Knowledge Translation and Interprofessional Collaboration: Where the Rubber of Evidence-Based Care Hits the Road of Teamwork

Knowledge Translation Centre at St. Michael's Hospital and Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Ontario.
Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions (Impact Factor: 1.36). 02/2006; 26(1):46-54. DOI: 10.1002/chp.50
Source: PubMed


Knowledge-translation interventions and interprofessional education and collaboration interventions all aim at improving health care processes and outcomes. Knowledge-translation interventions attempt to increase evidence-based practice by a single professional group and thus may fail to take into account barriers from difficulties in interprofessional relations. Interprofessional education and collaboration interventions aim to improve interprofessional relations, which may in turn facilitate the work of knowledge translation and thus evidence-based practice. We summarize systematic review work on the effects of interventions for interprofessional education and collaboration. The current evidence base contains mainly descriptive studies of these interventions. Knowledge is limited regarding the impact on care and outcomes and the extent to which the interventions increase the practice of evidence-based care. Rigorous multimethod research studies are needed to develop and strengthen the current evidence base in this field. We describe a Health Canada-funded randomized trial in which quantitative and qualitative data will be gathered in 20 general internal medicine units located at 5 Toronto, Ontario, teaching hospitals. The project examines the impact of interprofessional education and collaboration interventions on interprofessional relationships, health care processes (including evidence-based practice), and patient outcomes. Routes are suggested by which interprofessional education and collaboration interventions might affect knowledge translation and evidence-based practice.

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    • "So, although various professional groups both within and outside the ED are involved in the treatment of patients with head injuries, rather than sharing values and beliefs, all these hold the collective values of the group in which they have been socialised. Indeed, this has been shown to be a barrier for interprofessional collaboration [75,76] and spread of change [77], as shown in case studies in larger organisational settings, where stifling of change across boundaries between different professional groups was found because of the lack of shared work experience and shared belief systems [78]. The challenges this poses for the ED staff when cross-unit pathway or protocols are not in place (e.g. in negotiating the conditions under which specialists at wards (e.g. "
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    • "Identification, and then consistent implementation of the essential elements of effective interprofessional collaboration in primary care teams that are significant in practice or are in ''the black box'' (Zwarenstein and Reeves, 2006, p.51) remain difficult to understand. "
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    • "One common objective among the staff was to obtain more knowledge about intersectoral work. Interprofessional and intersectoral work can be described as an active relationship between two or more professionals who work together to solve problems and provide services (Zwarenstein and Reeves 2006). It can be cooperation within the various social welfare service units, between the welfare services and other sectors of the municipality as well as cooperation between the municipality and other actors concerned with social welfare. "
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