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Table 1 Knowledge broker approaches, target stakeholders, and outcomes described in relevant KB documents

From: Knowledge brokering for healthy aging: a scoping review of potential approaches

Author, (year, jurisdiction) KB approach implemented or proposed Target Stakeholders Outcomes evaluated or proposed?
Conklin (2013, Canada) [26, 27] IMPLEMENTED:
KB roles within a network (Seniors Health Research Transfer Network (SHRTN)) described:
- coach/mentors to develop skills/capacity
- knowledge translators (locate, appraise, create, package, disseminate knowledge)
- developers of relationships/networks
But note that the roles must be fluid and context dependent.
Facilitating knowledge to action (KTA), communities of practice, and improved health services delivery for seniors.
• Caregivers
• Policy makers
• Researchers
Proposed examining Knowledge to Action (KTA) processes and KB roles.
No explicit KB outcomes evaluated
Dobbins (2009, Canada) [18, 28, 29] IMPLEMENTED:
1. Access to a repository of high-quality research evidence (systematic reviews);
2. Tailored messages based on research evidence;
3. Individual knowledge brokers working one-on-one with decision-makers.
• Public health departments
• Decision-makers
• Researchers
• Knowledge transfer practitioners
The primary outcome assessed the extent to which research evidence was used in a recent program decision, and the secondary outcome measured the change in the sum of evidence-informed healthy body weight promotion policies or programs being delivered at health departments.
Gerrish (2011, UK) [30] IMPLEMENTED:
Description of advanced practice nurses disseminating information to clinical nurses through knowledge management (generating, accumulating, synthesizing, translating, disseminating research) and promoting the uptake of knowledge (capacity building, problem solving, facilitating change).
• Advanced practice nurses
• Clinical nurses
Promoting the uptake of knowledge: capacity building, problem solving, and facilitating change. (Evidence-based practice)
Goering (2003, Canada) [31] IMPLEMENTED:
Dissemination of information from two organizations in partnership. This was done through joint presentations by researchers and the ministry to the decision-making bodies in an interactive forum that allowed decision-makers to ask questions and seek clarification on information presented
Using a tiered approach to linkage and exchange:
- Inter-organizational relationship
- Interactive research designs (working together)
- Dissemination
- Policy formation
• Policy makers;
• Administrators/managers;
• Frontline clinicians;
• Decision-makers
The researchers found that the forum format increased dissemination of the research product, provided clarification on language use with research and it provided insight into more targeted research based on experts in the field.
Henderson, (2011, Australia) [32] IMPLEMENTED:
Description of trained community-based health workers or "Community Navigators" helping disadvantaged community members navigate the health system and to promote positive health.
Community navigators were based on a lay cultural health worker model and they described their knowledge broker roles including:.
- Broad knowledge acquisition to provide information and knowledge not only about health issues, but also about the broader social determinants of health, such as housing, employment, and education.
- operate in culturally appropriate ways within sub-groups of the community, including taking on interpreter roles for medical visits
- Build capacity in the community: “working with the community to facilitate empowerment”
• Citizens/community groups
• Administrators, managers
Do community navigators make a difference to health equity in “culturally and linguistically diverse” communities with low access to health services?
Focus on: awareness of health/healthy lifestyles, capacity for communities to effectively manage their own health (to seek medical assistance and to be able to communicate with doctors).
Urquhart (2011, Canada) [17] IMPLEMENTED:
Introduction of Knowledge Broker within a large research team to facilitate an integrated knowledge translation approach. Brokering tasks encompassed all activities relating to team interactions, communications, networking, stakeholder engagement/interaction, and research synthesis and dissemination.
• Cancer/health services researchers (large research teams) EVALUATED:
1. Facilitation of an integrated KT approach to research conduct.
2. Development of collaboration between the research team and external stakeholders, including other researchers.
Wahabi (2011, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) [33] IMPLEMENTED:
Family medicine physicians trained in evidence-based medicine to enhance their abilities as knowledge brokers through
(1) Debates, where teams were scored on (i) comprehensiveness of their research, (ii) critical appraisal and grading of the evidence used during the debate, (iii) adaptation of evidence to participants’ local context, and (iv) the quality of the communication skills used to articulate the evidence to non-medical end users.
(2) KT presentations using the KTA framework
(3) EBM knowledge sessions where participant learned about EBM and how they may enhance their EBM skills.
• Frontline clinicians; (physicians) NO:
No KB outcomes described
Armstrong, (2013, Canada) [34] PROPOSED: “KT4LG”
A knowledge translation intervention for public health decision-making in local government. The intervention was designed to be implemented by a Program Coordinator who would also provide a point-of-contact and act as a KB.
1. Provision of evidence summaries and additional individualized support, such as tailored messages.
2. Training in accessing research, assessing trustworthiness, and applying research evidence to local context. 3. Developing and implementing strategies that assist in the development of an organizational culture that supports evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) within local governments.
• Administrators/managers (decision-making staff at local governments)
• Policy makers
Intervention not yet implemented. Intention to measure individuals’ confidence, skills, and access to research evidence and to assess changes in organizational culture for EIDM.
CHSRF (2003, Canada) [14] PROPOSED:
Describes common core skills of KB in possible approaches: evidence gathering, critical appraisal, mediation, imagination/intuition, communication, and listening
• Healthcare stakeholders broadly NO:
Challenges of evaluation noted because will be context specific. No evaluation guidance provided.
Catello (2015, Canada) [35] PROPOSED:
Proposes key competencies for nurses to be knowledge brokers: evidence acquisition, critical appraisal, evidence-based decision-making experience, and networking.
• Nurses NO:
No evaluation conducted or proposed.
Hammami (2013, Canada) [36] PROPOSED:
A knowledge transfer process in which knowledge brokers are at the core, as well as a series of five activities to facilitate the link between researchers and users:
- acquisition
- integration
- adaptation
- dissemination
- creation of links
• Knowledge brokers in the health service field NO:
Suggest organizational climate has a direct positive impact on brokers’ knowledge transfer activities through autonomy granted to brokers
Lemire (2013, Canada) [25] PROPOSED:
Exchange is central and knowledge translation is filtered through a multitude of intermediary actors, such as knowledge brokers: through a number of KT approaches:
- as part of the social system in KT (i.e., an exchange network supporting the production and transfer of knowledge),
- as a credible messenger,
- facilitators (between two groups),
- as a strategy to promote relationship development.
• Managers
• Decision-makers
• Stakeholders
• Public policy makers
• Professionals (liaison officers)
• Knowledge translation officers
• Researchers or knowledge brokers
No evaluation was conducted.
MacDermid (2009, Canada) [37] PROPOSED:
KB noted as one of multiple methods of KT.
KB role is to link decision-makers with researchers, facilitating their interaction to work collaboratively on using evidence for decision-making. Trust and development of common ground are essential.
Suggest that KB should be used when: changes in policy are needed and where common goals/outcomes can be achieved among policy makers, end users, and knowledge developers.
• Healthcare providers (particularly hand surgeons rheumatologists, and therapists) NO:
No outcomes and no evaluation but based on improving evidence-based practice.
Ward (2009, England) [15] PROPOSED:
Multiple knowledge brokering approaches advocated, including
(i) knowledge management through active dissemination and knowledge creation
(ii) linkage and exchange though relationship building and facilitation
(iii) capacity building though education and training activities
• General healthcare policy and practice stakeholders (not necessarily policy makers) NO:
No specific KB outcomes described.
Suggest a broader, more process oriented approach based on the underlying principles and processes of transferring knowledge into action.
Ward (2012, England) [22, 38] PROPOSED:
Interactive problem solving approach:
The intervention involves helping participants identify, refine, and reframe their key issues, finding, synthesizing and feeding back research and other evidence, facilitating interactions between participants and relevant experts and transferring information searching skills to participants.
Three KB approaches advocated: (i) information management (helping teams find, package, and disseminate information), (ii) linkage and exchange (facilitating discussions between the teams and relevant experts), and iii) capacity building (helping teams develop their capacity to exchange knowledge into the future).
• Mental health practitioners NO:
No specific KB outcomes described. Focus was on process and framework development.