Research translation: A pathway for health inequity.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

In a context of social inequity, research translation naturally furthers health inequity. As Fundamental Cause Theory (FCT) explains-and an associated empirical literature illustrates-those with more resources benefit earlier and more from scientific innovation than those with fewer resources. Therefore, research translation of its own course creates and widens health disparities based on socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity. Yet, the conversation about research translation has yet to center this critical reality, undermining our efforts to address heath inequity. Moving toward sustainable health equity requires that we build the evidence base for, prioritize, and institutionalize translation approaches that center the needs and assets of low-resource populations (with community engagement helping toward that end). However, even the impact of that approach will be limited if we as a society do not mobilize knowledge to address social inequity and the many ways in which it shapes health. The health research community should engage the FCT paradigm to think critically about resource allocation among different kinds of research and action. Moreover, in our contributions to discussions about the road to health equity, we must be forthcoming about the reality FCT describes and the limitations it indicates for achieving health equity through translation of biomedical, clinical, health services, and health behavior research alone.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Silberberg, M

Published Date

  • February 2023

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 179 - 183

PubMed ID

  • 36325944

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9926067

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1752-8062

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/cts.13443


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States