Cross-disciplinary research in cancer: an opportunity to narrow the knowledge– practice gap

  • R. Urquhart Capital Health/Dalhousie University
  • E. Grunfeld University of Toronto
  • L. Jackson Dalhousie University
  • J. Sargeant Dalhousie University
  • G.A. Porter Dalhousie University
Keywords: Knowledge translation, evidence-based practice, cross-disciplinary research, cancer

Abstract

Health services researchers have consistently identified a gap between what is identified as “best practice” and what actually happens in clinical care. Despite nearly two decades of a growing evidence-based practice movement, narrowing the knowledge–practice gap continues to be a slow, complex, and poorly understood process. Here, we contend that cross-disciplinary research is increasingly relevant and important to reducing that gap, particularly research that encompasses the notion of transdisciplinarity, wherein multiple academic disciplines and non-academic individuals and groups are integrated into the research process. The assimilation of diverse perspectives, research approaches, and types of knowledge is potentially effective in helping research teams tackle real-world patient care issues, create more practice-based evidence, and translate the results to clinical and community care settings. The goals of this paper are to present and discuss cross-disciplinary approaches to health research and to provide two examples of how engaging in such research may optimize the use of research in cancer care.

Author Biographies

R. Urquhart, Capital Health/Dalhousie University
Department of Surgery, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, and Division of Medical Education
E. Grunfeld, University of Toronto
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and Department
of Family and Community Medicine
L. Jackson, Dalhousie University
School of Health and Human Performance, Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre
J. Sargeant, Dalhousie University
Continuing Medical Education, Division of Medical Education
G.A. Porter, Dalhousie University
Department of Surgery, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology
Published
2013-09-12
How to Cite
Urquhart, R., Grunfeld, E., Jackson, L., Sargeant, J., & Porter, G. (2013). Cross-disciplinary research in cancer: an opportunity to narrow the knowledge– practice gap. Current Oncology, 20(6), e512-e521. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.20.1487
Section
Knowledge Translation