Implementation—The Missing Link in the Research Translation Pipeline: Is It Any Wonder No One Ever Implements Evidence-Based Practice?

Elizabeth A. Lynch, Brigit M. Chesworth, Louise A. Connell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the exponential growth in the evidence base for stroke rehabilitation, there is still a paucity of knowledge about how to consistently and sustainably deliver evidence-based stroke rehabilitation therapies in clinical practice. This means that people with stroke will not consistently benefit from research breakthroughs, simply because clinicians do not always have the skills, authority, knowledge or resources to be able to translate the findings from a research trial and apply these in clinical practice. This “point of view” article by an interdisciplinary, international team illustrates the lack of available evidence to guide the translation of evidence to practice in rehabilitation, by presenting a comprehensive and systematic content analysis of articles that were published in 2016 in leading clinical stroke rehabilitation journals commonly read by clinicians. Our review confirms that only a small fraction (2.5%) of published stroke rehabilitation research in these journals evaluate the implementation of evidence-based interventions into health care practice. We argue that in order for stroke rehabilitation research to contribute to enhanced health and well-being of people with stroke, journals, funders, policy makers, researchers, clinicians, and professional associations alike need to actively support and promote (through funding, conducting, or disseminating) implementation and evaluation research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-761
Number of pages11
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • rehabilitation
  • stroke
  • translational medical research


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