Critical examination of knowledge to action models and implications for promoting health equity

Colleen M. Davison, Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh, Connie Clement

International Journal for Equity in Health 2015, 14(49)

Published online: 29 May 2015


Introduction: Knowledge and effective interventions exist to address many current global health inequities. However, there is limited awareness, uptake, and use of knowledge to inform action to improve the health of disadvantaged populations. The gap between knowledge and action to improve health equity is of concern to health researchers and practitioners. This study identifies and critically examines the usefulness of existing knowledge to action models or frameworks for promoting health equity.

Methods: We conducted a scoping review of existing literature to identify knowledge to action (KTA) models or frameworks and critiqued the models using a health equity support rubric.

Results: We identified forty-eight knowledge to action models or frameworks. Six models scored between eight and ten of a maximum 12 points on the health equity support rubric. These high scoring models or frameworks all mentioned equity-related concepts. Attention to multisectoral approaches was the factor most often lacking in the low scoring models. The concepts of knowledge brokering, integrative processes, such as those in some indigenous health research, and Ecohealth applied to KTA all emerged as promising areas.

KeywordsPalabras clave:

Equity in Health; Knowledge Translation; Public Health Interventions; Health Inequalities

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