Document Type : Original Article
Department of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Monash Health, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research, Institute for Health Transformation, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC, Australia
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Faculty of Health, School of Nursing, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
IWK Health Centre, Halifax, NS, Canada
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Statistics Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
School of Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
University College London, London, UK
Ontario Ministry of Health and LongTerm Care, Toronto, ON, Canada
University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
Context is recognized as important to successful knowledge translation (KT) in health settings. What is meant by context, however, is poorly understood. The purpose of the current study was to elicit tacit knowledge about what is perceived to constitute context by conducting interviews with a variety of health system stakeholders internationally so as to compile a comprehensive list of contextual attributes and their features relevant to KT in healthcare.
A descriptive qualitative study design was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with health system stakeholders (change agents/KT specialists and KT researchers) in four countries: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Interview transcripts were analyzed using inductive thematic content analysis in four steps: (1) selection of utterances describing context, (2) coding of features of context, (3) categorizing of features into attributes of context, (4) comparison of attributes and features by: country, KT experience, and role.
A total of 39 interviews were conducted. We identified 66 unique features of context, categorized into 16 attributes. One attribute, Facility Characteristics, was not represented in previously published KT frameworks. We found instances of all 16 attributes in the interviews irrespective of country, level of experience with KT, and primary role (change agent/KT specialist vs. KT researcher), revealing robustness and transferability of the attributes identified. We also identified 30 new context features (across 13 of the 16 attributes).
The findings from this study represent an important advancement in the KT field; we provide much needed conceptual clarity in context, which is essential to the development of common assessment tools to measure context to determine which context attributes and features are more or less important in different contexts for improving KT success.