Knowledge Translation: the bridging function of Cochrane Rehabilitation

It is always difficult to apply in everyday life what we think we would like to do and this is even more true for the application of scientific knowledge. This phenomenon is called the “know-do gap”. One of the main reasons is that evidence is usually not focused on (or written for) the consumers1.

A solution to this problem is the so-called “Knowledge Translation” (KT), defined as “a dynamic and interactive process that includes the synthesis, dissemination, exchange, and ethically sound application of knowledge to improve health, provide more effective health services and products, and strengthen the health care system”2. KT has been recognised as essential in achieving Cochrane’s vision and maximising the benefit of the work of Cochrane contributors3, according to the Strategy to 2020’s fundamental commitment to the dissemination, use and impact of Cochrane evidence.

Last April, during the Cochrane mid-year meeting in Geneva the Cochrane KT Framework3 was approved. An Advisory Group has been created bringing together leaders in Cochrane who have an interest and experience in KT to advise on effective implementation and leadership of this KT Framework and Cochrane Rehabilitation Director, Prof. Stefano Negrini, has been included in this Group.

Six key themes have been identified for the KT Strategy framework in Cochrane:

1.      Prioritization and co-production of Cochrane reviews: Producing reviews which meet the needs of our users

2.      Packaging, push and support to implementation: Ensuring our users would receive and can be able to act on our reviews and products

3.      Facilitating pull: Growing our users’ capacity to find and use our reviews

4.      Exchange: Engaging with our users to support their evidence informed decision making

5.      Improving climate: Advocating for evidence informed health decision-making

6.      Sustainable KT Processes: Building a sustainable infrastructure for knowledge translation

Cochrane Rehabilitation efforts to meet the KT strategy would consist in helping Cochrane Review Groups to produce evidence relevant to the world of rehabilitation (Methodology Committee); to spread the knowledge to the world of rehabilitation (Communication and Publication Committees) and to increase the knowledge inside the world of rehabilitation while improving the climate (Education Committee); trying to be cost-effective.



1.  Glenton C et al. Summaries of findings, descriptions of interventions, and information about adverse effects would make reviews more informative.    J Clin Epidemiol 2006; 59: 770-8.

2.  Mc Kibbon KA et al. A cross sectional study of the number and frequency of terms used to refer to knowledge translation in a body of health literature in 2006: a tower of Babel? Impl Sci. 2010; 5:16.

3.  Cochrane Knowledge Translation Strategy (April 2017)