Measuring research translation: Introducing evidence briefs.

Dr Tilley Pain1,2

1Queensland Health, Townsville, Australia, 2James Cook University, Townsville, Australia


Aim: The aim of this work was to document change in clinical practice from allied health research. Allied health professionals are emerging researchers. However, metrics for their success is the same as other research –  papers and citations. These metrics are important but they do not measure an important aspect – practice change.

Method: The Townsville Hospital and Health Service (THHS) is building research capacity with the aim of improving clinical practice. Therefore, an instrument to measure the impact of research on clinical practice was sought by the Research Fellow employed in the role.

Results: Our solution was to imitate the Deeble Institute’s Health Policy Evidence Brief – a one page document to help policy makers quickly find what evidence exists in a topic area, describe how compelling it is and the implication for policy.

THHS named the document Health Practice Evidence Brief. The purpose of the Evidence Brief is to provide a one page summary for THHS decision makers describing the clinical problem or gap, the research evidence to solve the problem or fill the gap and the resulting practice change.

Significance of findings: Six Health Practice Evidence Briefs have been developed to date. They document a wide variety of practice change including: removal of a week’s delay between simulation and treatment for prostate cancer patients; all patients on fluid only diets referred to a dietitian if length of stay is 3 days or more; and patients continue wearing antibiotic infusion pumps during concurrent hyperbaric treatment.


Dr Tilley Pain is a Principal Research Fellow at Townsville Hospital and Health Service. Her role includes building the research capacity of allied health professionals and conducting relevant research. Her research interests include building allied health research capacity, healthy aging and health economics.