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: 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 01/2014; 66(2):143-52. DOI:10.3138/ptc.2012-71 · 0.61 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 06/2014; 128(6):533-44. DOI:10.1016/j.puhe.2014.01.015 · 1.48 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