Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the gaps between researchers and policy makers in perceptions and influencing factors of knowledge translation (KT) of health technology assessment (HTA) in China.
Methods: A sample of 382 HTA researchers and 112 policy makers in China were surveyed using structured questionnaires. The questionnaires contained two sections: perceptions of HTA research and assessments of six-stage KT activities. Wilcoxon rank sum test was applied to compare the differences in these two sections between HTA researchers and policy makers. Multivariate linear regression was performed to explore KT determinants of HTA for researchers and policy makers separately.
Results: Policy makers and researchers differed in their perceptions of HTA research in all items except collaboration in research development and presentation of evidence in easy-to-understand language. Significant differences in KT activities existed in all the six stages except academic translation. Regarding KT determinants, close contact between research unit and policy-making department, relevance of HTA to policy making, and importance of HTA on policy making were considered facilitators by both groups. For researchers, practicality of HTA report and presentation of evidence in easy-to-understand language can facilitate KT. Policy makers, on the other hand, considered an overly pedantic nature of HTA research as an obstacle to effective KT.
Conclusions: Substantial gaps existed between HTA researchers and policy makers regarding the perceptions of HTA research and KT activities. There are also some differences in KT determinants by these two groups. Enhancing collaboration, promoting practicality and policy relevance of HTA research, and making HTA findings easily understood are likely to further the KT of HTA evidence.