Promising KTE evaluation tools

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Published: April 2011

Research organizations world-wide are committing more time and resources to knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) – the practice of putting relevant research into the hands of key decision-makers and stakeholders in a timely, accessible and useful manner.

The effectiveness of current KTE practices, however, has not been routinely or consistently evaluated. One reason for this may be the lack of valid and reliable tools for assessing the implementation and impact of KTE applications. The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) conducted a systematic review that sought to fill this gap. It asked the question: Are there reliable, valid and/or useful instruments to apply in the assessment of KTE implementation and its impact?

The systematic review concluded that few well developed instruments are available to evaluate the implementation and impact of knowledge transfer and exchange practices (see the related Sharing Best Evidence titled Finding tools to measure the impact of KTE activities. However, it did find 16 articles describing instruments that showed promise as useful tools in the evaluation of KTE activities. They were considered promising because they demonstrated some signs of validity and reliability, as well as the potential to assess change.

Because these instruments are not well-established or widely known by name, the best way to learn more about them is to read the articles in which they are described. The references for these articles, as well as brief descriptions of the evaluation instruments, are included here.

References describing KTE evaluation tools

  • Ammendolia C, et al. Implementing evidence-based guidelines for radiography in acute low back pain: A pilot study in a chiropractic community. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics. 2004; 27(3):170-179. (Describes a brief mailed survey to assess the use of X-rays for acute low-back pain.)
  • Armstrong TA and Webb V. The School-Based Violence Prevention Planning Program: A pilot test. Journal of School Violence. 2006; 5(4):79-97. (Describes a planning team survey to assess the degree to which participation in curriculum and plan development affects team members’ perceptions of their capacity to engage in data-driven prevention planning.)
  • Bekkering GE, et al. Implementation of clinical guidelines on physical therapy for patients with low back pain: Randomized trial comparing patient outcomes after a standard and active implementation strategy. Physical Therapy. 2005; 85(6):544-555. (Describes a registration form for physiotherapy patients to capture treatment goals, content of the treatment, number of treatment sessions and more.)
  • Bonetti D, et al. Guiding the design and selection of interventions to influence the implementation of evidence-based practice: An experimental simulation of a complex intervention trial. Social Science & Medicine. 2005; 60(9):2135-2147. (Describes a tool to measure clinician referrals for X-ray according to evidence.)
  • Dufault MA and Willey-Lessne C. Using a collaborative research utilization model to develop and test the effects of clinical pathways for pain management. Journal of Nursing Care Quality. 1999; 13(4):19-33. (Describes instruments used to measure changes in nurses’ pain-assessment practices, research-use competency and attitudes toward research.)
  • Edwards H, et al. Improving paediatric nurses' knowledge and attitudes in childhood fever management. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2007; 57(3):257-269. (Describes a three-instrument survey that explores nurses’ knowledge, attitudes and practices related to evidence-based fever management.)
  • Gunn J, et al. Guidelines for assessing postnatal problems: Introducing evidence-based guidelines in Australian general practice. Family Practice. 2003; 20(4):382-389. (Describes a self-report questionnaire for general practitioners on post-natal care, as well as a simulated patient evaluator rating scale.)
  • Lasch KE, et al. Is hands-on experience more effective than didactic workshops in postgraduate cancer pain education? Journal of Cancer Education. 2000; 15(4):218-222. (Describes a survey to assess application of knowledge about cancer pain management.)
  • Legare F, et al. Does training family physicians in shared decision making promote optimal use of antibiotics for acute respiratory infections? Study protocol of a pilot clustered randomised controlled trial. BMC Family Practice. 2007; 8:65. (Describes a decision questionnaire and conflict scale on the use of antibiotics for respiratory infections according to clinical practice guidelines.)
  • Neitzel JJ, et al. Improving pain management after total joint replacement surgery. Orthopaedic Nursing. 1999; 18(4):37-45. (Describes a survey measuring knowledge and attitudes regarding pain.)
  • Okon TR, et al. Palliative educational outcome with implementation of PEACE tool integrated clinical pathway. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2004; 7(2):279-295. (Describes a survey to assess physicians’ knowledge and attitudes with respect to end-of-life care.)
  • Price SK, et al. Changing hospital newborn nursery practice: Results from a statewide "back to sleep" nurses training program. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2008; 12(3):363-371. (Describes a survey for nurses to assess their knowledge and use of infant care practices.)
  • Rashotte J, et al. Implementation of a two-part unit-based multiple intervention: Moving evidence-based practice into action. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research. 2008; 40(2):94-114. (Describes a self-report questionnaire on pressure-ulcer prevention.)
  • Shirazi M, et al. Effects on readiness to change of an educational intervention on depressive disorders for general physicians in primary care based on a modified Prochaska model: A randomized controlled study. Family Practice. 2008; 25(2):98-104. (Describes the evaluation of an educational intervention on the management of depressive disorders and its impact on readiness to change.)
  • Sung H, et al. An implementation programme to improve nursing home staff's knowledge of and adherence to an individualized music protocol. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 2008; 17(19):2573-2579. (Describes the evaluation of an implementation program designed to improve nursing staff knowledge of, and adherence to, a music protocol for people with dementia in long-term care settings.)
  • Titler MG, et al. Translating research into practice intervention improves management of acute pain in older hip fracture patients. Health Services Research. 2009; 44(1):264-287. (Describes an interdisciplinary and multi-faceted KTE practice designed to promote use of evidence-based pain management practices by physicians and nurses to decrease pain intensity among older, hospitalized adults.)