Implementation: From Research to Practice


Moving knowledge into clinical practice and policy


ONF has invested significant resources, time and energy working with researchers, people with SCI and ABI, practitioners and service delivery organizations to identify gaps in the understanding of acquired brain and spinal cord injuries, as well as neurotrauma prevention. However, identifying a need or gap in service is not enough to create the change necessary for improvements in care, service or quality of life.

Without effort and science devoted to implementing research outcomes, the value of the initial investment in knowledge mobilization can be lost. Therefore, ONF considers implementation to be the most important part of the process.

ONF is uniquely positioned to establish relationships between the researchers mobilizing knowledge, stakeholders and those developing the programs and policies, as well as those at the front line of care. These ONF-driven collaborations are more likely to lead to sustainable practice improvements that can be widely implemented. When successful, this process leads to improved outcomes at less cost to the individual, their family and the health care system.

ONF will fund research that ensures evidence-informed practices are developed and brought into practice in collaboration with partners such as the Rick Hansen Institute and the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS). This approach involves ONF taking an active role in approaching designated researchers and other stakeholders, and facilitating a research project. To ensure the needs of the province of Ontario are met, ONF also has guidelines that state it will only consider research of relevance to neurotrauma that has a strong Ontario component. Several project areas that are currently being addressed include pressure ulcers, urinary tract infections, respiratory infections and neuropathic pain.

The outcome of this research must be relevant, useful and improve health outcomes. While not the primary focus of effort, ONF-driven work in the area of pressure ulcer prevention and treatment and concussion diagnosis and care can be applied more broadly across the province’s heath care system.

Inquiries regarding information about past research supported by ONF inquiries can be made at

Evidence-informed practice implementation

ONF is currently working on the following evidence-informed practice implementation projects in order to ensure that the research findings are taken up in practice:

  1. The Spinal Cord Injury Knowledge Mobilization Network (SCI KMN) focusing on secondary health complications
  2. The development of e-learning modules for family physicians caring for people with spinal cord injury
  3. Falls Prevention

In order to remain current with the most effective approaches to practice implementation, ONF has partnered with the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN). An international network, NIRN shares knowledge that improves the understanding of the science of implementing change in best practices, organizations and systems in the area of human services. NIRN has established and shares its science-based approach for moving evidence to practice.