Knowledge Exchange -Translating Research into Practice and Policy


Substantial differences in population-based cancer control outcomes exist within and between nations.Optimal outcomes derive from ‘what we know’, ‘what we apply in practice’, and ‘how complete and compliantis the population uptake of public health and clinical practice change’. This continuum of research (scientificdiscovery) to practice (application and uptake) to policy impacts the speed and completeness of practice changeand is greatly influenced by the ability, opportunity and readiness of countries to implement evidence informedpractices and policies through innovative change. Session 4 of the 4th International Cancer Control Congressfocused on knowledge exchange through three plenary presentations and five interactive workshop discussions:1) the role of epidemiological data as a basis for policy formulation; 2) existing global frameworks for cancercontrol; 3) knowledge exchange as it relates to public health practice and policy; 4) knowledge exchange inrelation to primary, community, and specialist cancer care; and 5) the role of public engagement and advocacy ininfluencing cancer control policy. Common themes emerging from workshop discussions included the recognitionof the importance of knowledge exchange processes, constituents and forums as key aspects of preparedness,awareness and readiness to implement public health and clinical practice change. The importance of culturaland contextual differences between nations was identified as a challenge requiring development of tools forgenerating relevant population/societal data (e.g., projection methodologies applied to population demographics,outcomes and resources, both societal, human and fiscal) and capacity building for facilitating knowledgetransfer and exchange between the constituencies engaged in population-based public health practice andclinically based primary care and disease specialty practice exchange (researchers, health practitioners, healthadministrators, politicians, patients and families, and the private and public sectors). Understanding patient andpublic engagement advocacy and its role in influencing health and public policy investment priorities emergedas a critical and fundamental aspect of successful implementation of evidence-informed cancer control change.