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Knowledge Translation: You Can’t Always Get What You Want …

By: & Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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We discuss the knowledge translation process in a recent study on health care aide roles in seniors care in Alberta using integrated knowledge translation, end-of-grant, and knowledge-to-action steps. In particular, the role of health care aides in oral medication assistance is an important but also highly controversial topic. Critics say that health care aides should not give out medications due to their low level of education and the complexity of the elderly residents. This was a multi-method study in that we collected data from several data sources to answer the research question. Our three main knowledge translation challenges were (a) finding appropriate long-term care sites to participate in the research, (b) obtaining medication error reports from the sites showing the type of errors and health care professional involved, and (c) recruiting facilities to implement the findings into practice change. Our knowledge translation approaches differed in their success. Feedback from knowledge users helped us to define research questions in the proposal writing stage and with the data analysis. This improved our study findings. We disseminated our findings at end-of-grant presentations and publications. The success of the knowledge-to-action cycle is yet to come; we are working toward a future study to increase health care aide involvement in oral medication assistance at more sites.

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