges. These challenges are usually caused by resistance, and the relevance of the findings themselves. For example, experienced doctors may feel that the way they have gone about a certain procedure is the right way. They are likely to disregard new research findings that point to a different way of doing things, better as the new method or procedure may be. At the same time, research is not always relevant to the problems at hand. This may then render the research irrelevant (DeAngelis, 2010).
The practitioners who are supposed to eventually implement the research findings are not always involved sufficiently to help define the research. Such research projects run the risk of returning findings that are simply not applicable clinically. There are also no clear mechanisms for obtaining feedback on findings recommended, further widening the gap between research and practice (DeAngelis, 2010).
In the world that injury practitioners live in is messy, and mired in cultural and other challenges. The gap that can sometimes be seen between practice and research in this field can be attributed to several factors. This field is not generally viewed as being particularly important, and therefore funding is very poor. The quality of communication between researchers and practitioners in the field is also wanting. This means that researchers are likely to return findings which are superfluous, and not well suited to the clinical application phase (DeAngelis, 2010).
It should also be noted that the vast majority of research produced in this field is mainly descriptive. Research that dwells on method improvement or alternate ways of care is scant. Practitioners are therefore faced with inadequate sources from which to gather evidence for practice. Translation between research and the implementation is another reason for the low uptake of these findings into actual clinical application. The results point to a need to further research the best way of diffusing information from research to implementation in practice (Malonee, 2006).
There also exist serious doubts among practitioners as to how well the research gathered will be implemented without compromising the efficacy and effectiveness of care. Since the findings recommended are usually very new and only backed by the research that generated them, practitioners are usually hesitant to adopt them in case they do not work out as may have been envisaged initially. This is another issue that reduces the level of application of research to practice (Malonee, 2006).
Extent of Implementation
The factors discussed above have ensured that the level of adoption of research findings into practice is very low. Apart from there being very little research that discusses better ways of doing things or improvement of processes, there is minimal research that looks into better ways of better adapting research to real use in clinical settings. This is a major drawback in the adoption of research. Where there is meaningful and relevant research to draw from, researchers neglect the need to have the findings be better understood by the practitioners they are meant for. The inability to do this is the biggest impediment to the application of research (Hanson, 2012).
Barriers to Implementation
The barriers to implementation are many and interconnected. The failure to sufficiently involve practitioners in research is one of the main reasons. Practitioners can give invaluable information in the initial stages of research as well as during its progress. They can help in defining the research question, for example. This will ensure that the research only focuses on issues that are relevant to the practice, and therefore make practice easier.
Resistance to change among practitioners is another impediment in the implementation of research. This can also be viewed as a culture problem, whereby the practitioner is mostly interested in tackling challenges in the ways they have tried and tested, and found to be okay. Trying to implement new ways may trigger a fear of the unknown and suspicion, and will eventually mean that the research findings are barely used in actual practice.
Another barrier as discussed above is the lack of alignment between research problems and actual practice. The research may be well formulated and conducted, and yield great recommendations. These will however be applicable in the field since it may be seen as not being relevant to practice. A possible cause of this is the lack of involvement of practitioners in carrying out research.
Practitioners may sometimes argue that the research is conducted in controlled environments in many instances. This reduces the credibility of the findings, and gives practitioners to avoid using the findings. They argue that they are not generated in the hustle and bustle of hospital halls, where practitioners additionally face real life choices that determine whether their patients live or die. Some of the problems are also linked to insurance cover that may prevent the patient from enjoying new treatment methods. Cultural issues may also play a role, whereby the patient may not be open to being treated with a new procedure, when other, and more familiar ones, are available.
Overcoming the Barriers
New treatment procedures are usually more expensive to implement. To encourage care giving institutions to try them, insurance needs to be adequate, or their costs subsidized. Therefore, sufficient insurance cover will help in overcoming some of the issues of low adaptability.
When it comes to community – based programs, the researchers should involve the community and other stakeholders as much as possible. This should be done while acknowledging all stakeholders as equal partners. New research should not only focus on the subject matter, but also, on how to implement the anticipated findings. This is an important aspect that would help implement findings, and make information generated more accessible and usable by those who need it in practice (Malonee, 2006).
New entrants into the practice world – students, should be trained on the importance of adapting evidence to practice. With such a mindset, practitioners will find it easier to adapt findings to research. This will also help get rid of the persuasion to use experience and anecdotal information used by more experienced practitioners while caring for their patients (Malonee, 2006).
Research should also focus not only on description of methods and procedures, but also on new ways that have been found to work in these situations. This helps the practitioners in having sufficient information with which to work with.
More than 16000 people die daily around the world from injuries. It is therefore important that research focus on this practice more, in an effort to find, and implement new methods of treatment to stem the number of deaths and other adverse effects caused by injury such as paralysis.
DeAngelis, T. (2010). Closing the gap between practice and research. American Psychological Association , 41 (6), 42.
Hanson, D. e. (2012). Closing the Gap Between Injury Prevention Research and Community Safety Promotion Practice: Revisiting the Public Health Model. Public Health Reports , 127 (2), 147-155.
Malonee, S. e. (2006). Closing the Gap Between Injury Prevention Research and Community Safety Promotion Practice: Revisiting the Public Health Model. Public Health Reports , 12 (6), 357-359.