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Table 1 Overview of phase 1 director survey measures

From: Organizational supports used by private child and family serving agencies to facilitate evidence use: a mixed methods study protocol

Construct Measure
Evidence use
 Use of research evidence Four types of research use: Instrumental use refers to the direct use of research evidence in decision-making or in identifying a solution to a specific problem, e.g., in deciding to adopt or implement a specific program or practice or choosing a specific course of action with a client [63]. Tactical use, also known as persuasive or symbolic use, refers to the use of evidence to legitimize, justify, or otherwise mobilize support for actions or decisions [100]. Process use encompasses direct involvement in the design or conduct of research. Finally, overall use refers to the use of any kind of research in any way and encompasses all of the previous types of evidence use [101].
Formal organizational supports used to facilitate evidence use
 Linkage and exchange efforts Ties to knowledge brokers outside the organization who can assist in acquiring, assessing, adapting, or applying evidence in decision-making or practice. Specific types of knowledge brokers to be examined include researchers, professional associations, advocacy groups, and consultants or other technical assistance providers.
 Technical infrastructure Data systems and/or other technical infrastructure designed to facilitate access to and use of evidence by agency staff, e.g., information systems that disseminate research evidence and/or provide timely data and feedback to staff on client utilization, experiences, or outcomes, etc.
 Other knowledge management infrastructure Other infrastructure designed to promote evidence use within the agency. Specifically, we will examine whether there are (1) formal positions accountable for supporting evidence use and/or (2) formal organizational policies or practices designed to develop agency capacity for evidence use; (3) staff directly involved in research and/or quality improvement activities
 Strategic alignment Emphasizing the importance of evidence use in the agency’s mission, vision, values and/or strategic plan and/or any other formal efforts to establish an organizational climate that prioritizes evidence use
Factors hypothesized to affect agency use of formal organizational supports
 Competition Local competition for funding, staff, and clientele
 Funding sources Major sources of revenue, the percentage of revenues received directly from each source during the most recent fiscal year (e.g., Medicaid, state or county contracts with public child welfare agencies), and whether payment is linked to a performance-based accountability mechanism
 Accreditation Whether the agency is accredited by COA, CARF, JCAHO, or another accrediting body
 Government policies State and/or local requirements for the use of EBTs in services and/or for research evidence use
 Agency size Number of full-time staff or full-time staff equivalents
 Organizational auspices Whether the agency is not-for-profit or for-profit and whether the agency is part of a larger network or system
 Boundary spanning activities Number of hours per week spent engaging in each of the following activities with external stakeholders: (1) liaison activities with other monitoring or licensing organizations; (2) activities with professional associations; (3) consulting with and/or participating in task groups with other service providers; (4) activities with researchers or technical assistance providers (5) public presentations and appearance in the community; and (6) contributing to federal, state, and/or local policy making
 Leadership behaviors Respondents’ leadership style
 Director education and training Directors’ highest educational degree, length of time in current role, whether he/she ever completed a research class (e.g., on research design or statistics) and/or class on quality improvement techniques, attitudes towards evidence use, and personal use of research evidence