Putting Research to Work: Understanding and Improving Knowledge Translation in Population Health

Nominated Principle Investigator: Maria Mayan
Principle Investigators: Laurie Schnirer and Jane Drummond
Co-investigators: Jeff Bisanz, Tania Bubela, Konrad Fassbender, Natasha Wiebe, & Deanna Williamson
Funder: CIHR
Duration: 2011-2014

Promoting positive health outcomes for low-income families is a critical challenge for communities and governments across the country. Three issues underlie this challenge:

  1. The social determinants of health (e.g., literacy, language, employment) interact in complex ways and powerfully influence the health of low-income families.
  2. Services for low-income families typically operate at all system levels (e.g., community, municipal, provincial, federal) and are organized by sector (e.g., health, education, employment, immigration, children's services, justice) with little intersectoral collaboration.
  3. In this fragmented environment, research findings are difficult to implement and timely applications often are missed.

The Putting Research to Work (PRW) study aims to answer a primary question: How do diverse partners (funders, decision makers, service providers, community leaders, and researchers) collaborate to translate evidence from population health research within and across sectors and organizations for the purpose of improving health outcomes for low-income families?

The PRW knowledge translation (KT) plan is targeted primarily at partner organizations to assist them in working through the knowledge application process, from identifying their problem, to applying the knowledge within and across their sectors. Further, we will study the implementation process and outcomes of the PRW KT plan.

The results of the PRW initiative will increase:

  1. the effective use of evidence for developing and implementing policies, programs, and practices for low-income families; and
  2. the capacity for a variety of stakeholders concerned with the effects of low-income on families to engage in user-driven research.