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Promoting Evidence-Based Health Policy, Programming, and Practice for Seniors: Lessons from a National Knowledge Transfer Project*

  • Carol L. McWilliam (a1), Moira Stewart (a1), Judith Belle Brown (a1), John Feightner (a1), Mark Rosenberg (a2), Gloria Gutman (a3), Margaret Penning (a4), Miriam Stewart (a5), Robyn Tamblyn (a6) and Grace Morfitt (a1)...


In response to Canada's pressing need for effective evidence-based policy, services, and practices specific to seniors, national leaders representing all concerned stakeholders designed and implemented a National Consensus Process to promote spread, exchange, choice, and uptake of research evidence on social and health issues associated with an aging population. This article presents the innovative methods and evaluation of this three-year project, illuminating for all constituencies the challenges and opportunities associated with promoting seniors' independence through collaborative knowledge transfer efforts. A total of 198 organizations and 65 individuals were surveyed at baseline, throughout the intervention, immediately post-intervention, and one year post-intervention. Knowledge from 783 studies was spread to 63,387 people, 90 per cent of whom reported knowledge exchange. Over 50 per cent of stakeholders reported using the research evidence, although processes for facilitating knowledge choice did not achieve consensus. Significant knowledge uptake occurred in two of the four research theme areas.

En réponse au besoin pressant de politiques, de services et de pratiques documentés, efficaces et adaptés aux aînés, les chefs de file nationaux représentant les diverses parties intéressées ont conçu et mis en place un Consensus national pour promouvoir la propagation, l'échange, le choix et l'adoption de recherches sur des questions sociales et de santé inhérentes à une population vieillissante. Ce document présente les méthodes innovatrices et un examen de ce projet de trois ans, faisant ressortir dans tous les cas les défis et les occasions associés à la promotion de l'autonomie des aînés par le biais d'échange de connaissances entre divers groupes. Pendant la durée du programme, immédiatement après et un an plus tard, on a enquêté auprès de 198 organismes et de 65 personnes. Les connaissances tirées de 783 études ont été communiquées à 63 387 personnes, parmi lesquelles 90 % ont déclaré avoir échangé ces connaissances. Plus de 50 % des parties intéressées ont signalé avoir utilisé les résultats des recherches bien que les méthodes employées pour orienter les choix n'aient pas donné lieu à un consensus. Une application importante de connaissances s'est produite à partir de deux des quatre thèmes de recherche.


Corresponding author

Requests for offprints should be sent to: / Les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être addressées à : Carol L. McWilliam, MScN, EdD, University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Health Sciences, Room SH2345, Somerville House, London, ON N6A 3K7, Tel.: (519) 661-2111, ext. 82221, Fax: (519) 661-4189. (


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Funding support for this research and development project was received from the National Health Research and Development Program, Health Canada, between April 1998 and July 2001. The results and conclusions are those of the authors. No official endorsement by the funding bodies is intended, nor should it be inferred. The authors also wish to acknowledge the contributions of the National Consensus Committee members and the thousands of concerned Canadians who participated in the CNCP in the interest of all seniors.



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Promoting Evidence-Based Health Policy, Programming, and Practice for Seniors: Lessons from a National Knowledge Transfer Project*

  • Carol L. McWilliam (a1), Moira Stewart (a1), Judith Belle Brown (a1), John Feightner (a1), Mark Rosenberg (a2), Gloria Gutman (a3), Margaret Penning (a4), Miriam Stewart (a5), Robyn Tamblyn (a6) and Grace Morfitt (a1)...


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