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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 94, Issue 6, pp 468–471 | Cite as

Integrating Knowledge Generation with Knowledge Diffusion and Utilization

A Case Study Analysis of the Consortium for Applied Research and Evaluation in Mental Health
  • Evelyn VingilisEmail author
  • Kathleen Hartford
  • Ted Schrecker
  • Beth Mitchell
  • Barbara Lent
  • Joan Bishop
Article

Abstract

Objective

Knowledge diffusion and utilization (KDU) have become a key focus in the health research community because of the limited success to date of research findings to inform health policies, programs and services. Yet, evidence indicates that successful KDU is often predicated on the early involvement of potential knowledge users in the conceptualization and conduct of the research and on the development of a “partnership culture”. This study describes the integration of KDU theory with practice via a case study analysis of the Consortium for Applied Research and Evaluation in Mental Health (CAREMH).

Methods

This qualitative study, using a single-case design, included a number of data sources: proposals, meeting minutes, presentations, publications, reports and curricula vitae of CAREMH members.

Results

CAREMH has adopted the following operational strategies to increase KDU capacity: 1) viewing research as a means and not as an end; 2) bringing the university and researcher to the community; 3) using participatory research methods; 4) embracing trans-disciplinary research and interactions; and 5) using connectors. Examples of the iterative process between researchers and potential knowledge users in their contribution to knowledge generation, diffusion and utilization are provided.

Conclusions

This case study supports the importance of early and ongoing involvement of relevant potential knowledge users in research to enhance its utilization potential. It also highlights the need for re-thinking research funding approaches.

Résumé

Objectif

La diffusion et l’utilisation des connaissances sont devenues des orientations clés pour les chercheurs médicaux, car jusqu’à maintenant, les politiques, programmes et services de santé ne s’inspirent pas beaucoup des résultats de recherche. Certains indices portent cependant à croire qu’une diffusion et une utilisation efficaces des connaissances dépendent souvent de la participation précoce des utilisateurs éventuels des connaissances à la conceptualisation et à la conduite de la recherche, ainsi que de l’avènement d’une „ culture de partenariat ”. Notre étude décrit l’intégration, dans la pratique, de la théorie de la diffusion et de l’utilisation des connaissances, par le biais de l’analyse d’une étude de cas du CAREMH (un consortium pour la recherche appliquée et l’évaluation en santé mentale).

Méthode

Étude qualitative fondée sur un cas et faisant appel à plusieurs sources (les propositions, procès-verbaux, présentations, publications, rapports et curriculum vitæ des membres du CAREMH).

Résultats

Le CAREMH a adopté les stratégies opérationnelles suivantes pour accroître sa capacité de diffusion et d’utilisation des connaissances: 1) considérer la recherche comme un moyen plutôt qu’une fin; 2) amener l’université et le chercheur dans la collectivité; 3) utiliser des méthodes de recherche participatives; 4) profiter de la recherche et des interactions transdisciplinaires; et 5) utiliser des „ connecteurs ”. L’étude donne des exemples du processus itératif entre les chercheurs et les utilisateurs éventuels des connaissances pour que ces derniers contribuent à la création, à la diffusion et à l’utilisation de savoirs.

Conclusions

L’étude de cas confirme l’importance, pour la recherche, de la participation précoce et continue des utilisateurs éventuels des connaissances, ceci pour améliorer l’utilisation des résultats. Elle souligne également le besoin de repenser les méthodes de financement de la recherche.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evelyn Vingilis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kathleen Hartford
    • 2
    • 7
  • Ted Schrecker
    • 3
  • Beth Mitchell
    • 4
    • 8
  • Barbara Lent
    • 5
  • Joan Bishop
    • 6
  1. 1.Population & Community Health Unit, Family MedicineThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Lawson Health Research InstituteLondonCanada
  3. 3.Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation UnitUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  4. 4.Mental Health Care Program, London Health Sciences CentreCanada
  5. 5.Department of Family MedicineThe University of Western Ontario, Victoria Family Medical CentreCanada
  6. 6.Riverview HospitalPort CoquitlamCanada
  7. 7.Faculty of Health SciencesThe University of Western OntarioCanada
  8. 8.Departments of Psychology, Podiatries and PsychiatryThe University of Western OntarioCanada

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