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Development, spread and impact of primary care and musculoskeletal communities of practice to assist rapid translation of evidence into practice

Stevenson, Kay; Sarigiovannis, Panos; Finney, Andrew G.; Cottrell, Elizabeth; Lewis, Rachael; Edwards, John James; Hadley-Barrows, Tina; Thomson, Kirsty; Reay, Hannah; Dziedzic, Krysia S.


Kay Stevenson

Panos Sarigiovannis

Elizabeth Cottrell

Rachael Lewis

John James Edwards

Tina Hadley-Barrows

Kirsty Thomson

Hannah Reay


BACKGROUND: Embedding research into practice is challenging. Barriers include: a shortage of time, lack of understanding of the evidence and a poor support in the clinical setting. A community of practice (CoP) model has been used to address these issues. Three 'Evidence into Practice' groups use a CoP model to assist the rapid translation of evidence into practice in primary and secondary care settings. We describe how a CoP model supports the functions, operations and outputs of three 'Evidence into Practice Groups'. METHOD: A CoP model is used to engage a broad range of clinicians, researchers, managers, patients and librarians in the complex process of acquiring research knowledge and then translating knowledge into practice. The CoP principles of Domain, Community and Practice are used to describe three 'Evidence into Practice Groups' who cater for different elements of the care and academic sector and engage a range of professional groups. This includes primary and secondary care engaging professionals such as general practitioners (GP), practice nurses, allied health professionals, researchers and librarians. All groups are clinically led, academically supported and follow similar processes to identify the best evidence and translate it into practice. As the groups reflect the context in which they work they have different operational arrangements for example frequency and time of meetings. RESULTS: The CoP model enabled three 'Evidence into Practice Groups' over time to: engage over 180 clinical and academic staff; answer 130 clinical questions; improve clinical care, gain funding for two randomised controlled trials (enrolled over n = 7000 participants) and identify areas for further research, quality improvement audit and training. CONCLUSION: The CoP model encourages the rapid translation of evidence into practice by engaging staff to identify areas of clinical concern in their own context, thereby stimulating their interest and involvement. This creates a meaningful link between research and practice. Clinical leadership and the CoP model ensure that practice change is quick and efficient. This model can be replicated at scale. Consideration needs to be given to the key ingredients to achieve impact.


Stevenson, K., Sarigiovannis, P., Finney, A. G., Cottrell, E., Lewis, R., Edwards, J. J., …Dziedzic, K. S. (2021). Development, spread and impact of primary care and musculoskeletal communities of practice to assist rapid translation of evidence into practice. Musculoskeletal Care, 19(4), 564-569.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 24, 2021
Online Publication Date Mar 23, 2021
Publication Date 2021-12
Publicly Available Date May 30, 2023
Journal Musculoskeletal Care
Print ISSN 1478-2189
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 4
Pages 564-569
Keywords Nursing (miscellaneous), Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Chiropractics, Rheumatology
Publisher URL