Knowledge sharing and uptake : Description

Title: Sharing knowledge and uptake in Montréal's public health network : Summary of current activities and the plausibility/legitimacy of increasing and diversifying activities.

Project description
This research project took form following an exercise to define priorities conducted with the heads of sectors at the Direction de santé publique de l’Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal. During these meetings, it was suggested to compile a summary of public health knowledge transfer and exchange activities in Montréal and to identify how various actors perceive these activities. 
This marked consideration for evidence-based practice and management is part of a broader trend in health professions that favours integration of research data into practice. For public health, this is reflected in the desire for accurate and rigorous use of the best data available to inform the decision-making process related to public policy and interventions. Out of consideration for effectiveness and efficacy, professional practices based on rational, foreseeable and systematic behaviours are increasingly valued. While there is no consensus regarding a particular theoretical model for identifying strategies that encourage implementation of scientific knowledge, developing an action-based and decision-making culture centred on evidence-based data are some of the challenges that public health is attempting to meet.
Knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) can be defined as knowledge sharing among knowledge users and producers. The KTE approach is an interactive and iterative process between users who receive pertinent knowledge for taking action and producers who are informed of the needs of these users. 
  1. To better understand the role and scope of public health knowledge transfer and exchange activities in Montréal.
  2. To understand how various actors perceive these activities.
Data were collected over a two-year period (2009 and 2010). All sectors of Montréal's public health department (DSP) and the city's 12 Health and Social Services Centres (CSSS) participated. The project comprises 40 transcribed interviews. A qualitative analysis was performed on the data. Interviews were cut up into segments and assigned to broader conceptual categories. 
Use of grounded theory for qualitative analysis allowed exploration of participants' concerns, issues and reflections on KTE experiences in the public health network. 
This research projects was funded by the Programme de soutien en santé publique (PSSP).