Reflections on knowledge brokering within a multidisciplinary research team.
ABSTRACT Knowledge brokering (KB) may be one approach of helping researchers and decision makers effectively communicate their needs and abilities, and move toward increased use of evidence in health care. A multidisciplinary research team in Nova Scotia, Canada, has created a dedicated KB position with the goal of improving access to quality colorectal cancer care. The purpose of this paper is to provide an in-progress perspective on KB within this large research team. A KB position ("knowledge broker") was created to perform two primary tasks: (1) facilitate ongoing communication among team members; and (2) develop and maintain collaborations between researchers and decision makers to establish partnerships for the transfer and use of research findings. In this article, we discuss our KB model and its implementation, describe the broker's functions and activities, and present preliminary outcomes. The primary functions of the KB position have included: sustaining team members' engagement; harnessing members' expertise and sharing it with others; developing and maintaining communication tools/strategies; and establishing collaborations between team members and other stakeholders working in cancer care. The broker has facilitated an integrated knowledge translation approach to research conduct and led to the development of new collaborations with external stakeholders and other cancer/health services researchers. KB roles will undoubtedly differ across contexts. However, descriptive assessments can help others determine whether such an approach could be valuable for their research programs and, if so, what to expect during the process.
- SourceAvailable from: Darren WarburtonCanadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien 09/2013; 59(9):967-8. · 1.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Health services researchers have consistently identified a gap between what is identified as "best practice" and what actually happens in clinical care. Despite nearly two decades of a growing evidence-based practice movement, narrowing the knowledge-practice gap continues to be a slow, complex, and poorly understood process. Here, we contend that cross-disciplinary research is increasingly relevant and important to reducing that gap, particularly research that encompasses the notion of transdisciplinarity, wherein multiple academic disciplines and non-academic individuals and groups are integrated into the research process. The assimilation of diverse perspectives, research approaches, and types of knowledge is potentially effective in helping research teams tackle real-world patient care issues, create more practice-based evidence, and translate the results to clinical and community care settings. The goals of this paper are to present and discuss cross-disciplinary approaches to health research and to provide two examples of how engaging in such research may optimize the use of research in cancer care.Current Oncology 12/2013; 20(6):e512-e521. · 1.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A Knowledge Broker is one approach for facilitating the integration of evidence-informed decision making in public health practice. In this paper, findings from studies investigating a Knowledge Broker intervention as a means of enhancing capacity for evidence-informed decision making and identifying contextual factors that facilitate this strategy have been presented. This paper describes work done through a single mixed-methods study (randomized controlled trial with a qualitative component) and a case study. The Health Evidence team conducted two studies examining Knowledge Broker impact in Canadian public health departments. The effectiveness of knowledge translation strategies of varying intensities for promoting the use of research evidence in decisions related to child obesity prevention were explored via a randomized controlled trial with a fundamental descriptive component (2003-2007). In a case study (2010-2013), the authors partnered with three health departments to develop and implement tailored strategies targeted at the organization. Knowledge Brokers worked with designated staff in these studies via one-on-one consultations, small group meetings, and/or workshops and presentations. The Knowledge Broker role was assessed by analysing data from close-ended surveys, interviews, organizational documents, and reflective journals. In this paper, findings from the qualitative analysis of implementing the Knowledge Broker role in both studies and exploration of several contextual factors that impacted study outcomes have been focussed. Knowledge Brokers were shown to enhance individual capacity by improving knowledge and skill in searching for, critically appraising, and applying research evidence to practice-based issues. Organizational capacity was also enhanced with strong management support and policies. Effective Knowledge Broker attributes included both expertise in research methodology and public health, as well as intangible traits such as approachability and patience. Finally, optimal positioning and ways of working were identified, including the importance of in-person meetings and neutrality of the Knowledge Broker. Knowledge brokering is a potentially promising knowledge translation strategy for public health, though additional feasibility and cost-effectiveness data are still needed. The research presented here further highlights the importance of context and adopting a tailored approach to implement a Knowledge Broker strategy.Public Health 01/2014; 128(6):533-44. · 1.35 Impact Factor