Virtual communities of practice to improve clinical outcomes in healthcare: Protocol for a 10-year scoping review

Louise Shaw, Dana Jazayeri, Debra Kiegaldie, Meg Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Virtual communities of practice (VCoPs) use a common online platform to provide healthcare professionals with the opportunity to access highly specialised knowledge, build a professional support network and promote the translation of research evidence into practice. There is limited reporting of how best to design and administer VCoPs within healthcare organisations. The primary aim of this scoping review is to identify the best methods used to establish and maintain VCoPs. Findings shall be used to develop a flexible framework to guide the establishment and facilitation of a VCoP for healthcare professionals to ensure the translation of falls prevention clinical guidelines into practice. Methods and analysis A five-stage scoping review process will be followed based on Arksey and O'Malley's framework and refined by the Joanna Briggs Institute Methodology. An initial limited search of PubMed and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature will identify relevant studies and assist with search term development. This will be followed by a search of five online databases to identify papers published from January 2010 until November 2020. Papers will be independently screened by two reviewers, and data extracted and analysed using a reporting framework. Qualitative data will be analysed thematically and numerical synthesis of the data will be conducted. Results and dissemination The results of this scoping review will highlight the best ways to design and manage VCoPs in healthcare organisations. The findings will be presented at relevant stakeholder workshops, conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere046998
Number of pages6
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • education & training (see medical education & training)
  • health & safety
  • protocols & guidelines
  • quality in health care

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