Volume 44 Number 6, 2007
Pages 879 — 892

Abstract - Bridging science to service: Using Rehabilitation Research and Training Center program to ensure that research-based knowledge makes a difference

Marianne Farkas, ScD;* William A. Anthony, PhD

Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA

Abstract — The challenge of bridging science to service is increasingly visible in the healthcare field, with emphasis on the influence of evidence-based knowledge on both policy and practice. Since its inception more than 40 years ago, the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) program has provided grants for both research and training activities designed to ensure that research knowledge is translated into practice. The RRTC program is unique in that its mission and funding have always required that both time and money be invested in the translation and dissemination of research-generated knowledge to users in the field, i.e., decision makers and practitioners. Boston University's Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation has been an RRTC for more than 25 years and provides an example of the effect of the RRTC program in bridging science to service. The Center's mission as an RRTC has been to develop and transfer research knowledge to decision makers and practitioners who can then inform change and promote progress in mental health disability policy and practice. This article reviews five basic dissemination and utilization principles for overcoming the most common barriers to effective dissemination of evidence-based knowledge and provides examples of the Center's activities related to each principle. In addition, a knowledge-transfer framework developed by the Center to organize dissemination and utilization efforts is described.

Key words: evidence-based messages, knowledge dissemination, knowledge-transfer framework, knowledge utilization, policy maker, psychiatric disabilities, psychosocial, recovery, rehabilitation, research.

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