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|Using integrated knowledge translation to address a rurally based time-critical knowledge gap during the COVID-19 pandemic: a multimethods study in Victoria, Australia.
|Bishop, Jaclyn L.
Wong Shee, Anna
|Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the intention of health professionals to use evidence generated through an integrated knowledge translation (iKT) activity undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic to answer a time-critical research question about the delivery of community-based group programmes to rural clients via virtual technology, and describe the participating health professionals and researchers' perceptions of the iKT partnership. Design: Multimethod study incorporating qualitative and quantitative approaches. Setting: Two regional health services in Victoria (Australia). Participants: 26 allied health professionals (knowledge-partners) from eight disciplines across two regional health services and eight researchers from five Victorian universities. Intervention: An iKT approach was used to facilitate problem identification, evidence synthesis and adaption of evidence to the local context. Data collection and analysis: Participants were invited to complete a survey (knowledge-partners) and undertake a semistructured interview (knowledge-partners and researchers) on their experiences. A process log of collaborative activities tracked the type of engagement activities, who attended and the outcomes. The survey and process log results were analysed descriptively, the interviews using thematic analysis and a comparison of results approach applied to evaluate similarities and differences in the perception of the partnership from separate data collection and analysis processes. Results: The survey indicated strong positive attitudes towards using research evidence in practice as well as strong intentions to use it in the future by knowledge-partners. Knowledge-partners indicated that their expertise was used in the research process, although there was greater collaboration in some steps of iKT. The context of COVID-19 facilitated collaboration between knowledge-partners and researchers through a sense of urgency and shared purpose. Rapid team development was a key mechanism that enabled iKT. Team participation was necessarily pragmatic and flexible in nature to facilitate knowledge-partner involvement. Participants suggested the iKT process was likely to result in greater end-user buy in and a powerful example of how to upskill health professionals without a significant impact on their day-to-day workload. This project was considered by knowledge-partners to be more likely to have an impact compared with other projects without a research partner. Conclusions: This study highlights how researchers and knowledge-partners can work effectively and rapidly to address a time-sensitive problem of mutual interest. Establishing and nurturing rural-based researcher and knowledge-partner networks is key to enabling agile and timely responses to the changing evidence needs of the health system.
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QUALITY IN HEALTH CARE
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