Improving research transfer in the addictions field: A perspective from Canada

  • Reimer B
  • Sawka E
  • James D
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This paper discusses how to enhance the research-to-practice exchange in the addictions field, while maintaining a balance with the demands and complexities of program delivery and policy development. It outlines the evolution of the concept of evidence-based practice, discusses the practical limitations and ways to improve transferring research to practice, and provides examples of research transfer activities in Canada. Practical limitations to research transfer include individual, organizational, and community factors. A strategic approach to research transfer includes addressing these limitations by combining dissemination activities with interventions such as individual instruction and incentives; building relationships among researchers, practitioners, and populations served; and obtaining commitments at a systemic level from finding bodies and research organizations to support research transfer. The potential is noted for the concept of workforce development to facilitate research transfer at organizational levels. The conclusion shown in this paper is that the tools and concept of evidence-based practice can lead the way to strengthening addictions programs and policies, and the development of a conceptual model for addiction research transfer in Canada would be a useful next step.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Canada
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Research transfer

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  • Bette Reimer

  • Edward Sawka

  • Darlene James

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