Bridging the evidence-practice gap
There is increasing information that clinicians and public health initiatives do not always adhere to best evidence practice, thereby increasing the risk of medical errors, ineffective treatments and cost inefficiencies. Consequently, there is a need to examine the mechanisms by which healthcare service delivery can be modified, to approximate evidence-based practice. This is a difficult area of research due to ethical issues, reluctance of clinicians to be involved, lack of cost-efficient and accurate measures of clinical behaviour, and an increasing recognition of a need for system change, resulting in difficulty in conducting randomised controlled trials. Centre members have contributed to the literature in this area; forged collaborative relationships with professional colleges, the National Institute of Clinical Studies (a group which has responsibility for attempting to reduce the evidence-practice gap in Australia) and national and international colleagues; and has been successful in obtaining competitive research grants and undertaking some of the larger controlled studies in this field.