The individual practitioner is a linchpin in the process of translating new knowledge into practice, particularly in the emergency department, where physician autonomy is high, resources are limited, and decision-making situations are complex. An understanding of the cognitive and social processes that affect knowledge translation (KT) in emergency medicine (EM) is crucial and at present understudied. As part of the 2007 Academic Emergency Medicine Consensus Conference on KT in EM, our group sought to identify key research areas that would inform our understanding of these cognitive and social processes. We combined an online discussion group of interdisciplinary stakeholders, an extensive review of the existing literature, and a "public hearing" of the recommendations at the Consensus Conference to establish relative preference for the recommendations, as well as their relevance and clarity to attendees. We identified five key research areas as follows. 1) What provider-specific barriers/facilitators to the use of new knowledge are relevant in the EM setting? 2) Can social psychological theories of behavior change be used to develop better KT interventions for EM? 3) Can the study of "distributed cognition" suggest new vehicles for KT in the emergency department? 4) Can the concept of dual-process reasoning inform our understanding of the KT process? 5) Can patient-specific, immediate feedback serve as a vehicle for KT in EM? We believe that exploring these key research questions will directly lead to improved KT interventions and to further discussion of the cognitive and social factors impacting KT in EM.
- consensus proceedings
- knowledge translation