UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Designing a knowledge transfer and exchange strategy for the Alberta Depression Initiative: contributions of qualitative research with key stakeholders Mitton, Craig, 1972-; Adair, Carol E; McKenzie, Emily; Patten, Scott; Waye-Perry, Brenda; Smith, Neale


Background: Depressive disorders are highly prevalent and of significant societal burden. In fall 2004, the 'Alberta Depression Initiative' (ADI) research program was formed with a mission to enhance the mental health of the Alberta population. A key expectation of the ADI is that research findings will be effectively translated to appropriate research users. To help ensure this, one of the initiatives funded through the ADI focused specifically on knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE). The objectives of this project were first to examine the state of the KTE literature, and then based on this review and a set of key informant interviews, design a KTE strategy for the ADI. Methods: Face to face interviews were conducted with 15 key informants familiar with KTE and/or mental health policy and programs in Alberta. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using the constant comparison method. Results: This paper reports on findings from the qualitative interviews. Respondents were familiar with the barriers to and facilitators of KTE as identified in the existing literature. Four key themes related to the nature of effective KTE were identified in the data analysis: personal relationships, cultivating champions, supporting communities of practice, and building receptor capacity. These recommendations informed the design of a contextually appropriate KTE strategy for the ADI. The three-phased strategy involves preliminary research, public workshops, on-going networking and linkage activities and rigorous evaluation against pre-defined and mutually agreed outcome measures. Conclusion: Interest in KTE on the part of ADI has led to the development of a strategy for engaging decision makers, researchers, and other mental health stakeholders in an on-going network related to depression programs and policy. A similarly engaged process might benefit other policy areas.

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)