Implementation Science: Translating research findings into nursing practice – how hard is that?

Claudia K Y Lai, Daniel L.L. Lai, Yuen Wah Ho, Daphne Sze Ki Cheung

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review


Background: Implementation science is the study of the means to facilitate the integration of research evidence into policy and practice. The body of literature on this topic is diverse and complex. The concepts of translational and implementation sciences are frequently confused with applied or clinical research, or evidence-based practice in healthcare.

Aim: To clarify the conceptual boundaries of implementation science and exemplify its importance in today’s healthcare milieu.

Methods: A scoping review using Arksey and O’Malley’s approach was adopted. MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were searched for articles from 2000-2019, using the keywords [‘implementation science’ or ‘translational science’] and [nursing], and 127, 93, and 64 papers found, respectively. Additional searches will extend to study registries, conference abstracts, and the websites of international organizations in the field.

Results: There are more than 100 theories on implementation science. Different frameworks in implementation science have been developed and several key dimensions are common to these frameworks, for example, the nature and characteristics of the intervention, the internal and external environments, the stakeholders involved, the process of implementation, and so on. Translating research findings into practice is a highly complex process. The research classification of T0 to T4 proposed by the Institute of Medicine, United States, is recommended to better track research portfolios along the continuum of discovery research in basic science to changes in community health. The team is still currently going through the review processes, which will be completed in September.

Conclusion: It cannot be assumed that positive research findings will automatically lead to healthcare changes. In thinking about implementing evidence, we need to incorporate an ecological approach. Successful translation of research evidence into practice is now expected in the health service sector. Nurse leaders must be able to translate their research findings into practice to make an impact in healthcare.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2020
EventThe 23rd EAFONS 2020 - Chiang Mai, Thailand, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 10 Jan 202011 Jan 2020


ConferenceThe 23rd EAFONS 2020
CityChiang Mai
Internet address


  • Implementation
  • Research


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