Optimizing the real-world impact of rehabilitation reviews: increasing the relevance and usability of systematic reviews in rehabilitation

Nicola M. Kayes, Rachelle Martin, Felicity Bright, Paula Kersten, Alex Pollock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: Despite a growing portfolio of rehabilitation reviews, uptake of review findings into practice remains slow, with review findings perceived to be lacking in relevance and usability for stakeholders. Key aspects of review design, production and dissemination have been identified to contribute to this knowledge translation (KT) gap.
AIM: The aim of this study is to identify strategies relevant to rehabilitation review design, production and dissemination which have the potential to optimize uptake of review findings into practice.
RESULTS: Two strategies are discussed, drawing on case examples of existing rehabilitation reviews, including: 1) involving stakeholders in review design, production and dissemination; and 2) moving towards theory-based, mixed methods review design. The merits of these strategies are discussed with reference to the unique and specific characteristics of the rehabilitation context, where there is complexity inherent in the multiple interacting components across population, intervention, context and implementation processes.
CONCLUSIONS: Moving towards theory-based, mixed methods reviews which involve stakeholders may be a critical first step in supporting uptake of review findings into rehabilitation practice. Doing so also has the potential to support advances in knowledge and practice in rehabilitation through theory development, as well as creating the context for evidence-based practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-341
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2019



  • Stakeholder participation
  • Systematic review
  • Translational medical research

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