Developing evidence-informed decision making in injury prevention – combining interactive research and KTE

Poster - 2019


Background: The demand for better use of research findings is increasing in the field of occupational health and safety, where evidence-based interventions have been developed that could prevent work injuries and improve safety at work, but have mostly failed to reach relevant decision makers in practice (Baker et al 2015). Along with these changes there has been an increasing awareness of the limitation of traditional approaches mainly relying on “passive diffusion“ of evidence-based knowledge and a call for new and more active approaches to bridge the gap between research and practice (Greenhalgh et al., 2004), which also applies to prevention of workplace accidents (Van Eerd 2017). More recently, integrated knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) has been advocated as an approach for actively engaging practitioners in research and sharing of useful evidence with decision makers and practitioners (Van Eerd & Saunders 2017). Objective: The objective of this case study is to investigate the feasibility of a interactive approach to knowledge transfer and exchange and evaluate engagement and knowledge uptake in workplace level injury prevention. Method: The definition of knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) from the Institute for Work and Health (IWH) in Canada is adapted, which defines KTE as “a process of exchange between researchers and knowledge users designed to make relevant research information available and applicable for use in practice, planning and decision making” (Van Eerd and Saunders 2017). We combine the KTE approach with an interactive approch, as the transfer of safety research knowledge is a dynamic process that can benefit from a non-linear way of thinking about the relationship between knowledge production and action, and thus promote a closer engagement of research users in knowledge production (Svensson et al. 2009; Ellström 2007). A developmental process was carried out with two companies in the manufacturing, where two development seminars and two implementation seminars were held at the workplace, in the form of dialogue workshops. The workshops were designed to provide workplaces with up-to-date research findings about safety practices. The workshops also addressed the prioritization of safety concerns of each workplace and how these concerns would be tackled. Results: The interactive research approach and practical steps of the KTE process are outlined, and a worked example of a theory of change (logic analysis) of how the intended interactive KTE approach is expected to promote preventive action is presented. The challenges and possibilities for using the proposed knowlege exchange approach are discussed. Preliminary results indicate that research knowledge was incorporated in the existing policies and practices at the workplace, and increased knowledge uptake seems to have taken place. The workshop approach moved workplaces toward helth and safety solutions tailored for their needs.


Developing evidence-informed decision making in injury prevention – combining interactive research and KTE. 2019.

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