Translating research into everyday clinical practice: lessons learned from a USA dental practice-based research network

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OBJECTIVES: This paper discusses practice-based research (PBR) as a means to speed up the translation of research findings to clinical practice. It also reviews repair versus replacement of defective restorations as one example of the delay in the application of research findings to clinical practice. METHODS: Despite the existence of clinical studies, a significant delay exists between the generation of new knowledge and its application into the medical/dental community and their patients. One example is the repair of defective dental restorations. About 75% of practitioners in general dental practices do not consider the repair of dental restorations as a viable alternative to the replacement of defective restorations. Engaging and partnering with health practitioners in the field on studies addressing everyday clinical research questions may offer a solution to speed up the translation of the research findings. RESULTS: Practice-based research (PBR) offers a unique opportunity for practitioners to be involved in the research process, formulating clinical research questions. Additionally, PBR generates evidence-based knowledge with a broader spectrum that can be more readily generalized to the public. With PBR, clinicians are involved in the entire research process from its inception to its dissemination. SIGNIFICANCE: Early practitioner interaction in the research process may result in ideas being more readily incorporated into practice. Clinical studies are of paramount importance for testing and translation of the research findings to the community
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