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The translation imperative: moving research into policy
  1. Keshia M Pollack1,
  2. Alicia Samuels1,
  3. Shannon Frattaroli2,
  4. Andrea C Gielen3
  1. 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Department of Health Policy and Management, Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA; SAVIR Board Member
  3. 3Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA; SAVIR President Elect
  1. Correspondence to Keshia M Pollack, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Injury Research and Policy, 624 N Broadway, Room 557, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA; kpollack{at}jhsph.edu

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Injury and violence prevention research has led to numerous discoveries that effectively reduce the burden of injury. Although we are a relatively young field, advances have been accelerated by the work of early scholars like William Haddon and Susan Baker, who gave us the principles and data needed to develop and test interventions. Numerous examples of proven effective injury countermeasures exist, such as passenger restraint devices, smoke alarms, residential sprinklers, and helmets for motorcyclists and bicyclists, to name just a few.1 The challenge now is to accelerate the translation of this and new knowledge into action that can protect populations.

Assuring that individuals working to prevent and control injuries have access to information about evidence-based interventions, and actually use that information to inform decision making, is often overlooked by researchers. Translating knowledge from research findings into practice includes targeted efforts to disseminate information about effective interventions; processes to promote implementation of policies and programmes; and strategies to facilitate adoption of the intervention(s) among target populations.2 As researchers, our familiarity with the scientific process, skills in critically appraising data, and affiliations outside political and administrative bureaucracies make us well positioned to embrace a role in the translation process. Increasingly, funding agencies are …

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