Knowledge Translation

Doing the right things right:
Translating stroke research into practice

Why is translating research findings and evidence into practice so challenging for health teams?

What are common barriers and enablers to behavior change, and how do you address the barriers?

Which behaviour change intervention should you use and in in what circumstances (eg audit and feedback, reminders, training/education)?

How do you measure change in practice ?


This workshop provides an introduction to knowledge translation and explains the process of implementing evidence. Examples of common research-practice gaps will be presented from Australian stroke audits and guideline recommendations (content can be adapted for other national guidelines and areas of practice such as aged care/falls prevention). Therapists will be invited to identify research-practice gaps relevant to their practice, such as underuse of seated reach/balance retraining beyond arms reach, upper limb constraint-induced movement therapy or electrical stimulation. These gaps are a good starting point for individuals and teams that want to change their practice.

Examples of improved practice outcomes include “increasing the proportion of inpatients that complete at least 2 hours of active task practice per day” or “for inpatients who have difficulty sitting, increase the proportion of inpatients that practice daily reaching beyond arm’s length in sitting, with supervision/assistance”.

Using recent projects as examples, we will explore barriers to implementing guideline recommendations, and summarise evidence from trials and systematic reviews. Common barriers affecting individual therapists and organisations include lack of skills and knowledge, unhelpful attitudes, beliefs and biases, lack of equipment and space, professional roles and health systems.

Finally, behaviour-change interventions can be used to address these barriers. Interventions include audit and feedback cycles, education and training, coaching and mentoring, prompt and reminders. Outcomes of recent projects will be shared. Participants will leave the workshop with an action plan.

Acknowledgement: Some of the content for this workshop was developed, and has been presented with the following implementation science researchers: physiotherapist Claire Stewart from Sunshine Coast University Hospital, occupational therapist Associate Professor Sally Bennett from the University of Queensland, and Senior Research Fellow Dr Denise O’Connor from Monash University/Cochrane Australia.

This workshop can be run as a half-day/evening (4-hr) or full-day workshop.
Recommended workshop numbers: Up to 50 participants

Target audience:
Allied health professionals including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:


the process of translating research into practice.


important research-practice gaps.


common barriers to translating research.


strategies/interventions that can be used to overcome these barriers.


expected outcomes for health professionals and teams (eg % of patients receiving the intervention) and patient outcomes (eg amount of practice conducted).


frameworks that can guide implementation projects.


Dr Annie McCluskey
Dr Annie McCluskey
Occupational therapist, health services researcher and educator. She has 30+ years experience in stroke and brain injury rehabilitation.

The workshop typically includes the following content: