restricted access A Community-Engaged Approach to Translating Research into Practice: A Physical Education Story

Background: The National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Award program emphasizes the need to speed up the process of putting evidence-based practices into place. One strategy they promote is community engagement; however, few studies describe a process for meaningfully engaging communities in the translation process.

Objective: This article describes steps taken by a university– community partnership to create a plan for implementing evidence-based physical education (PE) practices in rural schools. This partnership’s efforts resulted in the acquisition of a $1.86 million grant to implement the plan.

Methods: Qualitative data collected during the planning process were analyzed using content analysis.

Results: Key steps included undertaking a baseline assessment of community needs, reviewing and selecting evidence-based practices, developing a multilevel, community-driven action plan and establishing its feasibility with community stakeholders.

Lessons Learned: These steps could be applied to other health topics across a variety of settings. Several strategies that made the process successful are described. Recommendations are made for expanding the roles of Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) and local health foundations in supporting community-engaged translational research.

Conclusions: University–community partnerships have the potential to create plans and obtain large-scale funding for translating evidence-based research into practice.