Knowledge translation in health care: A concept analysis

Homeira Khoddam, Neda Mehrdad, Hamid Peyrovi, Alison Kitson, Timothy Schultz, Asa Muntlin Athlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although knowledge translation is one of the most widely used concepts in health and medical literature, there is a sense of ambiguity and confusion over its definition. The aim of this paper is to clarify the characteristics of KT. This will assist the theoretical development of it and shape its implementation into the health care system Methods: Walker and Avant's framework was used to analyze the concept and the related literature published between 2000 and 2010 was reviewed. A total of 112 papers were analyzed. Results: Review of the literature showed that "KT is a process" and "implementing refined knowledge into a participatory context through a set of challenging activities" are the characteristics of KT. Moreover, to occur successfully, KT needs some necessary antecedents like an integrated source of knowledge, a receptive context, and preparedness. The main consequence of successful process is a change in four fields of healthcare, i.e. quality of patient care, professional practice, health system, and community. In addition, this study revealed some empirical referents which are helpful to evaluate the process. Conclusion: By aiming to portray a clear picture of KT, we highlighted its attributes, antecedents, consequences and empirical referents. Identifying the characteristics of this concept may resolve the existing ambiguities in its definition and boundaries thereby facilitate distinction from similar concepts. In addition, these findings can be used as a knowledge infrastructure for developing the KT-related models, theories, or tools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number98
Pages (from-to)626-640
Number of pages15
JournalMedical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Concept analysis
  • Healthcare system
  • Knowledge translation
  • Walker and Avant


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