Researchers’ views on and practices of knowledge translation: an international survey of transfusion medicine researchers

Amanda Thijsen, Barbara Masser, Tanya Ellen Davison, Anna Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Health research is often driven by the desire to improve the care and health of the community; however, the translation of research evidence into policy and practice is not guaranteed. Knowledge translation (KT) activities, such as dissemination and end-user engagement by researchers, are important to achieving this goal. This study examined researchers’ views on and practices of KT in the field of transfusion medicine. Methods: An anonymous, cross-sectional survey was distributed to transfusion medicine researchers in May 2022 by emailing corresponding authors of papers in four major blood journals, emailing grant recipients, posting on social media, and through international blood operator networks. Comparative analyses were conducted for career stage, work setting, research type, and KT training. Results: The final sample included 117 researchers from 33 countries. Most participants reported that research translation was important (86%) and felt it was their responsibility (69%). Fewer than half felt they had the skills to translate their research (45%) or knew which strategies to employ (45%). When examining how research findings are shared, most reported using diffusion activities (86%), including publishing in peer-reviewed journals (74%), or presenting at academic conferences (72%). Fewer used dissemination methods (60%), such as developing educational materials (29%) or writing plain language summaries (30%). Greater use of tailored dissemination strategies was seen among researchers with KT training, whilst traditional diffusion strategies were used more by those working in an academic setting. Most participants had engaged end-users in their research (72%), primarily to consult on a research component (47%) or to involve them in the research process (45%). End-user engagement was greater among researchers with established careers, working in both academic and applied settings, and with KT training. Conclusions: Whilst participating researchers acknowledged the importance of KT, they typically focused on traditional diffusion strategies. This is despite well-established knowledge of the limited impact of these strategies in achieving KT. Those with KT training were more likely to use tailored dissemination strategies and engage end-users in their research. This demonstrates the value of sharing knowledge from the KT field with health researchers to facilitate KT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Number of pages10
JournalImplementation Science Communications
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Blood
  • Diffusion
  • Dissemination
  • End-user engagement
  • Implementation science
  • Knowledge mobilisation
  • Knowledge translation
  • Researchers
  • Transfusion medicine

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