Knowing is not enough!

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  • E D I T O R I A L

    Knowing is not enough!jbr_158 1

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, Knowing is notenough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.This is true of healthcare across the globe, particular withreference to the links between research and practice. Theadvancement of knowledge through research is critical tothe health sciences and the improvement of global healthoutcomes.

    The term evidence-based practice is now well embeddedin the vernacular of researchers and health professionalsacross the world, as are the names of the organisationsthat spread the word and advance the science of thissometimes-elusive force. Unfortunately, although theevidence-based movement has existed for some time now,separation of the elements (research and practice) stillproves to be problematic.

    There is little doubt that research outcomes are of littleutility without clear and definitive links with clinical practice.It is essential that questions derived from practice driveresearch (in terms of focus), which in turn contributes to theuptake of research outcomes in clinical practice.

    The centrality of practice to research endeavours remainsimportant; however, strategies to ensure that this occurs arenot always fruitful. Neither research nor practice can besuccessful in isolation. It is the interaction of the two thatresults in improved health outcomes. Although this is wellrecognised, finding a balance between these elements hasoften proved challenging for clinicians and researchers alike.Again, as Goethe would put it, these things are oftensimpler than you would think and more complex than youcould imagine.

    The Joanna Briggs Institute was founded on the premisethat research and practice are inextricably linked. It is drivenby the belief that contemporary healthcare should striveto establish a professional orientation to clinical practicethrough both the intellectual pursuit of clinical knowledgeand the institution of practice change.

    The International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare, apublication of the Joanna Briggs Institute, is testimony to theInstitutes commitment to drive these two endeavours (ofresearch and practice) forward together and this is shown inthe diversity of both authorship and focus of the articlescontained in it. Not only are authors from a broad range ofdisciplines, but also the scope of the journal includes thesynthesis, transfer and utilisation of research evidence.

    This issue of the journal contains the inaugural CochraneNursing Care Corner which presents four summaries eachissue of nursing care-related systematic reviews from the

    Wiley Cochrane Library. Members of the recently establishedCochrane Nursing Care Network contribute to this newcorner. This Nursing Care Network is made up of consumersof nursing care, nurses, formal and informal carers, otherhealthcare professionals, researchers and others involved inthe delivery of nursing care who aim to raise awareness ofand increase the use of research published in the CochraneLibrary that impacts nursing care, again emphasising thecritical relationship between research and practice. This con-nection is also underlined by Professor Robin Watts AM, inthe transcript of the Joanna Briggs Oration she delivered inNovember 2009. The present issue also contains a system-atic review examining the role of cognitive leisure activitiesin preventing dementia1 along with a consideration of theevidence for treatment of antineutrophil cytoplasmicantibody-associated vasculitis with renal involvement.2

    These papers present the best available evidence to informdecisions in practice while highlighting areas requiringfurther research again showing the need for a close relation-ship between research and practice.

    The Joanna Briggs Institute, following a long affiliationwith both the health system in South Australia and theUniversity of Adelaide, is now formally moving to the Uni-versity of Adelaide. The Universitys international focus onexcellence in research and innovation and its strong linkswith clinical practice place it well as the new official hometo the Institute.

    The Universitys strengths are the depth and dedication ofits teams who work to promote better health, well-beingand disease prevention in Australia and the world. This is inline with the Institutes desire to improve global health out-comes through the promotion and support of evidence-based practice and it is hoped that this new, formalrelationship proves to be a long and rewarding one.

    Justin Beilby MD MPH FRACGPExecutive Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of

    Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

    References1. Stern C, Munn Z. Cognitive leisure activities and their role in

    preventing dementia: a systematic review. JBI Libr Syst Rev 2009;7(29): 12911331.

    2. Jeffs LS, Hurtado PR, Faull RJ, Peh CA. Antineutrophil cytoplasmicantibody-associated vasculitis with renal involvement: the evi-dence for treatment. Int J Evid Based Healthc 2010; 8: 1827.

    doi:10.1111/j.1744-1609.2010.00158.x Int J Evid Based Healthc 2010; 8: 1

    2010 The AuthorJournal Compilation Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd

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