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1.  Research funder required research partnerships: a qualitative inquiry 
Background
Researchers and funding agencies are increasingly showing interest in the application of research findings and focusing attention on engagement of knowledge-users in the research process as a means of increasing the uptake of research findings. The expectation is that research findings derived from these researcher-knowledge-user partnerships will be more readily applied when they became available. The objective of this study was to investigate the experiences, perceived barriers, successes, and opinions of researchers and knowledge-users funded under the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s integrated Knowledge Translation funding opportunities for a better understanding of these collaborations.
Methods
Participants, both researchers and knowledge-users, completed an online survey followed by an individual semi-structured phone interview supporting a mixed methods study. The interviews were analyzed qualitatively using a modified grounded theory approach.
Results
Survey analysis identified three major partnership types: token, asymmetric, and egalitarian. Interview analysis revealed trends in perceived barriers and successes directly related to the partnership formation and style. While all partnerships experienced barriers, token partnerships had the most challenges and general poor perception of partnerships. The majority of respondents found that common goals and equality in partnerships did not remove barriers but increased participants’ ability to look for solutions.
Conclusions
We learned of effective mechanisms and strategies used by researchers and knowledge-users for mitigating barriers when collaborating. Funders could take a larger role in helping facilitate, nurture, and sustain the partnerships to which they award grants.
doi:10.1186/s13012-014-0176-y
PMCID: PMC4260257  PMID: 25430813
Grants; Partnership; Qualitative research
2.  Clinical Practice Guidelines and Consensus Statements in Oncology – An Assessment of Their Methodological Quality 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110469.
Background
Consensus statements and clinical practice guidelines are widely available for enhancing the care of cancer patients. Despite subtle differences in their definition and purpose, these terms are often used interchangeably. We systematically assessed the methodological quality of consensus statements and clinical practice guidelines published in three commonly read, geographically diverse, cancer-specific journals. Methods Consensus statements and clinical practice guidelines published between January 2005 and September 2013 in Current Oncology, European Journal of Cancer and Journal of Clinical Oncology were evaluated. Each publication was assessed using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II (AGREE II) rigour of development and editorial independence domains. For assessment of transparency of document development, 7 additional items were taken from the Institute of Medicine’s standards for practice guidelines and the Journal of Clinical Oncology guidelines for authors of guidance documents.
Methods
Consensus statements and clinical practice guidelines published between January 2005 and September 2013 in Current Oncology, European Journal of Cancer and Journal of Clinical Oncology were evaluated. Each publication was assessed using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II (AGREE II) rigour of development and editorial independence domains. For assessment of transparency of document development, 7 additional items were taken from the Institute of Medicine's standards for practice guidelines and the Journal of Clinical Oncology guidelines for authors of guidance documents.
Findings
Thirty-four consensus statements and 67 clinical practice guidelines were evaluated. The rigour of development score for consensus statements over the three journals was 32% lower than that of clinical practice guidelines. The editorial independence score was 15% lower for consensus statements than clinical practice guidelines. One journal scored consistently lower than the others over both domains. No journals adhered to all the items related to the transparency of document development. One journal’s consensus statements endorsed a product made by the sponsoring pharmaceutical company in 64% of cases.
Conclusion
Guidance documents are an essential part of oncology care and should be subjected to a rigorous and validated development process. Consensus statements had lower methodological quality than clinical practice guidelines using AGREE II. At a minimum, journals should ensure that that all consensus statements and clinical practice guidelines adhere to AGREE II criteria. Journals should consider explicitly requiring guidelines to declare pharmaceutical company sponsorship and to identify the sponsor’s product to enhance transparency.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110469
PMCID: PMC4201546  PMID: 25329669
3.  GRAIDs: a framework for closing the gap in the availability of health promotion programs and interventions for people with disabilities 
Background
Evidence-based health promotion programs developed and tested in the general population typically exclude people with disabilities. To address this gap, a set of methods and criteria were created to adapt evidence-based health promotion programs for people with disabilities. In this first study, we describe a framework for adapting evidence-based obesity prevention strategies for people with disabilities. We illustrate how the framework has been used to adapt the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) obesity prevention strategies for individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.
Methods
The development of inclusion guidelines, recommendations and adaptations for obesity prevention (referred to as GRAIDs – Guidelines, Recommendations, Adaptations Including Disability) consists of five components: (i) a scoping review of the published and grey literature; (ii) an expert workgroup composed of nationally recognized leaders in disability and health promotion who review, discuss and modify the scoping review materials and develop the content into draft GRAIDs; (iii) focus groups with individuals with disabilities and their family members (conducted separately) who provide input on the potential applicability of the proposed GRAIDs in real world settings; (iv) a national consensus meeting with 21 expert panel members who review and vote on a final set of GRAIDs; and (v) an independent peer review of GRAIDs by national leaders from key disability organizations and professional groups through an online web portal.
Results
This is an ongoing project, and to date, the process has been used to develop 11 GRAIDs to coincide with 11 of the 24 CDC obesity prevention strategies.
Conclusion
A set of methods and criteria have been developed to allow researchers, practitioners and government agencies to promote inclusive health promotion guidelines, strategies and practices for people with disabilities. Evidence-based programs developed for people without disabilities can now be adapted for people with disabilities using the GRAIDs framework.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13012-014-0100-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13012-014-0100-5
PMCID: PMC4148531  PMID: 25123550
Disability; Health promotion; Guideline adaptation; Obesity
4.  Looking inside the black box: results of a theory-based process evaluation exploring the results of a randomized controlled trial of printed educational messages to increase primary care physicians’ diabetic retinopathy referrals [Trial registration number ISRCTN72772651] 
Background
Theory-based process evaluations conducted alongside randomized controlled trials provide the opportunity to investigate hypothesized mechanisms of action of interventions, helping to build a cumulative knowledge base and to inform the interpretation of individual trial outcomes. Our objective was to identify the underlying causal mechanisms in a cluster randomized trial of the effectiveness of printed educational materials (PEMs) to increase referral for diabetic retinopathy screening. We hypothesized that the PEMs would increase physicians’ intention to refer patients for retinal screening by strengthening their attitude and subjective norm, but not their perceived behavioral control.
Methods
Design: A theory based process evaluation alongside the Ontario Printed Educational Material (OPEM) cluster randomized trial. Postal surveys based on the Theory of Planned Behavior were sent to a random sample of trial participants two months before and six months after they received the intervention. Setting: Family physicians in Ontario, Canada. Participants: 1,512 family physicians (252 per intervention group) from the OPEM trial were invited to participate, and 31.3% (473/1512) responded at time one and time two. The final sample comprised 437 family physicians fully completing questionnaires at both time points. Main outcome measures: Primary: behavioral intention related to referring patient for retinopathy screening; secondary: attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control.
Results
At baseline, family physicians reported positive intention, attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control to advise patients about retinopathy screening suggesting limited opportunities for improvement in these constructs. There were no significant differences on intention, attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control following the intervention. Respondents also reported additional physician- and patient-related factors perceived to influence whether patients received retinopathy screening.
Conclusions
Lack of change in the primary and secondary theory-based outcomes provides an explanation for the lack of observed effect of the main OPEM trial. High baseline levels of intention to advise patients to attend retinopathy screening suggest that post-intentional and other factors may explain gaps in care. Process evaluations based on behavioral theory can provide replicable and generalizable insights to aid interpretation of randomized controlled trials of complex interventions to change health professional behavior.
Trial registration
ISRCTN72772651.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1748-5908-9-86) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-9-86
PMCID: PMC4261878  PMID: 25098442
Process evaluation; Theory of planned behavior; Printed educational material; Healthcare professional behavior; Behavior change
5.  Managerial leadership for research use in nursing and allied health care professions: a narrative synthesis protocol 
Systematic Reviews  2014;3:57.
Background
Nurses and allied health care professionals (physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, dietitians) form more than half of the clinical health care workforce and play a central role in health service delivery. There is a potential to improve the quality of health care if these professionals routinely use research evidence to guide their clinical practice. However, the use of research evidence remains unpredictable and inconsistent. Leadership is consistently described in implementation research as critical to enhancing research use by health care professionals. However, this important literature has not yet been synthesized and there is a lack of clarity on what constitutes effective leadership for research use, or what kinds of intervention effectively develop leadership for the purpose of enabling and enhancing research use in clinical practice. We propose to synthesize the evidence on leadership behaviours amongst front line and senior managers that are associated with research evidence by nurses and allied health care professionals, and then determine the effectiveness of interventions that promote these behaviours.
Methods/Design
Using an integrated knowledge translation approach that supports a partnership between researchers and knowledge users throughout the research process, we will follow principles of knowledge synthesis using a systematic method to synthesize different types of evidence involving: searching the literature, study selection, data extraction and quality assessment, and analysis. A narrative synthesis will be conducted to explore relationships within and across studies and meta-analysis will be performed if sufficient homogeneity exists across studies employing experimental randomized control trial designs.
Discussion
With the engagement of knowledge users in leadership and practice, we will synthesize the research from a broad range of disciplines to understand the key elements of leadership that supports and enables research use by health care practitioners, and how to develop leadership for the purpose of enhancing research use in clinical practice.
Trial registration
PROSPERO CRD42014007660.
doi:10.1186/2046-4053-3-57
PMCID: PMC4072612  PMID: 24903267
Dietetics,implementation science; Knowledge translation; Leadership; Management; Nursing; Occupational therapy; Physiotherapy; Research use; Speech and language pathology
6.  Knowledge synthesis and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research 
Systematic Reviews  2012;1:6.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is Canada's premier health-research funding agency. We fund nearly 14,000 researchers and trainees in four theme areas: biomedical, clinical, health services, and population and public-health research. Our mandate is 'to excel according to international standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products and a strengthened Canadian health care system'. Knowledge synthesis is a key element of the knowledge-translation objectives of CIHR, as outlined in our definition of knowledge-translation.
doi:10.1186/2046-4053-1-6
PMCID: PMC3351743  PMID: 22587985
7.  Patient perceptions and expectations regarding imaging for metastatic disease in early stage breast cancer 
SpringerPlus  2014;3:176.
Purpose
The probability of detecting radiologically evident metastatic disease in asymptomatic women with newly diagnosed operable breast cancer is low. Despite the recommendations of most practice guidelines imaging is still frequently performed. Relatively little is known about what patients believe is important when it comes to radiologic staging.
Methods
Patients with early stage breast cancer who had completed their definitive breast surgery were surveyed about their personal experiences, perceptions, and expectations on the issue of perioperative imaging for distant metastatic disease.
Results
Over a 3 month period, 245 women with primary operable breast cancer completed the questionnaire (87.0% response rate) and 80.8% indicated having had at least one imaging test for distant metastatic disease. These were either of the thorax (72.2%), abdomen (55.9%) or skeleton (65.3%) with a total of 701 imaging tests (average of 3.5 tests per patient imaged) performed. Overall, 57.1% indicated that they would want imaging done if the chance of detecting metastases was ≤10%. Although 80.0% of patients indicated that, “doing whatever their doctor recommended” was important to them, 70.4% also noted that they would be uncomfortable if their physician did not order imaging, even if this was in keeping with practice guidelines.
Conclusions
Most patients with early stage breast cancer recall having imaging tests for distant metastases. Given the choice, most would prefer having imaging performed, even if this is not in line with current guidelines. If patient expectations are, in part, driving excessive imaging, new strategies addressing this are required.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/2193-1801-3-176) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/2193-1801-3-176
PMCID: PMC4000356  PMID: 24790821
Imaging; Metastases; Operable breast cancer; Guidelines; Patient perceptions
9.  Presenting Evidence to Patients Online: What Do Web Users Think of Consumer Summaries of Cochrane Musculoskeletal Reviews? 
Background
The Internet has the potential to be an effective medium for delivering health care knowledge to consumers. While computer usability research makes recommendations about how to present Web-based information generally, there remains no clear guidance on how to present specific forms of health care research evidence online in a way that facilitates understanding and good health care decision making.
Objective
The two goals of this study were to describe the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group’s (CMSG’s) process for developing online patient-focused summaries of systematic reviews and to evaluate the impressions of these summaries formed by users.
Methods
A process for summarizing the results of systematic reviews via consumer summaries has evolved over 15 years. An evaluation of this approach took the form of Internet surveys on the Arthritis Society of Canada website and surveys of members of the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance (CAPA). Respondents provided information on background, relationship to the decision, their satisfaction with and preparation for decision making, and suggestions for improvements to the summaries. Survey data were collected between August 1, 2005, and February 28, 2006.
Results
A total of 261 respondents completed the survey. The majority (226/261 or 87%) of respondents reported having an arthritis-related condition. The consumer summary approach was generally reviewed favorably by respondents, with most agreeing that the summary provided appropriate information (177/261 or 68%), would be useful to others (160/261 or 61%), was well laid out (159/261 or 61%), was easy to learn from (157/261 or 60%), and was useful to the reader (153/261 or 59%). Areas of potential improvement were indicated by relatively fewer respondents agreeing that they could easily find all the information they wanted (118/261 or 45%), by a substantial proportion being unable to judge whether the providers of the information are reliable (80/261 or 31%), and by a similar proportion being unable to determine whether the information presented was the best available (68/261 or 26%).
Conclusions
The CMSG has developed an approach to summarizing the results of often-technical systematic reviews into public-friendly consumer summaries. Our online survey showed that this approach was generally well liked but identified specific areas for improvement. Feedback from this survey will help to reshape and improve the current template for consumer summaries used by the CMSG.
doi:10.2196/jmir.1532
PMCID: PMC3221355  PMID: 21247863
Decision support techniques; health care surveys; Internet; patient education; patient satisfaction; patient-centered care; musculoskeletal diseases
10.  Core Competencies for Shared Decision Making Training Programs: Insights From an International, Interdisciplinary Working Group 
Shared decision making is now making inroads in health care professionals’ continuing education curriculum, but there is no consensus on what core competencies are required by clinicians for effectively involving patients in health-related decisions. Ready-made programs for training clinicians in shared decision making are in high demand, but existing programs vary widely in their theoretical foundations, length, and content. An international, interdisciplinary group of 25 individuals met in 2012 to discuss theoretical approaches to making health-related decisions, compare notes on existing programs, take stock of stakeholders concerns, and deliberate on core competencies. This article summarizes the results of those discussions. Some participants believed that existing models already provide a sufficient conceptual basis for developing and implementing shared decision making competency-based training programs on a wide scale. Others argued that this would be premature as there is still no consensus on the definition of shared decision making or sufficient evidence to recommend specific competencies for implementing shared decision making. However, all participants agreed that there were 2 broad types of competencies that clinicians need for implementing shared decision making: relational competencies and risk communication competencies. Further multidisciplinary research could broaden and deepen our understanding of core competencies for shared decision making training.
doi:10.1002/chp.21197
PMCID: PMC3911960  PMID: 24347105 CAMSID: cams3819
shared decision making; education; patient-centered care; implementation science; theory; risk communication
11.  The development of a guideline implementability tool (GUIDE-IT): a qualitative study of family physician perspectives 
BMC Family Practice  2014;15:19.
Background
The potential of clinical practice guidelines has not been realized due to inconsistent adoption in clinical practice. Optimising intrinsic characteristics of guidelines (e.g., its wording and format) that are associated with uptake (as perceived by their end users) may have potential. Using findings from a realist review on guideline uptake and consultation with experts in guideline development, we designed a conceptual version of a future tool called Guideline Implementability Tool (GUIDE-IT). The tool will aim to involve family physicians in the guideline development process by providing a process to assess draft guideline recommendations. This feedback will then be given back to developers to consider when finalizing the recommendations. As guideline characteristics are best assessed by end-users, the objectives of the current study were to explore how family physicians perceive guideline implementability, and to determine what components should comprise the final GUIDE-IT prototype.
Methods
We conducted a qualitative study with family physicians inToronto, Ontario. Two experienced investigators conducted one-hour interviews with family physicians using a semi-structured interview guide to 1) elicit feedback on perceptions on guideline implementability; 2) to generate a discussion in response to three draft recommendations; and 3) to provide feedback on the conceptual GUIDE-IT. Sessions were audio taped and transcribed verbatim. Data collection and analysis were guided by content analyses.
Results
20 family physicians participated. They perceived guideline uptake according to facilitators and barriers across 6 categories of guideline implementability (format, content, language, usability, development, and the practice environment). Participants’ feedback on 3 draft guideline recommendations were grouped according to guideline perception, cognition, and agreement. When asked to comment on GUIDE-IT, most respondents believed that the tool would be useful, but urged to involve “regular” or community family physicians in the process, and suggested that an online system would be the most efficient way to deliver it.
Conclusions
Our study identified facilitators and barriers of guideline implementability from the perspective of community and academic family physicians that will be used to build our GUIDE-IT prototype. Our findings build on current knowledge by showing that family physicians perceive guideline uptake mostly according to factors that are in the control of guideline developers.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-15-19
PMCID: PMC4016596  PMID: 24476491
Guideline implementability; Family practice; Knowledge translation; Qualitative
12.  Mining the Management Literature for Insights into Implementing Evidence-Based Change in Healthcare 
Healthcare Policy  2012;8(1):33-48.
Objective:
We synthesized the management and health literatures for insights into implementing evidence-based change in healthcare drawn from industry-specific data. Because change principles based on evidence often fail to be translated into organizational practice or policy, we sought studies at the nexus of organizational change and knowledge translation.
Methods:
We reviewed five top management journals to identify an initial pool of 3,091 studies, which yielded a final sample of 100 studies. Data were abstracted, verified by the original authors and revised before entry into a database. We employed a systematic narrative synthesis approach using words and text to distill data and explain relationships. We categorized studies by varying levels of relevance for knowledge translation as (1) primary, direct; (2) intermediate; and (3) secondary, indirect. We also identified recurring categories of change-related organizational factors. The current analysis examines these factors in studies of primary relevance to knowledge translation, which we also coded for intervention readiness to reflect how readily change can be implemented.
Preliminary Results and Conclusions:
Results centred on five change-related categories: Tailoring the Intervention Message; Institutional Links/Social Networks; Training; Quality of Work Relationships; and Fit to Organization. In particular, networks across institutional and individual levels appeared as prominent pathways for changing healthcare organizations. Power dynamics, positive social relations and team structures also played key roles in implementing change and translating it into practice. We analyzed journals in which first authors of these studies typically publish, and found evidence that management and health sciences remain divided. Bridging these disciplines through research syntheses promises a wealth of evidence and insights, well worth mining in the search for change that works in healthcare transformation.
PMCID: PMC3430153  PMID: 23968602
13.  Guideline adaptation and implementation planning: a prospective observational study 
Background
Adaptation of high-quality practice guidelines for local use has been advanced as an efficient means to improve acceptability and applicability of evidence-informed care. In a pan-Canadian study, we examined how cancer care groups adapted pre-existing guidelines to their unique context and began implementation planning.
Methods
Using a mixed-methods, case-study design, five cases were purposefully sampled from self-identified groups and followed as they used a structured method and resources for guideline adaptation. Cases received the ADAPTE Collaboration toolkit, facilitation, methodological and logistical support, resources and assistance as required. Documentary and primary data collection methods captured individual case experience, including monthly summaries of meeting and field notes, email/telephone correspondence, and project records. Site visits, process audits, interviews, and a final evaluation forum with all cases contributed to a comprehensive account of participant experience.
Results
Study cases took 12 to >24 months to complete guideline adaptation. Although participants appreciated the structure, most found the ADAPTE method complex and lacking practical aspects. They needed assistance establishing individual guideline mandate and infrastructure, articulating health questions, executing search strategies, appraising evidence, and achieving consensus. Facilitation was described as a multi-faceted process, a team effort, and an essential ingredient for guideline adaptation. While front-line care providers implicitly identified implementation issues during adaptation, they identified a need to add an explicit implementation planning component.
Conclusions
Guideline adaptation is a positive initial step toward evidence-informed care, but adaptation (vs. ‘de novo’ development) did not meet expectations for reducing time or resource commitments. Undertaking adaptation is as much about the process (engagement and capacity building) as it is about the product (adapted guideline). To adequately address local concerns, cases found it necessary to also search and appraise primary studies, resulting in hybrid (adaptation plus de novo) guideline development strategies that required advanced methodological skills.
Adaptation was found to be an action element in the knowledge translation continuum that required integration of an implementation perspective. Accordingly, the adaptation methodology and resources were reformulated and substantially augmented to provide practical assistance to groups not supported by a dedicated guideline panel and to provide more implementation planning support. The resulting framework is called CAN-IMPLEMENT.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-8-49
PMCID: PMC3668213  PMID: 23656884
Knowledge to action; Practice guidelines; Evidence-informed practice; Knowledge activation; Guideline adaptation; Implementation planning
14.  Factors influencing the adoption of blood alternatives to minimize allogeneic transfusion: the perspective of eight Ontario hospitals 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2002;45(2):132-140.
Objective
To identify and describe the factors influencing the use and nonuse of blood-sparing methods such as preoperative autologous donation, acute normovolemic hemodilution, and the use of cell salvage devices, hemostatic agents and erythropoietin.
Design
An interview survey.
Setting
Eight Ontario hospitals.
Method
Interviews were conducted with chiefs of surgery, orthopedics, cardiac surgery and anesthesia, and with heads of transfusion medicine and pharmacy. Hospitals were selected using the qualitative sampling strategy of maximum variation based on their use of the methods (as reported in a previous mail survey).
Results
Use of blood-sparing methods was influenced by diverse factors often operating simultaneously. These included the following: characteristics of the method (e.g., evidence of its effectiveness, ease of use, cost); perceptions and experiences of the potential adopters (experience with the method, perception of the current safety of allogeneic blood, perceived convenience or inconvenience of using the method); aspects of the practice setting (inability to move resources between hospital departments, presence of a local clinical champion); and the external environment (patient and public expectations, funding of the blood system, blood shortages).
Interpretation
More rational and evidence-based use of blood-sparing methods could be promoted by the adoption of an interdisciplinary, comprehensive, coordinated approach tailored to each patient’s needs.
PMCID: PMC3686936  PMID: 11939657
16.  Improving physician hand hygiene compliance using behavioural theories: a study protocol 
Background
Healthcare-associated infections affect 10% of patients in Canadian acute-care hospitals and are significant and preventable causes of morbidity and mortality among hospitalized patients. Hand hygiene is among the simplest and most effective preventive measures to reduce these infections. However, compliance with hand hygiene among healthcare workers, specifically among physicians, is consistently suboptimal. We aim to first identify the barriers and enablers to physician hand hygiene compliance, and then to develop and pilot a theory-based knowledge translation intervention to increase physicians’ compliance with best hand hygiene practice.
Design
The study consists of three phases. In Phase 1, we will identify barriers and enablers to hand hygiene compliance by physicians. This will include: key informant interviews with physicians and residents using a structured interview guide, informed by the Theoretical Domains Framework; nonparticipant observation of physician/resident hand hygiene audit sessions; and focus groups with hand hygiene experts. In Phase 2, we will conduct intervention mapping to develop a theory-based knowledge translation intervention to improve physician hand hygiene compliance. Finally, in Phase 3, we will pilot the knowledge translation intervention in four patient care units.
Discussion
In this study, we will use a behavioural theory approach to obtain a better understanding of the barriers and enablers to physician hand hygiene compliance. This will provide a comprehensive framework on which to develop knowledge translation interventions that may be more successful in improving hand hygiene practice. Upon completion of this study, we will refine the piloted knowledge translation intervention so it can be tested in a multi-site cluster randomized controlled trial.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-8-16
PMCID: PMC3571966  PMID: 23379466
17.  Understanding the performance and impact of public knowledge translation funding interventions: Protocol for an evaluation of Canadian Institutes of Health Research knowledge translation funding programs 
Background
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has defined knowledge translation (KT) as a dynamic and iterative process that includes the synthesis, dissemination, exchange, and ethically-sound application of knowledge to improve the health of Canadians, provide more effective health services and products, and strengthen the healthcare system. CIHR, the national health research funding agency in Canada, has undertaken to advance this concept through direct research funding opportunities in KT. Because CIHR is recognized within Canada and internationally for leading and funding the advancement of KT science and practice, it is essential and timely to evaluate this intervention, and specifically, these funding opportunities.
Design
The study will employ a novel method of participatory, utilization-focused evaluation inspired by the principles of integrated KT. It will use a mixed methods approach, drawing on both quantitative and qualitative data, and will elicit participation from CIHR funded researchers, knowledge users, KT experts, as well as other health research funding agencies. Lines of inquiry will include an international environmental scan, document/data reviews, in-depth interviews, targeted surveys, case studies, and an expert review panel. The study will investigate how efficiently and effectively the CIHR model of KT funding programs operates, what immediate outcomes these funding mechanisms have produced, and what impact these programs have had on the broader state of health research, health research uptake, and health improvement.
Discussion
The protocol and results of this evaluation will be of interest to those engaged in the theory, practice, and evaluation of KT. The dissemination of the study protocol and results to both practitioners and theorists will help to fill a gap in knowledge in three areas: the role of a public research funding agency in facilitating KT, the outcomes and impacts KT funding interventions, and how KT can best be evaluated.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-57
PMCID: PMC3485627  PMID: 22726821
18.  Following a natural experiment of guideline adaptation and early implementation: a mixed-methods study of facilitation 
Background
Facilitation is emerging as an important strategy in the uptake of evidence. However, it is not entirely clear from a practical perspective how facilitation occurs to help move research evidence into nursing practice. The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, also known as the 'Partnership,' is a Pan-Canadian initiative supporting knowledge translation activity for improved care through guideline use. In this case-series study, five self-identified groups volunteered to use a systematic methodology to adapt existing clinical practice guidelines for Canadian use. With 'Partnership' support, local and external facilitators provided assistance for groups to begin the process by adapting the guidelines and planning for implementation.
Methods
To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the nature of facilitation, we conducted a mixed-methods study. Specifically, we examined the role and skills of individuals actively engaged in facilitation as well as the actual facilitation activities occurring within the 'Partnership.' The study was driven by and builds upon a focused literature review published in 2010 that examined facilitation as a role and process in achieving evidence-based practice in nursing. An audit tool outlining 46 discrete facilitation activities based on results of this review was used to examine the facilitation noted in the documents (emails, meeting minutes, field notes) of three nursing-related cases participating in the 'Partnership' case-series study. To further examine the concept, six facilitators were interviewed about their practical experiences. The case-audit data were analyzed through a simple content analysis and triangulated with participant responses from the focus group interview to understand what occurred as these cases undertook guideline adaptation.
Results
The analysis of the three cases revealed that almost all of the 46 discrete, practical facilitation activities from the literature were evidenced. Additionally, case documents exposed five other facilitation-related activities, and a combination of external and local facilitation was apparent. Individuals who were involved in the case or group adapting the guideline(s) also performed facilitation activities, both formally and informally, in conjunction with or in addition to appointed external and local facilitators.
Conclusions
Facilitation of evidence-based practice is a multifaceted process and a team effort. Communication and relationship-building are key components. The practical aspects of facilitation explicated in this study validate what has been previously noted in the literature and expand what is known about facilitation process and activity.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-9
PMCID: PMC3296591  PMID: 22309743
facilitation; facilitator; evidence-based practice; nursing; guideline
20.  The Canadian Bandaging Trial: Evidence-informed leg ulcer care and the effectiveness of two compression technologies 
BMC Nursing  2011;10:20.
Background
Objective: To determine the relative effectiveness of evidence-informed practice using two high compression systems: four-layer (4LB) and short-stretch bandaging (SSB) in community care of venous leg ulcers. Design and Setting: Pragmatic, multi-centre, parallel-group, open-label, randomized controlled trial conducted in 10 centres. Cognitively intact adults (≥18 years) referred for community care (home or clinic) with a venous ulceration measuring ≥0.7cm and present for ≥1 week, with an ankle brachial pressure index (ABPI) ≥0.8, without medication-controlled Diabetes Mellitus or a previous failure to improve with either system, were eligible to participate.
Methods
Consenting individuals were randomly allocated (computer-generated blocked randomization schedule) to receive either 4LB or SSB following an evidence-informed protocol. Primary endpoint: time-to- healing of the reference ulcer. Secondary outcomes: recurrence rates, health-related quality of life (HRQL), pain, and expenditures.
Results
424 individuals were randomized (4LB n = 215; SSB n = 209) and followed until their reference ulcer was healed (or maximum 30 months). An intent-to-treat analysis was conducted on all participants. Median time to ulcer healing in the 4LB group was 62 days [95% confidence interval (CI) 51 to 73], compared with 77 days (95% CI 63 to 91) in the SSB group. The unadjusted Kaplan-Meier curves revealed the difference in the distribution of cumulative healing times was not significantly different between group (log rank χ2 = 0.001, P = 0.98) nor ulcers recurrence (4LB, 10.1%; SSB, 13.3%; p = 0.345). Multivariable Cox Proportional Hazard Modeling also showed no significant between-bandage differences in healing time after controlling for significant covariates (p = 0.77). At 3-months post-baseline there were no differences in pain (no pain: 4LB, 22.7%; SSB, 26.7%; p = 0.335), or HRQL (SF-12 Mental Component Score: 4LB, 55.1; SSB, 55.8; p = 0.615; SF-12 Physical Component Score: 4LB, 39.0; SSB, 39.6; p = 0.675). The most common adverse events experienced by both groups included infection, skin breakdown and ulcer deterioration.
Conclusions
The Canadian Bandaging Trial revealed that in the practice context of trained RNs using an evidence-informed protocol, the choice of bandage system (4LB and SSB) does not materially affect healing times, recurrence rates, HRQL, or pain. From a community practice perspective, this is positive news for patient-centred care allowing individual/family and practitioner choice in selecting compression technologies based on circumstances and context.
Trial registration
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00202267
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-10-20
PMCID: PMC3214126  PMID: 21995267
21.  Opinion leaders and changes over time: a survey 
Background
Opinion leaders represent one way to disseminate new knowledge and influence the practice behaviors of physicians. This study explored the stability of opinion leaders over time, whether opinion leaders were polymorphic (i.e., influencing multiple practice areas) or monomorphic (i.e., influencing one practice area), and reach of opinion leaders in their local network.
Methods
We surveyed surgeons and pathologists in Ontario to identify opinion leaders for colorectal cancer in 2003 and 2005 and to identify opinion leaders for breast cancer in 2005. We explored whether opinion leaders for colorectal cancer identified in 2003 were re-identified in 2005. We examined whether opinion leaders were considered polymorphic (nominated in 2005 as opinion leaders for both colorectal and breast cancer) or monomorphic (nominated in 2005 for only one condition). Social-network mapping was used to identify the number of local colleagues identifying opinion leaders.
Results
Response rates for surgeons were 41% (2003) and 40% (2005); response rates for pathologists were 42% (2003) and 37% (2005). Four (25%) of the surgical opinion leaders identified in 2003 for colorectal cancer were re-identified in 2005. No pathology opinion leaders for colorectal cancer were identified in both 2003 and 2005. Only 29% of surgical opinion leaders and 17% of pathology opinion leaders identified in the 2005 survey were considered influential for both colorectal cancer and breast cancer. Social-network mapping revealed that only a limited number of general surgeons (12%) or pathologists (7%) were connected to the social networks of identified opinion leaders.
Conclusions
Opinion leaders identified in this study were not stable over a two-year time period and generally appear to be monomorphic, with clearly demarcated areas of expertise and limited spheres of influence. These findings may limit the practicability of routinely using opinion leaders to influence practice.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-117
PMCID: PMC3205036  PMID: 21988924
22.  Reporting Guidelines for Survey Research: An Analysis of Published Guidance and Reporting Practices 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(8):e1001069.
Carol Bennett and colleagues review the evidence and find that there is limited guidance and no consensus on the optimal reporting of survey research.
Background
Research needs to be reported transparently so readers can critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of the design, conduct, and analysis of studies. Reporting guidelines have been developed to inform reporting for a variety of study designs. The objective of this study was to identify whether there is a need to develop a reporting guideline for survey research.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a three-part project: (1) a systematic review of the literature (including “Instructions to Authors” from the top five journals of 33 medical specialties and top 15 general and internal medicine journals) to identify guidance for reporting survey research; (2) a systematic review of evidence on the quality of reporting of surveys; and (3) a review of reporting of key quality criteria for survey research in 117 recently published reports of self-administered surveys. Fewer than 7% of medical journals (n = 165) provided guidance to authors on survey research despite a majority having published survey-based studies in recent years. We identified four published checklists for conducting or reporting survey research, none of which were validated. We identified eight previous reviews of survey reporting quality, which focused on issues of non-response and accessibility of questionnaires. Our own review of 117 published survey studies revealed that many items were poorly reported: few studies provided the survey or core questions (35%), reported the validity or reliability of the instrument (19%), defined the response rate (25%), discussed the representativeness of the sample (11%), or identified how missing data were handled (11%).
Conclusions
There is limited guidance and no consensus regarding the optimal reporting of survey research. The majority of key reporting criteria are poorly reported in peer-reviewed survey research articles. Our findings highlight the need for clear and consistent reporting guidelines specific to survey research.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Surveys, or questionnaires, are an essential component of many types of research, including health, and usually gather information by asking a sample of people questions on a specific topic and then generalizing the results to a larger population. Surveys are especially important when addressing topics that are difficult to assess using other approaches and usually rely on self reporting, for example self-reported behaviors, such as eating habits, satisfaction, beliefs, knowledge, attitudes, opinions. However, the methods used in conducting survey research can significantly affect the reliability, validity, and generalizability of study results, and without clear reporting of the methods used in surveys, it is difficult or impossible to assess these characteristics and therefore to have confidence in the findings.
Why Was This Study Done?
This uncertainty in other forms of research has given rise to Reporting Guidelines—evidence-based, validated tools that aim to improve the reporting quality of health research. The STROBE (STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology) Statement includes cross-sectional studies, which often involve surveys. But not all surveys are epidemiological, and STROBE does not include methods' and results' reporting characteristics that are unique to surveys. Therefore, the researchers conducted this study to help determine whether there is a need for a reporting guideline for health survey research.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified any previous relevant guidance for survey research, and any evidence on the quality of reporting of survey research, by: reviewing current guidance for reporting survey research in the “Instructions to Authors” of leading medical journals and in published literature; conducting a systematic review of evidence on the quality of reporting of surveys; identifying key quality criteria for the conduct of survey research; and finally, reviewing how these criteria are currently reported by conducting a review of recently published reports of self-administered surveys.
The researchers found that 154 of the 165 journals searched (93.3%) did not provide any guidance on survey reporting, even though the majority (81.8%) have published survey research. Only three of the 11 journals that provided some guidance gave more than one directive or statement. Five papers and one Internet site provided guidance on the reporting of survey research, but none used validated measures or explicit methods for development. The researchers identified eight papers that addressed the quality of reporting of some aspect of survey research: the reporting of response rates; the reporting of non-response analyses in survey research; and the degree to which authors make their survey instrument available to readers. In their review of 117 published survey studies, the researchers found that many items were poorly reported: few studies provided the survey or core questions (35%), reported the validity or reliability of the instrument (19%), discussed the representativeness of the sample (11%), or identified how missing data were handled (11%). Furthermore, (88 [75%]) did not include any information on consent procedures for research participants, and one-third (40 [34%]) of papers did not report whether the study had received research ethics board review.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Overall, these results show that guidance is limited and consensus lacking about the optimal reporting of survey research, and they highlight the need for a well-developed reporting guideline specifically for survey research—possibly an extension of the guideline for observational studies in epidemiology (STROBE)—that will provide the structure to ensure more complete reporting and allow clearer review and interpretation of the results from surveys.
Additional Information
Please access these web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001069.
More than 100 reporting guidelines covering a broad spectrum of research types are indexed on the EQUATOR Networks web site
More information about STROBE is available on the STROBE Statement web site
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001069
PMCID: PMC3149080  PMID: 21829330
23.  Understanding the relationship between the perceived characteristics of clinical practice guidelines and their uptake: protocol for a realist review 
Background
Clinical practice guidelines have the potential to facilitate the implementation of evidence into practice, support clinical decision making, specify beneficial therapeutic approaches, and influence public policy. However, these potential benefits have not been consistently achieved. The limited impact of guidelines can be attributed to organisational constraints, the complexity of the guidelines, and the lack of usability testing or end-user involvement in their development. Implementability has been referred to as the perceived characteristics of guidelines that predict the relative ease of their implementation at the clinical level, but this concept is as yet poorly defined. The objective of our study is to identify guideline attributes that affect uptake in practice by considering evidence from four disciplines (medicine, psychology, management, human factors engineering) to determine the relationship between the perceived characteristics of recommendations and their uptake and to develop a framework of implementability.
Methods
A realist-review approach to knowledge synthesis will be used to understand attributes of guidelines (e.g., its text and content) and how changing these elements might impact clinical practice and clinical decision making. It also allows for the exploration of 'what works for whom, in what circumstances, and in what respects'. The realist review will be structured according to Pawson's five practical steps in realist reviews: (1) clarifying the scope of the review, (2) determining the search strategy, (3) ensuring proper article selection and study quality assessment, (4) extracting and organising data, and (5) synthesising the evidence and drawing conclusions. Data will be synthesised according to a two-stage analysis: (1) we will extract and define all relevant guideline attributes from the different disciplines, then create a shortlist of unique attributes and investigate their relationships with uptake, and (2) we will compare and contrast the attributes and guideline uptake within each and between the four disciplines to create a robust framework of implementability.
Discussion
Creating guidelines that are designed to maximise uptake may be a potentially effective and inexpensive way of increasing their impact. However, this is best achieved by a comprehensive framework to inform the design of guidelines drawing on a range of disciplines that study behaviour change. This study will use a customised realist-review approach to synthesising the literature to better understand and operationalise a complex and under-theorised concept.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-69
PMCID: PMC3224565  PMID: 21733160

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