How Do Clinicians Learn About Knowledge Translation? An Investigation of Current Web-Based Learning Opportunities
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Background: Clinicians are important stakeholders in the translation of well-designed research evidence into clinical practice for optimal patient care. However, the application of knowledge translation (KT) theories and processes may present conceptual and practical challenges for clinicians. Online learning platforms are an effective means of delivering KT education, providing an interactive, time-efficient, and affordable alternative to face-to-face education programs. Objective: This study investigates the availability and accessibility of online KT learning opportunities for health professionals. It also provides an analysis of the types of resources and associated disciplines retrieved by a range of KT synonyms. Methods: We searched a range of bibliographic databases and the Internet (Google advanced option) using 9 KT terms to identify online KT learning resources. To be eligible, resources had to be free, aimed at clinicians, educational in intent, and interactive in design. Each term was searched using two different search engines. The details of the first 100 websites captured per browser (ie, n=200 results per term) were entered into EndNote. Each site was subsequently visited to determine its status as a learning resource. Eligible websites were appraised for quality using the AACODS (Authority, Accuracy, Coverage, Objectivity, Date, Significance) tool. Results: We identified 971 unique websites via our multiple search strategies. Of these, 43 were health-related and educational in intent. Once these sites were evaluated for interactivity, a single website matched our inclusion criteria (Dementia Knowledge Translation Learning Centre). Conclusions: KT is an important but complex system of processes. These processes overlap with knowledge, practice, and improvement processes that go by a range of different names. For clinicians to be informed and competent in KT, they require better access to free learning opportunities. These resources should be designed from the viewpoint of the clinician, presenting KT’s multifaceted theories and processes in an engaging, interactive way. This learning should empower clinicians to contextualize and apply KT strategies within their own care settings.
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