cover of the journal Health Psychology

Reverse Translation: Bridging the Practice-to-Research Gap

Kenneth E. Freedland, PhD, FAHA, FABMR
Editor-in-Chief, Health Psychology
Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, Washington University School of Medicine

cover of the journal Health PsychologyMost discussions of the research-practice gap in health psychology focus on gaps in the implementation of clinically significant research findings. This makes it seem as though information flows in only one direction between research and practice.  In fact, the flow of information in the opposite direction (i.e., from practice to research) is just as important. Researchers can have a strong impact on evidence-based practices only if their research goals are guided by the real-world needs of patients, practitioners, and other stakeholders in the practice of evidence-based clinical health psychology.

Thus, health psychology researchers need input from practicing health psychologists, from their patients, and from others who are involved in multidisciplinary health care services. In order to encourage the practice community to provide more of this kind of input, Health Psychology, the official journal of the Society for Health Psychology, recently launched a special series on “Reverse Translation: Bridging the Practice-to Research Gap.”

This new series will address such topics as 1) the identification health-related behavioral problems or disorders that are potentially preventable or treatable but for which better interventions are needed; 2) barriers to effective, evidence-based behavioral prevention or intervention services for health-related problems; 3) disparities in health psychology services; and 4) trends in health care policies, financing, or delivery models that demonstrate needs for better behavioral prevention or intervention services.

The call for papers is available at: https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/hea/call-for-papers-reverse-translation .  Authors who are interested in submitting an article for the Reverse Translation series should contact the Editor of Health Psychology at health.psy.apa@gmail.com.