Public Health Research Implementation and Translation

Local public health agencies participating in PBRNs were two to three times more likely than those who did not participate to engage in research implementation and translation activities.

The Issue:
Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) enable participation in the design, implementation, and translation of research. Until now, however, PBRNs have not been tested in public health settings. This study examines the processes influencing public health’s engagement in research implementation and translation activities.

Key Finding:                      

  • Local public health agencies participating in PBRNs were two to three times more likely than those who did not participate to engage in research implementation and translation activities.

Conclusion:
PBRNs can be an effective tool for encouraging engagement in research implementation and translation in public health. More research is needed, however, to better understand network dynamics.

About the Study:
Participants in public health PBRNs one year after network formation (n=357) and a nationally representative comparison group of U.S. local health departments not participating in PBRNs (n=625) were included in the study. Data was collected between 2010 and 2012 from surveys administered via the Internet.