Translational Research: Bridging the Chasm Between New Knowledge and Useful Knowledge

  • Lynn KempEmail author
Reference work entry


The failure to translate health research findings into practice costs lives. Less than 20% of research on the efficacy of new interventions or practices finds its way into ongoing clinical practice, and it takes between 15 and 20 years for this translation to occur. Translational research involves a series and combination of methods to achieve the nonlinear process of progressing basic scientific discovery to a healthcare intervention, to the assessment of efficacy of that intervention for health outcomes in trial groups, to the determination of effectiveness of the intervention in the broader population, and finally to the sustainable adoption of the effective practice at population scale. More simply put, translational research is the movement of basic science into human research and human research into healthcare practices: the former sometimes referred to as translational research and the latter as implementation research. This chapter will provide some clarity to the complex labeling and conceptualizing of translational and implementation research and their methodological frameworks including the characteristics and key procedures of research methods that facilitate quality and timely translation of interventions and programs, including hybrid and reflexive research designs, diffusion and dissemination research, and decision-making and policy research.


Translational research Hybrid trial designs Pragmatic trials Decision-making tools Fidelity research External validity Collaboration 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Translational Research and Social Innovation (TReSI) Group, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical ResearchWestern Sydney UniversityLiverpoolAustralia

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