Knowledge Translation and Exchange: Enhancing communication for best practice in obesity prevention — ASN Events

Knowledge Translation and Exchange: Enhancing communication for best practice in obesity prevention (#186)

Penny Love 1 , Anne Romanus 1 , Jill Whelan 1 , Erin Smith 1 , Kristy Bolton 2 , Tahna Pettman 3 , Rebecca Armstrong 3 , Tim Gill 4 , Steven Allender 2 , Elizabeth Waters 3 , John Coveney 5 , Boyd Swinburn 6
  1. CO-OPS Collaboration, Population Health Strategic Research Centre, Deakin University, Geelong, Vic, Australia
  2. WHO-Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Deakin University, Geelong, Vic, Australia
  3. The McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Community Wellbeing, School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  4. Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  5. School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  6. Nutrition and Global Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Background: Knowledge translation and exchange (KT&E) is a dynamic process that takes place within a complex system of interactions between knowledge producers and knowledge users.  These interactions can range from simple communications to more iterative exchanges, with a core purpose to manage knowledge; share and exchange information, experiences and ideas; and connect practitioners, to enhance communication and inform decision making. Access to appropriate information and resources, however, varies greatly among practitioners[1]. To enhance communication and provide guidance within a consistent framework of best practice, the Collaboration of Community-based Obesity Prevention Sites (CO-OPS) uses a national KT&E model linking practitioners, policy professionals and academics working within community-based obesity and chronic disease prevention.

Objectives: The aims of the CO-OPS KT&E model are to increase awareness and access to quality resources and evidence; inform policy and research gaps; enhance knowledge, skills and confidence in best practice; and facilitate collaboration.

 Methods: The CO-OPS KT&E model consists of a range of interactive activities guided by a communication strategy.  Multiple communication modes are used (e-mail, face-to-face, telephone, website, social media) facilitated by a knowledge broker.  KT&E activities include dissemination of appraised research findings (website resource library, e-newsletter, twitter, facebook, national workshops); professional development (workshops, short courses); and the creation of a community of practice (support request service, case studies, online forums, networking events). These activities will be evaluated using mixed methods to measure uptake and application of tools and services, and improvements in practice.

 Discussion and conclusion:  The CO-OPS KT&E model provides valuable support, enhancing communication and collaboration by increasing access to and confidence in applying quality information to enable best practice in obesity prevention.

 1.            Armstrong R, Waters E, Roberts H, Oliver S, Popay J: The role and theoretical evolution of knowledge translation and exchange in public health. Journal of public health 2006, 28(4):384-389.