UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Connecting knowledge with action for health equity: a critical interpretive synthesis of promising practices Plamondon, Katrina; Caxaj, C. S.; Graham, Ian D.; Bottorff, J. L. (Joan L.), 1950-


Connecting knowledge with action (KWA) for health equity involves interventions that can redistribute power and resources at local, national, and global levels. Although there is ample and compelling evidence on the nature, distribution, and impact of health inequities, advancing health equity is inhibited by policy arenas shaped by colonial legacies and neoliberal ideology. Effective progress toward health equity requires attention to evidence that can promote the kind of socio-political restructuring needed to address root causes of health inequities. In this critical interpretive synthesis, results of a recent scoping review were broadened to identify evidence-informed promising practices for KWA for health equity. Following screening procedures, 10 literature reviews and 22 research studies were included in the synthesis. Analysis involved repeated readings of these 32 articles to extract descriptive data, assess clarity and quality, and identify promising practices. Four distinct kinds of promising practices for connecting KWA for health equity were identified and included: ways of structuring systems, ways of working together, and ways of doing research and ways of doing knowledge translation. Our synthesis reveals that advancing health equity requires greater awareness, dialogue, and action that aligns with the what is known about the causes of health inequities. By critically reflecting on dominant discourses and assumptions, and mobilizing political will from a more informed and transparent democratic exercise, knowledge to action for health equity can be achieved.

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