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1.  Uncovering Tacit Knowledge: A Pilot Study to Broaden the Concept of Knowledge in Knowledge Translation 
Background
All sectors in health care are being asked to focus on the knowledge-to-practice gap, or knowledge translation, to increase service effectiveness. A social interaction approach to knowledge translation assumes that research evidence becomes integrated with previously held knowledge, and practitioners build on and co-create knowledge through mutual interactions. Knowledge translation strategies for public health have not provided anticipated positive changes in evidence-based practice, possibly due in part to a narrow conceptualization of knowledge. More work is needed to understand the role of tacit knowledge in decision-making and practice. This pilot study examined how health practitioners applied tacit knowledge in public health program planning and implementation.
Methods
This study used a narrative approach, where teams from two public health units in Ontario, Canada were conveniently selected. Respondents participated in individual interviews and focus groups at each site. Questions were designed to understand the role of tacit knowledge as it related to the program planning process. Data were analyzed through a combination of content analysis and thematic comparison.
Results
The findings highlighted two major aspects of knowledge that arose: the use of tacit knowledge and the integration of tacit and explicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge included: past experiences, organization-specific knowledge, community contextual knowledge, and the recognition of the tacit knowledge of others. Explicit knowledge included: research literature, the Internet, popular magazines, formal assessments (surveys and interviews), legislation and regulations. Participants sometimes deliberately combined tacit and explicit knowledge sources in planning.
Conclusions
This pilot demonstrated that front-line public health workers draw upon both tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge in their everyday lived reality. Further, tacit knowledge plays an important role in practitioners' interpretation and implementation of explicit research findings. This indicates a need to broaden the scope of knowledge translation to include other forms of knowledge beyond explicit knowledge acquired through research. Strategies that recognize and support the use of tacit knowledge, such as communities of practice or networks, may be important components of a comprehensive approach to knowledge translation. This study provides support for further investigation of the role of tacit knowledge in the planning and delivery of effective public health services.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-198
PMCID: PMC3173304  PMID: 21851617
2.  Mapping as a knowledge translation tool for Ontario Early Years Centres: views from data analysts and managers 
Background
Local Ontario Early Years Centres (OEYCs) collect timely and relevant local data, but knowledge translation is needed for the data to be useful. Maps represent an ideal tool to interpret local data. While geographic information system (GIS) technology is available, it is less clear what users require from this technology for evidence-informed program planning. We highlight initial challenges and opportunities encountered in implementing a mapping innovation (software and managerial decision-support) as a knowledge translation strategy.
Methods
Using focus groups, individual interviews and interactive software development events, we taped and transcribed verbatim our interactions with nine OEYCs in Ontario, Canada. Research participants were composed of data analysts and their managers. Deductive analysis of the data was based on the Ottawa Model of Research Use, focusing on the innovation (the mapping tool and maps), the potential adopters, and the environment.
Results
Challenges associated with the innovation included preconceived perceptions of a steep learning curve with GIS software. Challenges related to the potential adopters included conflicting ideas about tool integration into the organization and difficulty with map interpretation. Lack of funds, lack of availability of accurate data, and unrealistic reporting requirements represent environmental challenges.
Conclusion
Despite the clear need for mapping software and maps, there remain several challenges to their effective implementation. Some can be modified, while other challenges might require attention at the systemic level. Future research is needed to identify barriers and facilitators related to using mapping software and maps for decision-making by other users, and to subsequently develop mapping best practices guidelines to assist community-based agencies in circumventing some challenges, and support information equity across a region.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-3-4
PMCID: PMC2265301  PMID: 18205913
3.  Factors that influence engagement in collaborative practice 
Canadian Family Physician  2007;53(8):1318-1325.
OBJECTIVE
To generate hypotheses regarding factors that might influence engagement in collaborative practice.
DESIGN
Qualitative study using in-depth interviews.
SETTING
Participants interviewed each other in dyads. The pairing was based upon geographical location and proximity to each other.
PARTICIPANTS
Eight professionals from the disciplines of medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and massage therapy.
METHOD
Semistructured interviews, lasting 30 to 45 minutes each, were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were read by all research team members using independent content analysis for common words, phrases, statements, or units of text for key themes. At a subsequent face-to-face meeting, the team used an iterative process of comparing and contrasting key themes until consensus was reached. The transcripts were then analyzed further for subthemes using NVivo software.
MAIN FINDINGS
Initial findings suggest that some common characteristics grounded in family history, school experiences, social interactions, and professional training might influence collaborative practice choices. The narrative form of the interview broke down interpersonal and interprofessional barriers, creating a new level of trust and respect that could improve professional collaboration.
CONCLUSION
This study suggests that life experiences from childhood into later adulthood can and do influence professional choices.
PMCID: PMC1949257  PMID: 17872847

Results 1-3 (3)