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Table 2 Evaluation details from reports included in the review

From: A literature review of knowledge translation and partnership research training programs for health researchers

Authors, year, referenceParticipantsEvaluation methodOutcomesImplicationsNHMRC Level of Evidence
Gerrish & Piercy (2014) [30]Participants in the evaluation came from three groups: secondees (10 nurses (5 clinical and 5 academic) and 4 dieticians), seconding organisations and host CLAHRC teamsQualitative, post-secondment self-report on impacts
Phase 1: Focus groups with secondees: academic (n = 5), clinical (n = 5)
Semi-structured interviews with the 4 remaining secondees and managers from healthcare (n = 2), university (n = 2) and KT projects (n = 3)
Individual and focus group interview schedules covered participants’ views regarding the ‘success’ of secondments and how this was judged, reasons for supporting or undertaking secondments, and factors influencing success of secondments
Phase 2: After Action Review group discussions with KT teams (including members of all groups covered earlier in interviews, n = 6) to discuss progress of KT projects; semi-structured interviews with three healthcare managers at end of KT projects explored the impact of secondments on the organisation, staff and patients
The six themes that emerged were KT skills development, effective workload management, team working, achieving KT objectives, enhanced care delivery, and enhanced education delivery
Academic secondees reported increased research skills around KT theory and evaluation, and this was cited as an important aspect of the course; furthermore, participants enjoyed having developed these skills in a supportive team environment with mentoring from experienced KT team members
Secondments may be a useful way of increasing KT capacity for individuals and organisations
The approach to KT capacity-building used in this study highlights the potential for experiential learning, the importance of mentorship and fostering a supportive training environment for participants to learn and develop new skills, and the need for flexibility to manage the duties of their concurrent roles
Jones et al. (2015) [31]Course attendees (number not stated)Before and after evaluation (self-report) (not described in the report)No data presented
Authors reported that all course components were rated highly for quality relevance and usefulness; increases in participants’ self-reported understanding and confidence in KT theory, planning and communications were noted
The course appears to be relevant and useful and may be able to build researcher skills and confidence in KT and exchangeReport/Expert opinion; results from the pre–post evaluation were not reported
Santacroce et al. (2018) [32]University of North Carolina pre- and post-doctoral research nurses (‘nurse scientists’) Number not statedNone reported
The report describes a plan for KT competencies to be integrated into a research training program
Students will be graded as part of their PhD assessment on research translation skills, in addition to other assessments, including dissertation completion and defence
Pre- and postdoctoral trainees will be required to demonstrate competence in two of the six key themes of research translation taught as part of their training during their presentations, publications, research proposals and completed research
None reportedThis style of KT training for researchers, embedded in a pre- and postdoctoral nurse scientist program, offers a potential model for others to follow; it demonstrates progress towards institutions recognising that KT work should be part of everyday research practiceReport of planned KT activities
Uneke et al. (2012) [33]87 participants, including health researchers, health program managers, heads of departments in the health ministry and managers of health-based NGOsPre–post evaluation and a focus group were conducted with all participants; additionally, a survey was conducted with the senior researchers who participated in the workshop (n = 6)
Pre–post self-report questionnaire rating knowledge of health policy-making processes, own capacity to use evidence and knowledge of evidence-informed policy-making
The focus group focused on participants thoughts regarding ‘bridging the gap between health policy-makers and researchers’
Pre–post survey data was reported as means, medians and ranges
Increases in self-reported knowledge and understanding of the health policy-making process were observed in all questionnaire items when compared to participant pre-workshop scores; items that showed the greatest change between the pre- and post-workshop condition were items related to knowledge of terms such as ‘policy brief’ or ‘types of evidence used for policy-making’
Thematic analysis of focus group data indicated a need for researchers to be more aligned to health systems and policy challenges, and to consider policy-maker perspectives in their work; furthermore, participants suggested increased collaboration between researchers and policy-makers could facilitate researchers informing policy-makers of relevant research as it becomes available; suggested models of partnership were either involving policy-makers in the planning of the research or including researchers in the implementation of policy programs
The findings suggest that a 1-day workshop training event for policy-makers and researchers may improve knowledge and understanding of key topics related to partnership research, evidence-informed policy-making and may enhance policy-makers’ research capacity; furthermore, the success of the workshop suggests that facilitating platforms to allow researchers and policy-makers to come together may be an avenue to help bridge professional divides and create the basis for future professional collaborationIV
Uneke et al. (2018) [34]10 researchers and 10 senior policy staffQuantitative cross-sectional survey, a pre–post workshop survey and qualitative interviews
Cross-sectional survey questions focused on themes around knowledge of secondments, and the role secondments can play in building capacity for organisations and individuals in evidence-based policy and building partnerships for ongoing collaboration
Answers were recorded via a 5-point Likert scale where 1 = grossly inadequate and 5 = very adequate; values were reported as mean rating, median rating and range
6 participants (3 policy-makers and 3 researchers) were interviewed about their experiences and commitment to evidence-informed policy-making in the Nigerian context
The pre–post workshop survey assessed self-reported knowledge of ‘the meaning of policy’, ‘knowledge of policy analysis’ and ‘knowledge of policy review process’
Both policy-makers and researchers strongly agreed that secondments offer the opportunity to enhance personal development and working practices and should be implemented on a continuous basis; they further felt that secondments enhanced capacity development, understanding of context and effective problem solving
The establishment of a ‘Society for Health Policy Research and Knowledge Translation’ following the secondments provides evidence of the success of the secondments in fostering professional relationships; this society will function as a structure to promote ongoing evidence-based policy work in Nigeria
Qualitative interviews with researchers indicated that the program made clearer the need to partner with policy-makers more to enhance evidence-based policy work and collaboration
Two-way approach acknowledges the collaborative and multidisciplinary nature of KT work
Provides evidence of secondments between research and policy organisations being acceptable to participants, and useful as a training and organisational capacity-building exercise
Uneke et al. (2018) [35]n = 45
Researchers from the Implementation Research Team, policy-makers (from the Ministry of Health, Local Government Area, state primary healthcare development agency) and representatives from non-governmental organisations
Pre–post questionnaire design
Participants were questioned pre- and post-workshop for 47 questions relating to understanding of content (using a 4-point Likert scale); pre–post scores were reported as group means, and change was reported by percentage mean increase
There were also 3 questions about the workshop generally that were taken as single measures at the end of the final day; these questions tested acceptability of the facilitator, course content, and participant perceptions of the duration of the program
All 47 domains in the pre–post testing increased after the training workshop; values varied per topic
The mean understanding of content range was 2.04–2.94 pre-workshop and 3.10–3.70 post-workshop; the lowest percentage mean increase in group understanding was 13.3 for ‘knowledge about managing political interference in policy-making and implementation’ and the greatest percentage mean increase in group understanding was 55.2 for ‘Understanding of iKT and eKT’
As for general enjoyment and acceptability of the workshop, the three final question mean results (on a 4-point Likert scale) were 3.79, 3.55 and 2.93
The program was effective in providing an acceptable program of KT learning aimed at researchers and policy-makers working in Maternal and Child health in Nigeria; there were strong self-reported increases in understanding across a broad range of KT areas after the course; the 3-day training workshop brought policy-makers and researchers together, which may enhance partnership working in the futureIV
Kho et al. (2009) [36]5 participants in the 2008 KTSI (out of a total of 30)Participant reflectionsThe mix of different learning formats was appreciated, the small group learning activity was viewed as particularly valuable, participants were able to build important relationships with other participants and faculty (all leaders in KT) and intended to maintain them, faculty enthusiasm was considered key to success, and participants appreciated the mentorship and career advice offered
Suggestions for improvement were more time for informal networking and discussion, more emphasis on qualitative methods and health economics in KT and how KT can be applied in other aspects of health, e.g. educational
Lessons learned were that KT is interdisciplinary and collaborative, negotiation skills are integral, the KT process is complex, confusing and multifaceted, and that it is crucial to use the most rigorous methods of inquiry
The KTSI was considered successful and beneficial by participants; it appeared to be successful to include participants from a range of disciplines and maintain the focus on adult learning and active learning; more interaction with faculty and career advice were considered desirable as was a greater emphasis on exploring the complementarity of qualitative and quantitative measures and more assistance in facilitating ongoing communication between participants and faculty
The KTSI provided a networking opportunity for participants with shared interests in KT research and practice and gave them the chance to share ideas and resources
Leung et al. (2010) [37]One group of trainees from the KTSI authored the publication; number not statedTrainee (author) reflections on, and description of, a training exerciseOutcomes were reported as participant experiences of the session; participants described the process of mapping the goals, target audience and message for the KT strategy as being useful in assisting their skill developmentThrough the process of planning out an end-of-grant KT strategy, participants were exposed to the challenges of developing KT initiatives, including lack of information about the specific project; they conclude the report by recommending that, as is increasingly sought after by research funders internationally, eKT strategies (and appropriate allowances in the budget) should be considered at the very beginning of research project planning, instead of as an afterthought at the endReport/expert opinion
Bhogal et al. (2011) [38]One group of trainees from the KTSI authored the publication; number not statedTrainee (author) reflections on, and description of, a training exerciseParticipants identified several key themes from their learning experience: ‘Balancing engaging stakeholders with moving forward’, ‘Exploring the role of the knowledge-to-action framework’, ‘Identifying KT research gaps’ and ‘Investigating methodological approaches for KT interventions and research’Small group practice-based learning activities can expose participants to the challenges of KT practice in a controlled environment where they can learn in collaboration with peers; such activities may be a useful complement to traditional seminars covering theoretical background knowledgeReport/expert opinion
  1. CLAHRCs Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care; eKT end-of-grant knowledge translation; IKT integrated knowledge translation; KT knowledge translation; KTSI Knowledge Translation Summer Institute; NHMRC National Health and Medical Research Council