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1.  Barriers, facilitators and views about next steps to implementing supports for evidence-informed decision-making in health systems: a qualitative study 
Mobilizing research evidence for daily decision-making is challenging for health system decision-makers. In a previous qualitative paper, we showed the current mix of supports that Canadian health-care organizations have in place and the ones that are perceived to be helpful to facilitate the use of research evidence in health system decision-making. Factors influencing the implementation of such supports remain poorly described in the literature. Identifying the barriers to and facilitators of different interventions is essential for implementation of effective, context-specific, supports for evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) in health systems. The purpose of this study was to identify (a) barriers and facilitators to implementing supports for EIDM in Canadian health-care organizations, (b) views about emerging development of supports for EIDM, and (c) views about the priorities to bridge the gaps in the current mix of supports that these organizations have in place.
This qualitative study was conducted in three types of health-care organizations (regional health authorities, hospitals, and primary care practices) in two Canadian provinces (Ontario and Quebec). Fifty-seven in-depth semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with senior managers, library managers, and knowledge brokers from health-care organizations that have already undertaken strategic initiatives in knowledge translation. The interviews were taped, transcribed, and then analyzed thematically using NVivo 9 qualitative data analysis software.
Limited resources (i.e., money or staff), time constraints, and negative attitudes (or resistance) toward change were the most frequently identified barriers to implementing supports for EIDM. Genuine interest from health system decision-makers, notably their willingness to invest money and resources and to create a knowledge translation culture over time in health-care organizations, was the most frequently identified facilitator to implementing supports for EIDM. The most frequently cited views about emerging development of supports for EIDM were implementing accessible and efficient systems to support the use of research in decision-making (e.g., documentation and reporting tools, communication tools, and decision support tools) and developing and implementing an infrastructure or position where the accountability for encouraging knowledge use lies. The most frequently stated priorities for bridging the gaps in the current mix of supports that these organizations have in place were implementing technical infrastructures to support research use and to ensure access to research evidence and establishing formal or informal ties to researchers and knowledge brokers outside the organization who can assist in EIDM.
These results provide insights on the type of practical implementation imperatives involved in supporting EIDM.
PMCID: PMC4299810  PMID: 25476735
Evidence informed decision-making; Knowledge transfer and exchange; Knowledge translation
2.  A Systematic Review of Instruments to Assess Organizational Readiness for Knowledge Translation in Health Care 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e114338.
The translation of research into practices has been incomplete. Organizational readiness for change (ORC) is a potential facilitator of effective knowledge translation (KT). However we know little about the best way to assess ORC. Therefore, we sought to systematically review ORC measurement instruments.
We searched for published studies in bibliographic databases (Pubmed, Embase, CINAHL, PsychINFO, Web of Science, etc.) up to November 1st, 2012. We included publications that developed ORC measures and/or empirically assessed ORC using an instrument at the organizational level in the health care context. We excluded articles if they did not refer specifically to ORC, did not concern the health care domain or were limited to individual-level change readiness. We focused on identifying the psychometric properties of instruments that were developed to assess readiness in an organization prior to implementing KT interventions in health care. We used the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing to assess the psychometric properties of identified ORC measurement instruments.
We found 26 eligible instruments described in 39 publications. According to the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, 18 (69%) of a total of 26 measurement instruments presented both validity and reliability criteria. The Texas Christian University –ORC (TCU-ORC) scale reported the highest instrument validity with a score of 4 out of 4. Only one instrument, namely the Modified Texas Christian University – Director version (TCU-ORC-D), reported a reliability score of 2 out of 3. No information was provided regarding the reliability and validity of five (19%) instruments.
Our findings indicate that there are few valid and reliable ORC measurement instruments that could be applied to KT in the health care sector. The TCU-ORC instrument presents the best evidence in terms of validity testing. Future studies using this instrument could provide more knowledge on its relevance to diverse clinical contexts.
PMCID: PMC4256226  PMID: 25474622
3.  Organizational readiness for knowledge translation in chronic care: a Delphi study 
Health-care organizations need to be ready prior to implement evidence-based interventions. In this study, we sought to achieve consensus on a framework to assess the readiness of health-care organizations to implement evidence-based interventions in the context of chronic care.
We conducted a web-based modified Delphi study between March and May 2013. We contacted 76 potentially eligible international experts working in the fields of organizational readiness (OR), knowledge translation (KT), and chronic care to comment upon the 76 elements resulting from our proposed conceptual map. This conceptual map was based on a systematic review of the existing frameworks of Organizational Readiness for Change (ORC) in health-care. We developed a conceptual map that proposed a set of core concepts and their associated 17 dimensions and 59 sub-dimensions. Experts rated their agreement concerning the applicability and importance of ORC elements on a 5-point Likert scale, where 1 indicates total disagreement and 5 indicates total agreement. Two rounds were needed to get a consensus from the experts. Consensus was a priori defined as strong (≥75%) or moderate (60-74%). Simple descriptive statistics was used.
In total, 14 participants completed the first round and 10 completed the two rounds. Panel members reached consensus on the applicability and importance of 6 out of 17 dimensions and 28 out of 59 sub-dimensions to assess OR for KT in the context of chronic care. A strong level of consensus (≥75%) was attained on the Organizational contextual factors, Leadership/participation, Organizational support, and Motivation dimensions. The Organizational climate for change and Change content dimensions reached a moderate consensus (60-74%). Experts also reached consensus on 28 out of 59 sub-dimensions to assess OR for KT. Twenty-one sub-dimensions reached a strong consensus (≥75%) and seven a moderate consensus (60-74%).
This study results provided the most important and applicable dimensions and sub-dimensions for assessing OR-KT in the context of chronic care. They can be used to guide the design of an assessment tool to improve knowledge translation in the field of chronic care.
PMCID: PMC4226850  PMID: 25380653
Organizational readiness; Delphi study; Knowledge translation; Chronic care; Measurement
4.  A cross-sectional survey of supports for evidence-informed decision-making in healthcare organisations: a research protocol 
This protocol builds on the development of a) a framework that identified the various supports (i.e. positions, activities, interventions) that a healthcare organisation or health system can implement for evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) and b) a qualitative study that showed the current mix of supports that some Canadian healthcare organisations have in place and the ones that are perceived to facilitate the use of research evidence in decision-making. Based on these findings, we developed a web survey to collect cross-sectional data about the specific supports that regional health authorities and hospitals in two Canadian provinces (Ontario and Quebec) have in place to facilitate EIDM.
This paper describes the methods for a cross-sectional web survey among 32 regional health authorities and 253 hospitals in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario (Canada) to collect data on the current mix of organisational supports that these organisations have in place to facilitate evidence-informed decision-making. The data will be obtained through a two-step survey design: a 10-min survey among CEOs to identify key units and individuals in regard to our objectives (step 1) and a 20-min survey among managers of the key units identified in step 1 to collect information about the activities performed by their unit regarding the acquisition, assessment, adaptation and/or dissemination of research evidence in decision-making (step 2). The study will target three types of informants: CEOs, library/documentation centre managers and all other key managers whose unit is involved in the acquisition, assessment, adaptation/packaging and/or dissemination of research evidence in decision-making. We developed an innovative data collection system to increase the likelihood that only the best-informed respondent available answers each survey question. The reporting of the results will be done using descriptive statistics of supports by organisation type and by province.
This study will be the first to collect and report large-scale cross-sectional data on the current mix of supports health system organisations in the two most populous Canadian provinces have in place for evidence-informed decision-making. The study will also provide useful information to researchers on how to collect organisation-level data with reduced risk of self-reporting bias.
PMCID: PMC4197221  PMID: 25294109
Health systems; Knowledge translation; Research evidence; Cross-sectional study
5.  Knowledge Transfer on Complex Social Interventions in Public Health: A Scoping Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e80233.
Scientific knowledge can help develop interventions that improve public health. The objectives of this review are (1) to describe the status of research on knowledge transfer strategies in the field of complex social interventions in public health and (2) to identify priorities for future research in this field.
A scoping study is an exploratory study. After searching databases of bibliographic references and specialized periodicals, we summarized the relevant studies using a predetermined assessment framework. In-depth analysis focused on the following items: types of knowledge transfer strategies, fields of public health, types of publics, types of utilization, and types of research specifications.
From the 1,374 references identified, we selected 26 studies. The strategies targeted mostly administrators of organizations and practitioners. The articles generally dealt with instrumental utilization and most often used qualitative methods. In general, the bias risk for the studies is high.
Researchers need to consider the methodological challenges in this field of research in order to improve assessment of more complex knowledge transfer strategies (when they exist), not just diffusion/dissemination strategies and conceptual and persuasive utilization.
PMCID: PMC3851180  PMID: 24324593
6.  Organizational readiness for knowledge translation in chronic care: a review of theoretical components 
With the persistent gaps between research and practice in healthcare systems, knowledge translation (KT) has gained significance and importance. Also, in most industrialized countries, there is an increasing emphasis on managing chronic health conditions with the best available evidence. Yet, organizations aiming to improve chronic care (CC) require an adequate level of organizational readiness (OR) for KT.
Objectives: The purpose of this study is to review and synthesize the existing evidence on conceptual models/frameworks of Organizational Readiness for Change (ORC) in healthcare as the basis for the development of a comprehensive framework of OR for KT in the context of CC.
Data sources
We conducted a systematic review of the literature on OR for KT in CC using Pubmed, Embase, CINAHL, PsychINFO, Web of Sciences (SCI and SSCI), and others. Search terms included readiness; commitment and change; preparedness; willing to change; organization and administration; and health and social services.
Study selection: The search was limited to studies that had been published between the starting date of each bibliographic database (e.g., 1964 for PubMed) and November 1, 2012. Only papers that refer to a theory, a theoretical component from any framework or model on OR that were applicable to the healthcare domain were considered. We analyzed data using conceptual mapping.
Data extraction: Pairs of authors independently screened the published literature by reviewing their titles and abstracts. Then, the two same reviewers appraised the full text of each study independently.
Overall, we found and synthesized 10 theories, theoretical models and conceptual frameworks relevant to ORC in healthcare described in 38 publications. We identified five core concepts, namely organizational dynamics, change process, innovation readiness, institutional readiness, and personal readiness. We extracted 17 dimensions and 59 sub-dimensions related to these 5 concepts.
Our findings provide a useful overview for researchers interested in ORC and aims to create a consensus on the core theoretical components of ORC in general and of OR for KT in CC in particular. However, more work is needed to define and validate the core elements of a framework that could help to assess OR for KT in CC.
PMCID: PMC4222028  PMID: 24283365
Organizational readiness; Conceptual models; Frameworks; Knowledge translation; Chronic care; Healthcare system
7.  What supports do health system organizations have in place to facilitate evidence-informed decision-making? a qualitative study 
Decisions regarding health systems are sometimes made without the input of timely and reliable evidence, leading to less than optimal health outcomes. Healthcare organizations can implement tools and infrastructures to support the use of research evidence to inform decision-making.
The purpose of this study was to profile the supports and instruments (i.e., programs, interventions, instruments or tools) that healthcare organizations currently have in place and which ones were perceived to facilitate evidence-informed decision-making.
In-depth semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with individuals in three different types of positions (i.e., a senior management team member, a library manager, and a ‘knowledge broker’) in three types of healthcare organizations (i.e., regional health authorities, hospitals and primary care practices) in two Canadian provinces (i.e., Ontario and Quebec). The interviews were taped, transcribed, and then analyzed thematically using NVivo 9 qualitative data analysis software.
A total of 57 interviews were conducted in 25 organizations in Ontario and Quebec. The main findings suggest that, for the healthcare organizations that participated in this study, the following supports facilitate evidence-informed decision-making: facilitating roles that actively promote research use within the organization; establishing ties to researchers and opinion leaders outside the organization; a technical infrastructure that provides access to research evidence, such as databases; and provision and participation in training programs to enhance staff’s capacity building.
This study identified the need for having a receptive climate, which laid the foundation for the implementation of other tangible initiatives and supported the use of research in decision-making. This study adds to the literature on organizational efforts that can increase the use of research evidence in decision-making. Some of the identified supports may increase the use of research evidence by decision-makers, which may then lead to more informed decisions, and hopefully to a strengthened health system and improved health.
PMCID: PMC3750753  PMID: 23915278
8.  Assessing availability of scientific journals, databases, and health library services in Canadian health ministries: a cross-sectional study 
Evidence-informed health policymaking logically depends on timely access to research evidence. To our knowledge, despite the substantial political and societal pressure to enhance the use of the best available research evidence in public health policy and program decision making, there is no study addressing availability of peer-reviewed research in Canadian health ministries.
To assess availability of (1) a purposive sample of high-ranking scientific journals, (2) bibliographic databases, and (3) health library services in the fourteen Canadian health ministries.
From May to October 2011, we conducted a cross-sectional survey among librarians employed by Canadian health ministries to collect information relative to availability of scientific journals, bibliographic databases, and health library services. Availability of scientific journals in each ministry was determined using a sample of 48 journals selected from the 2009 Journal Citation Reports (Sciences and Social Sciences Editions). Selection criteria were: relevance for health policy based on scope note information about subject categories and journal popularity based on impact factors.
We found that the majority of Canadian health ministries did not have subscription access to key journals and relied heavily on interlibrary loans. Overall, based on a sample of high-ranking scientific journals, availability of journals through interlibrary loans, online and print-only subscriptions was estimated at 63%, 28% and 3%, respectively. Health Canada had a 2.3-fold higher number of journal subscriptions than that of the provincial ministries’ average. Most of the organisations provided access to numerous discipline-specific and multidisciplinary databases. Many organisations provided access to the library resources described through library partnerships or consortia. No professionally led health library environment was found in four out of fourteen Canadian health ministries (i.e. Manitoba Health, Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services, Nunavut Department of Health and Social Services and Yukon Department of Health and Social Services).
There is inequity in availability of peer-reviewed research in the fourteen Canadian health ministries. This inequity could present a problem, as each province and territory is responsible for formulating and implementing evidence-informed health policies and services for the benefit of its population.
PMCID: PMC3616812  PMID: 23514333
Health care; Information science; Library science; Knowledge transfer; Research evidence
9.  Measuring organizational readiness for knowledge translation in chronic care 
Knowledge translation (KT) is an imperative in order to implement research-based and contextualized practices that can answer the numerous challenges of complex health problems. The Chronic Care Model (CCM) provides a conceptual framework to guide the implementation process in chronic care. Yet, organizations aiming to improve chronic care require an adequate level of organizational readiness (OR) for KT. Available instruments on organizational readiness for change (ORC) have shown limited validity, and are not tailored or adapted to specific phases of the knowledge-to-action (KTA) process. We aim to develop an evidence-based, comprehensive, and valid instrument to measure OR for KT in healthcare. The OR for KT instrument will be based on core concepts retrieved from existing literature and validated by a Delphi study. We will specifically test the instrument in chronic care that is of an increasing importance for the health system.
Phase one: We will conduct a systematic review of the theories and instruments assessing ORC in healthcare. The retained theoretical information will be synthesized in a conceptual map. A bibliography and database of ORC instruments will be prepared after appraisal of their psychometric properties according to the standards for educational and psychological testing. An online Delphi study will be carried out among decision makers and knowledge users across Canada to assess the importance of these concepts and measures at different steps in the KTA process in chronic care.
Phase two: A final OR for KT instrument will be developed and validated both in French and in English and tested in chronic disease management to measure OR for KT regarding the adoption of comprehensive, patient-centered, and system-based CCMs.
This study provides a comprehensive synthesis of current knowledge on explanatory models and instruments assessing OR for KT. Moreover, this project aims to create more consensus on the theoretical underpinnings and the instrumentation of OR for KT in chronic care. The final product--a comprehensive and valid OR for KT instrument--will provide the chronic care settings with an instrument to assess their readiness to implement evidence-based chronic care.
PMCID: PMC3158542  PMID: 21752264
10.  Determining research knowledge infrastructure for healthcare systems: a qualitative study 
This study examines research knowledge infrastructures (RKIs) found in health systems. An RKI is defined as any instrument (i.e., programs, interventions, tools) implemented in order to facilitate access, dissemination, exchange, and/or use of evidence in healthcare organisations. Based on an environmental scan (17 key informant interviews) and scoping review (26 studies), we found support for a framework that we developed that outlines components that a health system can have in its RKI. The broad domains are climate for research use, research production, activities used to link research to action, and evaluation.
The objective of the current study is to profile the RKI of three types of health system organisations--regional health authorities, primary care practices, and hospitals--in two Canadian provinces to determine the current mix of components these organisations have in their RKI, their experience with these components, and their views about future RKI initiatives.
This study will include semistructured telephone interviews with a purposive sample region of a senior management team member, library/resource centre manager, and a 'knowledge broker' in three regional health authorities, five or six purposively sampled hospitals, and five or six primary care practices in Ontario and Quebec, for a maximum of 71 interviewees. The interviews will explore (a) which RKI components have proven helpful, (b) barriers and facilitators in implementing RKI components, and (c) views about next steps in further development of RKIs.
This is the first qualitative examination of potential RKI efforts that can increase the use of research evidence in health system decision making. We anticipate being able to identify broadly applicable insights about important next steps in building effective RKIs. Some of the identified RKI components may increase the use of research evidence by decision makers, which may then lead to more informed decisions.
PMCID: PMC3123231  PMID: 21645401
11.  Effects of an evidence service on health-system policy makers' use of research evidence: A protocol for a randomised controlled trial 
Health-system policy makers need timely access to synthesised research evidence to inform the policy-making process. No efforts to address this need have been evaluated using an experimental quantitative design. We developed an evidence service that draws inputs from Health Systems Evidence, which is a database of policy-relevant systematic reviews. The reviews have been (a) categorised by topic and type of review; (b) coded by the last year searches for studies were conducted and by the countries in which included studies were conducted; (c) rated for quality; and (d) linked to available user-friendly summaries, scientific abstracts, and full-text reports. Our goal is to evaluate whether a "full-serve" evidence service increases the use of synthesized research evidence by policy analysts and advisors in the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) as compared to a "self-serve" evidence service.
We will conduct a two-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT), along with a follow-up qualitative process study in order to explore the findings in greater depth. For the RCT, all policy analysts and policy advisors (n = 168) in a single division of the MOHLTC will be invited to participate. Using a stratified randomized design, participants will be randomized to receive either the "full-serve" evidence service (database access, monthly e-mail alerts, and full-text article availability) or the "self-serve" evidence service (database access only). The trial duration will be ten months (two-month baseline period, six-month intervention period, and two month cross-over period). The primary outcome will be the mean number of site visits/month/user between baseline and the end of the intervention period. The secondary outcome will be participants' intention to use research evidence. For the qualitative study, 15 participants from each trial arm (n = 30) will be purposively sampled. One-on-one semi-structured interviews will be conducted by telephone on their views about and their experiences with the evidence service they received, how helpful it was in their work, why it was helpful (or not helpful), what aspects were most and least helpful and why, and recommendations for next steps.
To our knowledge, this will be the first RCT to evaluate the effects of an evidence service specifically designed to support health-system policy makers in finding and using research evidence.
Trial registration NCT01307228
PMCID: PMC3123565  PMID: 21619621
12.  Are the h-index and some of its alternatives discriminatory of epistemological beliefs and methodological preferences of faculty members? The case of social scientists in Quebec 
Scientometrics  2011;88(1):91-106.
This exploratory study aims at answering the following research question: Are the h-index and some of its derivatives discriminatory when applied to rank social scientists with different epistemological beliefs and methodological preferences? This study reports the results of five Tobit and two negative binomial regression models taking as dependent variable the h-index and six of its derivatives, using a dataset combining bibliometric data collected with the PoP software with cross-sectional data of 321 Quebec social scientists in Anthropology, Sociology, Social Work, Political Science, Economics and Psychology. The results reveal an epistemological/methodological effect making positivists and quantitativists globally more productive than constructivists and qualitativists.
PMCID: PMC3111734  PMID: 21765564
Research performance; Epistemology; Individual researchers; Social sciences; h-index; Cross-sectional survey; Google Scholar; Publish or Perish
13.  Multi-level analysis of electronic health record adoption by health care professionals: A study protocol 
The electronic health record (EHR) is an important application of information and communication technologies to the healthcare sector. EHR implementation is expected to produce benefits for patients, professionals, organisations, and the population as a whole. These benefits cannot be achieved without the adoption of EHR by healthcare professionals. Nevertheless, the influence of individual and organisational factors in determining EHR adoption is still unclear. This study aims to assess the unique contribution of individual and organisational factors on EHR adoption in healthcare settings, as well as possible interrelations between these factors.
A prospective study will be conducted. A stratified random sampling method will be used to select 50 healthcare organisations in the Quebec City Health Region (Canada). At the individual level, a sample of 15 to 30 health professionals will be chosen within each organisation depending on its size. A semi-structured questionnaire will be administered to two key informants in each organisation to collect organisational data. A composite adoption score of EHR adoption will be developed based on a Delphi process and will be used as the outcome variable. Twelve to eighteen months after the first contact, depending on the pace of EHR implementation, key informants and clinicians will be contacted once again to monitor the evolution of EHR adoption. A multilevel regression model will be applied to identify the organisational and individual determinants of EHR adoption in clinical settings. Alternative analytical models would be applied if necessary.
The study will assess the contribution of organisational and individual factors, as well as their interactions, to the implementation of EHR in clinical settings.
These results will be very relevant for decision makers and managers who are facing the challenge of implementing EHR in the healthcare system. In addition, this research constitutes a major contribution to the field of knowledge transfer and implementation science.
PMCID: PMC2873301  PMID: 20416054
14.  EXACKTE2: Exploiting the clinical consultation as a knowledge transfer and exchange environment: a study protocol 
While the evidence suggests that the way physicians provide information to patients is crucial in helping patients decide upon a course of action, the field of knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) is silent about how the physician and the patient influence each other during clinical interactions and decision-making. Consequently, based on a novel relationship-centered model, EXACKTE2 (EXploiting the clinicAl Consultation as a Knowledge Transfer and Exchange Environment), this study proposes to assess how patients and physicians influence each other in consultations.
We will employ a cross-sectional study design involving 300 pairs of patients and family physicians from two primary care practice-based research networks. The consultation between patient and physician will be audio-taped and transcribed. Following the consultation, patients and physicians will complete a set of questionnaires based on the EXACKTE2 model. All questionnaires will be similar for patients and physicians. These questionnaires will assess the key concepts of our proposed model based on the essential elements of shared decision-making (SDM): definition and explanation of problem; presentation of options; discussion of pros and cons; clarification of patient values and preferences; discussion of patient ability and self-efficacy; presentation of doctor knowledge and recommendation; and checking and clarifying understanding. Patients will be contacted by phone two weeks later and asked to complete questionnaires on decisional regret and quality of life. The analysis will be conducted to compare the key concepts in the EXACKTE2 model between patients and physicians. It will also allow the assessment of how patients and physicians influence each other in consultations.
Our proposed model, EXACKTE2, is aimed at advancing the science of KTE based on a relationship process when decision-making has to take place. It fosters a new KTE paradigm by putting forward a relationship-centered perspective and has the potential to reveal unknown mechanisms that underline effective KTE in clinical contexts. This will result in better understanding of the mechanisms that may promote a new generation of knowledge transfer strategies.
PMCID: PMC2663542  PMID: 19284659

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