Evaluation of a National knowledge translation & exchange platform for obesity prevention — ASN Events

Evaluation of a National knowledge translation & exchange platform for obesity prevention (#239)

Tahna L Pettman 1 , Rebecca Armstrong 1 , Elizabeth Waters 1 , Steven Allender 2 , Timothy Gill 3 , John Coveney 4 , Erin Smith 2 , Penny Love 2 , Boyd A Swinburn 5
  1. McCaughey Centre, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. Population Health SRC, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
  3. Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  4. School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  5. Nutrition and Global Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Background: The effectiveness of obesity prevention (OP) investments relies on many factors, including successful application of best-available evidence about ‘what works’ for whom and why among communities. Applying research evidence to decision-making is challenged by time, resources and organisational systems. Knowledge translation and exchange (KT&E) strategies hold promise to support evidence-informed decision-making. However, evidence of the effectiveness of KT&E activities is still limited, especially within the context of OP. The Collaboration of Community-based Obesity Prevention Sites (CO-OPS) is a KT&E platform involving four Australian universities, which aims to support ‘best practice’, and link research, policy and practice, in coordination with National and State efforts.

Methods: A range of KT&E activities are currently being implemented including knowledge brokering, facilitated networking, targeted communications, and professional development. To guide implementation and evaluation, a logic model was developed based upon international KT&E theory, empirical evidence and evaluation of previous CO-OPS activities. A mixed methods process and impact evaluation was designed to understand the reach, quality and effectiveness of the CO-OPS approach. The process evaluation will use interviews, communications and member interactions data and event records to monitor practitioner experiences and reach, as well as dose, adoption, quality, range and cost of CO-OPS activities. Impact will be measured by assessing use of CO-OPS tools and services (via pre-post event questionnaires, tracer studies, interviews), networking and information-seeking (via database of interactions, survey, interviews), and improvements in practice (via survey, case studies, pre-post event questionnaires).

Results and conclusion: The CO-OPS KT&E model is the first of its kind in Australia and, to our knowledge, internationally. Implementation of interactive KT&E strategies to create meaningful exchanges between OP practice, policy and research may facilitate improvements in decision-making and practice. Evaluation data will be reported to describe the potential usefulness of the CO-OPS KT&E platform in supporting OP.