Online strategies to facilitate health-related knowledge transfer: a systematic search and review
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BACKGROUND: Health interventions and practices often lag behind the available research, and the need for timely translation of new health knowledge into practice is becoming increasingly important. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic search and review of the literature on online knowledge translation techniques that foster the interaction between various stakeholders and assist in the sharing of ideas and knowledge within the health field. METHODS: The search strategy included all published literature in the English language since January 2003 and used the medline, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (cinahl), embase and Inspec databases. RESULTS: The results of the review indicate that online strategies are diverse, yet all are applicable in facilitating online health-related knowledge translation. The method of knowledge sharing ranged from use of wikis, discussion forums, blogs, and social media to data/knowledge management tools, virtual communities of practice and conferencing technology - all of which can encourage online health communication and knowledge translation. CONCLUSIONS: Online technologies are a key facilitator of health-related knowledge translation. This review of online strategies to facilitate health-related knowledge translation can inform the development and improvement of future strategies to expedite the translation of research to practice.
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