JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Achieving 'best practice' in health promotion: improving the fit between research and practice

D Nutbeam
Health Education Research 1996, 11 (3): 317-26
10163564
This paper is based on the proposition that transfer of knowledge between researchers and practitioners concerning effective health promotion interventions is less than optimal. It considers how evidence concerning effectiveness in health promotion is established through research, and how such evidence is applied by practitioners and policy makers in deciding what to do and what to fund when addressing public health problems. From this examination it is concluded that there are too few rewards for researchers which encourage research with potential for widespread application and systematic development of promising interventions to a stage of field dissemination. Alternatively, practitioners often find themselves in the position of tackling a public health problem where evidence of efficacy is either lacking, or has to be considered alongside a desire to respond to expressed community needs, or the need to respond to political imperative. Several different approaches to improving the fit between research and practice are proposed, and they include improved education and training for practitioners, outcomes focussed program planning, and a more structured approach to rewarding research development and dissemination.

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