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.
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ABSTRACT: A team approach in primary care has proven benefits in achieving better outcomes, reducing health care costs, satisfying patient needs, ensuring continuity of care, increasing job satisfaction among health providers and using human health care resources more efficiently. However, some research indicates constraints in collaboration within primary health care (PHC) teams in Lithuania. The aim of this study was to gain a better understanding of the phenomenon of teamwork in Lithuania by exploring the experiences of teamwork by general practitioners (GPs) and community nurses (CNs) involved in PHC. Six focus groups were formed with 29 GPs and 27 CNs from the Kaunas Region of Lithuania. Discussions were recorded and transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis of these data was then performed. The analysis of focus group data identified six thematic categories related to teamwork in PHC: the structure of a PHC team, synergy among PHC team members, descriptions of roles and responsibilities of team members, competencies of PHC team members, communications between PHC team members and the organisational background for teamwork. These findings provide the basis for a discussion of a thematic model of teamwork that embraces formal, individual and organisational factors. The need for effective teamwork in PHC is an issue receiving broad consensus; however, the process of teambuilding is often taken for granted in the PHC sector in Lithuania. This study suggests that both formal and individual behavioural factors should be targeted when aiming to strengthen PHC teams. Furthermore, this study underscores the need to provide explicit formal descriptions of the roles and responsibilities of PHC team members in Lithuania, which would include establishing clear professional boundaries. The training of team members is an essential component of the teambuilding process, but not sufficient by itself.BMC Family Practice 08/2013; 14(1):118. DOI:10.1186/1471-2296-14-118 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Ongoing complex global ecological and societal transitions pose challenges of including actors with different knowledge. We focus on approaches to gaining shared understanding and acting on it in the converging fields of environment, health care and environmental health. Starting from similarities between these fields with regard to knowledge and actor inclusion, we rethink ‘knowledge’, ‘brokering’ and ‘science–policy interfaces’. Using conceptual models, we structure and characterize the multi-dimensional and interactive co-production and application of types of knowledge (scientific and other) in governance contexts shaped by institutions, political agency and policies (sectorial and integrative). We investigate cases of knowledge brokering, representing different types from formal to informal, international to national, and research-centered to action-oriented. We find both shared and isolated problems and solutions in the studied sectors and settings regarding knowledge brokering, for instance with respect to precaution, reflecting the dynamics in environmental and health care and their contexts. Methodologically, our analyses show the importance of heuristic and participatory approaches to explicating interpretations and dealing with disagreements about knowledge, values and premises for actions.Environmental Science & Policy 01/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.envsci.2014.12.022 · 3.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Purpose: To conduct a systematic review of the literature related to the use of knowledge brokers within paediatric rehabilitation, and specifically to determine (1) how knowledge brokers are defined and used in paediatric rehabilitation and (2) whether knowledge brokers in paediatric rehabilitation have demonstrably improved the performance of health care providers or organizations. Methods: The MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, and AMED databases were systematically searched to identify studies relating to knowledge brokers or knowledge brokering within paediatric rehabilitation, with no restriction on the study design or primary aim. Following review of titles and abstracts, those studies identified as potentially relevant were assessed based on the inclusion criteria that they: (1) examined some aspect of knowledge brokers/brokering in paediatric rehabilitation; (2) included sufficient descriptive detail on how knowledge brokers/brokering were used; and(3) were peer-reviewed and published in English. Results: Of 1513 articles retrieved, 4 met the inclusion criteria, 3 of which referenced the same knowledge broker initiative. Two papers used mixed methods, one qualitative methodology, and one case presentation. Because of the different methods used in the included studies, the findings are presented in a narrative summary. Conclusions: This study provides an overview of the limited understanding of knowledge brokers within paediatric rehabilitation. Knowledge broker initiatives introduced within paediatric rehabilitation have been anchored in different theoretical frameworks, and no conclusions can be drawn as to the optimum combination of knowledge brokering activities and methods, nor about optimal duration, for sustained results.Physiotherapy Canada 04/2014; 66(2):143-52. DOI:10.3138/ptc.2012-71 · 0.61 Impact Factor