Ethics of Knowledge Translation

I12 annualreview fc issue

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Abstract

The term knowledge translation refers to the synthesis, exchange, dissemination and ethically sound application of knowledge. According to its supporters, it has the potential to improve best practices in clinical, government, and research settings, and maximize the return on health research investments. As such, knowledge translation has received significant attention from the health research community, especially from funding agencies. This has led to numerous theories and models, such as the knowledge-to-action framework, being designed to guide the creation and implementation of knowledge in practice. However, ethical aspects of knowledge translation remain to be examined. To fill this gap, ethical issues stemming from the conceptual, theoretical, and methodological foundations of knowledge translation, as well as the practical application of the knowledge-to-action framework, are presented in this article. It is suggested that the knowledge-to-action framework should take one step further and consider ethical aspects of knowledge translation by identifying the potential ethical pitfalls at each stage from knowledge creation, dissemination and implementation into healthcare practice.