This article from Family Practice describes two Canadian initiatives that are helping to transfer research into practice [subscription required]:
CAPRE: Critically Appraised Practice Reflection Exercise [Queen’s University, Kingston ON]
GAC: Guidelines Advisory Committee [Ontario]
Rosser W. Bringing important research evidence into practice: Canadian developments. Family Practice 2008 November 12.
BACKGROUND: The transfer of evidence from research into clinical practice is made almost impossible by enormous volume of literature on any topic. Consolidated evidence into guidelines is not very helpful as there are usually 50 guidelines existing on common clinical topics. Clinicians need assistance in identifying the best available evidence. This paper describes two strategies to transfer research evidence into clinical practice.
METHODS: The Guideline Advisory Committee (GAC) in Ontario has assessed all available guidelines on 70 clinical topics using a validated and transparent process involving community-based physicians as assessors. A single best guideline is selected and a summary of its evidence-based recommendations are produced for easy use by practitioners (http://www.gacguidelines.ca). The Critically Appraised Practice Reflection Exercise (CAPRE) programme takes the best available evidence on 40 common practice problems, presents a summary for clinician and patient, has a strategy for physician and patient to find common ground in applying the evidence and has the practitioner to carry out a reflection exercise to gain continuing education credits (http://www.capre.ca). Distribution of these strategies in practice-based research networks is a further step in making research more relevant to practice.
RESULTS: The GAC website has more than 100 000 ‘hits’ per month and 4500 identified regular users from Canada and the world. The numbers are steadily increasing. The CAPRE programme has not been formally evaluated but over 150 clinicians have used the programme with patients. With a national launch, the programme there between 60 000 and 80 000 hits per week with 100 physicians completing the programme for continuing medical education (CME) credits in the first month. Physicians report that their patients are very pleased with their physician using the latest evidence to address their problem. This is true even if the patient does not agree to follow the evidence-based recommendations. Using these programmes in practice-based research, networks should further promote making research more relevant to practice.
CONCLUSIONS: Transferring research-based evidence into clinical practice has many challenges. Two programmes developed to address these challenges are described. Although not fully evaluated, there is some evidence of success.