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Bridging the gap between therapeutic research results and physician prescribing decisions: knowledge transfer, a prerequisite to knowledge translation

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Abstract

Background: A wide gap continues to exist between available therapeutic research results and physician’s prescribing. Numerous explanations account for this gap, but one central reason is the difficulty in transferring comprehensive research information to practicing clinicians. This problem arises from information overload and the growing complexity of research findings. We propose a multistep process that can be used to develop systems to bridge this information/prescription gap. The steps include: comprehensively collecting and summarizing clinical trial reports, scoring and ranking these according to their level of evidence, exploring and synthesizing the data using meta-analyses, summarizing these results, representing them in an easily understandable form, and transmitting the overview findings to prescribers at the time they need them. Discussion: This ambitious endeavor is needed to ensure that prescribers have access to pertinent research results for use in their prescription decisions. We demonstrate in this article that there are no theoretical or technical obstacles to make the proposed system workable.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Susan Magitic for her comments and suggestions. This project was funded by the European Union under contracts no AIM-A1020 and BMH 92 00 23 and by grants from the French Ministère de la Recherche et de la Technologie and the French Ministère de la Santé.

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Correspondence to Jean-Pierre Boissel.

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Boissel, JP., Amsallem, E., Cucherat, M. et al. Bridging the gap between therapeutic research results and physician prescribing decisions: knowledge transfer, a prerequisite to knowledge translation. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 60, 609–616 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00228-004-0816-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00228-004-0816-2

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