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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 101, Issue 1, pp 83–86 | Cite as

Thinking about Aboriginal KT: Learning from the Network Environments for Aboriginal Health Research British Columbia (NEARBC)

  • Elizabeth A. EsteyEmail author
  • Andrew M. Kmetic
  • Jeffery L. Reading
Qualitative Research 2008 Student Award Winner

Abstract

Objective

Creating effective and actionable research has become increasingly important for the health disciplines. Despite greater attention to knowledge translation (KT) in the health research, policy, and professional literature and the mounting need for strategic action to reduce the burden of ill health experienced by Aboriginal people in Canada, little time has been dedicated to understanding KT in Aboriginal health research contexts (Aboriginal KT). The purpose of this study was to explore and discuss the unique qualities of Aboriginal KT.

Methods

An exploratory case study of the Network Environments for Aboriginal Research British Columbia (NEARBC) was undertaken, in which qualitative interviewing with experts associated with the network was conducted.

Results

Four themes were revealed from the analysis of 10 semi-structured qualitative interviews: 1) Definitional debate, 2) “Aboriginal” KT, 3) Doing KT, and 4) KT roles. These themes highlight the definitional complexity, practical confusion, multidisciplinary nature, and lack of accountability related to Aboriginal KT.

Discussion

The information gained from the study participants adds some important insights to the current literature. It also identifies areas where future discussion may help improve the understanding and meaning of KT in Aboriginal health research contexts, as well as its application in practice. The health disparities of Aboriginal people in Canada are a call for action with regards to KT and this study provides some basic information and advice on ways to move the research and policy agenda forward.

Keywords

Knowledge translation; Aboriginal health; health research; research network 

Résumé

Objectifs

La production de travaux de recherche efficaces et directement applicables est de plus en plus importante pour les disciplines de la santé. On accorde plus d’attention à l’application des connaissances (AC) dans les articles sur la recherche et les politiques en santé et dans les revues professionnelles; d’autre part, on a de plus en plus besoin d’actions stratégiques pour réduire le fardeau des problèmes de santé vécus par les Autochtones au Canada. Pourtant, on s’est peu intéressé à l’application des connaissances dans un contexte de recherche en santé autochtone (« AC autochtone »). Nous avons donc voulu analyser et expliquer les traits particuliers de l’AC autochtone.

Méthode

Étude de cas préliminaire sur le réseau NEARBC (Network Environments for Aboriginal Research British Columbia) comportant des entretiens qualitatifs avec les spécialistes associés à ce réseau.

Résultats

Quatre thèmes ressortent de l’analyse des 10 entretiens qualitatifs semi-structurés: 1) Le débat sur la définition, 2) l’AC « autochtone », 3) la pratique de l’AC et 4) les rôles en AC. Ces thèmes soulignent les problèmes de définition, la confusion qui règne en pratique, la nature multidisciplinaire de l’AC et l’absence de responsabilisation liée à l’AC autochtone.

Discussion

L’information fournie par les participants apporte d’importants éclaircissements aux derniers travaux publiés. Elle définit aussi des pistes de discussion pour améliorer la compréhension et le sens de l’AC pour la recherche en santé autochtone, et son application dans la pratique. Les disparités des Autochtones du Canada sur le plan de la santé sont un appel à l’action en ce qui a trait à l’AC, et notre étude contient des renseignements de base et des conseils pour faire avancer les dossiers de la recherche et des politiques.

Motsclés

application des connaissances; santé autochtone; recherche en santé; réseau de recherche 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Estey
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Andrew M. Kmetic
    • 3
  • Jeffery L. Reading
    • 2
  1. 1.Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s HospitalTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Aboriginal Health ResearchUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  3. 3.Provincial Health Services AuthorityVancouverCanada

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