UBC Faculty Research and Publications

RE-AIMing conferences: evaluating the adoption, implementation and maintenance of the Rick Hansen Institute’s Praxis 2016 Gainforth, Heather L; Baxter, Kristy; Baron, Justine; Michalovic, Emilie; Caron, Jeffrey G; Sweet, Shane N


Background: In April 2016, the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) hosted an innovative, 2-day conference called Praxis 2016. RHI aimed to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to develop solutions for overcoming the challenges of translating spinal cord injury (SCI) research into practice. To understand the impact of Praxis, RHI funded an independent team to evaluate Praxis at the individual and setting level using the RE-AIM framework. Individual-level findings are published elsewhere. The aim of this evaluation is to report on the impact of Praxis at the setting level in terms of its adoption, implementation and maintenance. Methods: Data sources included interviews with attendees (n = 13) and organisers (n = 9), a fidelity assessment conducted at the conference, and observation notes provided by the evaluation team. Results: Main findings indicated that the Praxis model was adopted by organisers and attendees, implemented by RHI as intended, and has the potential for long-term maintenance. Lessons learned highlighted the importance of including SCI community members throughout the entire process from development to post-conference activities as well as in the research process, the value of facilitation and fostering interactive problem solving, and the need to identify leadership and funds to foster long-term efforts. Conclusions: Developing and implementing a solutions-focused conference that brings together a diverse group of SCI stakeholders was challenging and rewarding for attendees and organisers. Other domains could learn from, adopt and build on the Praxis 2016 approach to address research-to-practice gaps.

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