Effectiveness of knowledge translation of social interventions across economic boundaries: A systematic review

Meredith Leah Newlin, Martin Webber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is increasing evidence to suggest that the application of knowledge in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) is failing, that a gap exists between what is known from research and what is done to apply it. Despite widespread agreement that the application of evidence is needed, there are few published studies of how to effectively translate knowledge of social interventions, particularly those aimed at improving outcomes for mental health populations. To address this gap we assessed knowledge translation of social interventions for adults with mental health problems across economic boundaries using a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature. This review aimed to identify the extent of translational research available and to explore the effectiveness of different strategies and interventions. Studies were included if they translated knowledge between richer and poorer countries and reported a social component (as opposed to purely health) which aimed to improve social outcomes for adults with mental health problems. Our findings provide evidence for the successful translation of locally adapted social interventions to LMIC, though the specific knowledge translation mechanisms varied greatly. With only 23 studies meeting inclusion criteria for this review, further investigation is needed to ascertain the conditions surrounding knowledge translation of social interventions globally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-568
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work
Issue number4
Early online date8 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015 Taylor & Francis. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


  • knowledge transfer
  • Interventions
  • Mental health

Cite this