Implementing research

Translating and implementing research – From bench to bed… to real world!

Following the development of an intervention, its efficacy is usually assessed in highly controlled environments, optimized to demonstrate benefits of a given treatment. However, real life situations are not controlled, and treatment effectiveness can be very different from its initial assessment. Indeed, what happens if patients take their medications irregularly? or if not enough people are getting vaccinated to protect a population? or if instead of patients with one single disease, drugs are administrated to multimorbid patients ?

Randomized controlled trials conducted in highly controlled settings are essential to show whether a treatment or an intervention is effective. However, we have to increase our knowledge on how to implement this knowledge into real life healthcare. This often neglected end-of-the-chain step refers to ‘implementation research’, one of the main challenges of today medical sciences. 

For its 4th annual research symposium, the Policlinique Médicale Universitaire invited experienced researchers to discuss these theoretical and practical aspects of this continuum from bench to bed… to real world :

  • Pr Christian Lengeler, Head of Unit, Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss TPH
  • Pr Shaun Treweek, Health Services Research Unit University of Aberdeen, UK
  • Dr François Meurice, Scientific Affairs & Public Health Director at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Vaccines
  • Pr Charles Bonsack, Responsable de la section de psychiatrie sociale du service de psychiatrie communautaire du département de psychiatrie du CHUV
  • Pr Bernard Burnand, Director of Cochrane Switzerland, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, CHUV-UNIL 

Those great speakers gave us a comprehensive view of the challenges of implementing research to practice. They also presented tools and methodologies developed to predict and measure if interventions provide the expected benefits to patients and population when implemented in day-to-day practice. Above all they have highlighted the need to involve multi-disciplinary collaborations between healthcare providers, patients and public authorities at every stage of a research project.

An article based on this symposium has been published in the Forum Médical Suisse.