Improving the implementation and impact of evidence-based health promotion interventions in real world settings

Findings from health promotion research that could help Canadians live healthy lifestyles are often not applied in practice. This gap between health promotion research and health promotion practice is particularly concerning for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Despite people with SCI's urgent need for interventions that respect their unique challenges and barriers to health behaviour change, there are very few health promotion interventions designed for people with SCI. To ensure health promotion research improves the health of all Canadians, there is an urgent need to improve the use of health promotion research in practice.

The aim of this five-year knowledge translation research program is to examine methods for improving the use of health promotion research in real-world practice. Given the lack of health promotion interventions for people with SCI, this research program will examine how we can improve the use of health promotion evidence to enhance the health of people living with SCI. 

Dr. Gainforth will examine how successful and unsuccessful practitioners apply health promotion techniques when promoting healthy behaviours to people with SCI and develop the first evidence-based guidelines, tools and interventions to improve knowledge translation partnerships between researchers and members of the SCI community. Lessons learned from practitioners will be used to develop and test tools and interventions to help other practitioners successfully promote healthy behaviours to people with SCI.

Ultimately, this research will develop best practices for building capacity among researchers and community members to conduct and share research in partnership. In turn, findings and the approach can support other research teams aiming to use partnerships to conduct and share research that enhances the health of marginalized groups.