Researchers in the field of health psychology have increasingly been involved in translating a body of knowledge about psychological factors associated with health-relevant behaviours, into the development and evaluation of interventions that seek to apply that knowledge. In this paper we argue that a changing economic and political climate, and the strong behavioural contribution to disease morbidity and mortality in developed nations, requires health psychologists to plan more rigorously for, and communicate more effectively, about how health promotion, social cognition and behaviour change interventions will have impact and be increasingly embedded into health services or health promotion activity. We explain academic and wider socio-economic uses of ‘impact’ in health services research. We describe the relationship between impact and dissemination, and impact as distinct from, but often used interchangeably with the terms ‘implementation’, ‘knowledge transfer’ and ‘knowledge translation’ (KT). The evidence for establishing impact is emergent. We therefore draw on a number of impact planning and KT frameworks, with reference to two self- management interventions, to describe a framework that we hope will support health psychologists in embedding impact planning and execution in research. We illustrate this further in an on-line annexe with reference to one of our own interventions, Mums-and-MS (see Supplemental Material).
Bibliographical noteThis is an electronic version of an article published in Health Psychology Review, 8 (1), pp. 8-33. Health Psychology Review is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17437199.2013.775629
- knowledge translation
- knowledge transfer
- behaviour change
- health promotion