Integrated knowledge translation in population health intervention research: a case study of implementation and outcomes from a school-based project.
BACKGROUND: Integrated knowledge translation (IKT) is encouraged in population health intervention research (PHIR) to ensure the co-production of policy-relevant research, yet there is little published literature that reports its implementation and outcomes. The purpose of this study was to describe and evaluate the IKT approach used in a school-based PHIR project to understand how the research informed policy and practice and identify what influenced the IKT process. METHODS: A case study approach was used to provide an in-depth description of the IKT process and understand the co-production and application of research evidence. Data were collected through document review, a survey with all elementary school principals in the school board (n = 18) following dissemination of School Reports and interviews with the IKT research team (including two researchers and three knowledge users). RESULTS: Approximately half of the principals reported reading their School Report (52%) and almost all of these principals attributed the partial or full adoption, or implementation, of a new practice as a result of using the information (89%). Key themes related to the IKT process emerged across the interviews, including supportive relationships, role clarity, competing priorities and the complexities of population health interventions. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that, while IKT can support policy and practice, it can be challenging to maintain engagement due to differing priorities and role ambiguity. Additional recognition, investment and research would enable better implementation of the approach, thereby bridging the gap between research, policy and practice.
Economic and Social Research Council (ES/G007462/1)
Wellcome Trust (087636/Z/08/Z)