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Shannon Scott

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Shannon Scott

Faculty of Nursing

6-133 Clinical Sciences Building
Faculty of Nursing
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB
T6G 2G3
Curriculum Vitae

  • Associate Professor

  • Knowledge Translation

http://hdl.handle.net/10402/era.22508

Subject areas and related deposits

  • Allied health

    • Systematic review on knowledge translation strategies in the allied health professions

      Background: Knowledge translation (KT) aims to close the research-practice gap in order to realize and maximize the benefits of research within the practice setting. Previous studies have investigated KT strategies in nursing and medicine; however, the present study is the first systematic review of the effectiveness of a variety of KT interventions in five allied health disciplines: dietetics, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, and speech-language pathology. Methods: A health research librarian developed and implemented search strategies in eight electronic databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, ERIC, PASCAL, EMBASE, IPA, Scopus, CENTRAL) using language (English) and date restrictions (1985 to March 2010). Other relevant sources were manually searched. Two reviewers independently screened the titles and abstracts, reviewed full-text articles, performed data extraction, and performed quality assessment. Within each profession, evidence tables were created, grouping and analyzing data by research design, KT strategy, targeted behaviour, and primary outcome. The published descriptions of the KT interventions were compared to the Workgroup for Intervention Development and Evaluation Research (WIDER) Recommendations to Improve the Reporting of the Content of Behaviour Change Interventions. Results: A total of 2,638 articles were located and the titles and abstracts were screened. Of those, 1,172 full-text articles were reviewed and subsequently 32 studies were included in the systematic review. A variety of single (n = 15) and multiple (n = 17) KT interventions were identified, with educational meetings being the predominant KT strategy (n = 11). The majority of primary outcomes were identified as professional/process outcomes (n = 25); however, patient outcomes (n = 4), economic outcomes (n = 2), and multiple primary outcomes (n = 1) were also represented. Generally, the studies were of low methodological quality. Outcome reporting bias was common and precluded clear determination of intervention effectiveness. In the majority of studies, the interventions demonstrated mixed effects on primary outcomes, and only four studies demonstrated statistically significant, positive effects on primary outcomes. None of the studies satisfied the four WIDER Recommendations. Conclusions: Across five allied health professions, equivocal results, low methodological quality, and outcome reporting bias limited our ability to recommend one KT strategy over another. Further research employing the WIDER Recommendations is needed to inform the development and implementation of effective KT interventions in allied health.

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  • Children

    • Understanding implementation processes of clinical pathways and clinical practice guidelines in pediatric contexts: A study protocol

      Background: Canada is among the most prosperous nations in the world, yet the health and wellness outcomes of Canadian children are surprisingly poor. There is some evidence to suggest that these poor health outcomes are partly due to clinical practice variation, which can stem from failure to apply the best available research evidence in clinical practice, otherwise known as knowledge translation (KT). Surprisingly, clinical practice variation, even for common acute paediatric conditions, is pervasive. Clinical practice variation results in unnecessary medical treatments, increased suffering, and increased healthcare costs. This study focuses on improving health outcomes for common paediatric acute health concerns by evaluating strategies that improve KT and reduce clinical practice variation. Design/Methods: Using a multiple case study design, qualitative and quantitative data will be collected from four emergency departments in western Canada. Data sources will include: pre and post implementation focus group data from multidisciplinary healthcare professionals; individual interviews with the local champions, KT intervention providers, and unit/site leaders/managers; Alberta Context Tool (ACT) survey data; and aggregated patient outcome data. Qualitative and quantitative data will be systematically triangulated, and matrices will be built to do cross-case comparison. Explanations will be built about the success or lack of success of the clinical practice guidelines (CPG) and clinical pathways (CPs) uptake based upon the cross-case comparisons. Significance: This study will generate new knowledge about the potential causal mechanisms and factors which shape implementation. Future studies will track the impact of the CPG/CPs implementation on children's health outcome, and healthcare costs.

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  • Evidence based medicine

    • The intellectual structure and substance of the knowledge utilization field: A longitudinal author co-citation analysis, 1945-2004

      Background: It has been argued that science and society are in the midst of a far-reaching renegotiation of the social contract between science and society, with society becoming a far more active partner in the creation of knowledge. On the one hand, new forms of knowledge production are emerging, and on the other, both science and society are experiencing a rapid acceleration in new forms of knowledge utilization. Concomitantly since the Second World War, the science underpinning the knowledge utilization field has had exponential growth. Few in-depth examinations of this field exist, and no comprehensive analyses have used bibliometric methods. Methods: Using bibliometric analysis, specifically first author co-citation analysis, our group undertook a domain analysis of the knowledge utilization field, tracing its historical development between 1945 and 2004. Our purposes were to map the historical development of knowledge utilization as a field, and to identify the changing intellectual structure of its scientific domains. We analyzed more than 5,000 articles using citation data drawn from the Web of Science (R). Search terms were combinations of knowledge, research, evidence, guidelines, ideas, science, innovation, technology, information theory and use, utilization, and uptake. Results: We provide an overview of the intellectual structure and how it changed over six decades. The field does not become large enough to represent with a co-citation map until the mid-1960s. Our findings demonstrate vigorous growth from the mid-1960s through 2004, as well as the emergence of specialized domains reflecting distinct collectives of intellectual activity and thought. Until the mid-1980s, the major domains were focused on innovation diffusion, technology transfer, and knowledge utilization. Beginning slowly in the mid-1980s and then growing rapidly, a fourth scientific domain, evidence-based medicine, emerged. The field is dominated in all decades by one individual, Everett Rogers, and by one paradigm, innovation diffusion. Conclusion: We conclude that the received view that social science disciplines are in a state where no accepted set of principles or theories guide research (i.e., that they are pre-paradigmatic) could not be supported for this field. Second, we document the emergence of a new domain within the knowledge utilization field, evidence-based medicine. Third, we conclude that Everett Rogers was the dominant figure in the field and, until the emergence of evidence-based medicine, his representation of the general diffusion model was the dominant paradigm in the field.

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  • Health-care

    • Assessment of Variation in the Alberta Context Tool: The Contribution of Unit Level Contextual Factors and Specialty in Canadian Pediatric Acute Care Settings

      Background: There are few validated measures of organizational context and none that we located are parsimonious and address modifiable characteristics of context. The Alberta Context Tool (ACT) was developed to meet this need. The instrument assesses 8 dimensions of context, which comprise 10 concepts. The purpose of this paper is to report evidence to further the validity argument for ACT. The specific objectives of this paper are to: (1) examine the extent to which the 10 ACT concepts discriminate between patient care units and (2) identify variables that significantly contribute to between-unit variation for each of the 10 concepts. Methods: 859 professional nurses (844 valid responses) working in medical, surgical and critical care units of 8 Canadian pediatric hospitals completed the ACT. A random intercept, fixed effects hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) strategy was used to quantify and explain variance in the 10 ACT concepts to establish the ACT's ability to discriminate between units. We ran 40 models (a series of 4 models for each of the 10 concepts) in which we systematically assessed the unique contribution (i.e., error variance reduction) of different variables to between-unit variation. First, we constructed a null model in which we quantified the variance overall, in each of the concepts. Then we controlled for the contribution of individual level variables (Model 1). In Model 2, we assessed the contribution of practice specialty (medical, surgical, critical care) to variation since it was central to construction of the sampling frame for the study. Finally, we assessed the contribution of additional unit level variables (Model 3). Results: The null model (unadjusted baseline HLM model) established that there was significant variation between units in each of the 10 ACT concepts (i.e., discrimination between units). When we controlled for individual characteristics, significant variation in the 10 concepts remained. Assessment of the contribution of specialty to between-unit variation enabled us to explain more variance (1.19% to 16.73%) in 6 of the 10 ACT concepts. Finally, when we assessed the unique contribution of the unit level variables available to us, we were able to explain additional variance (15.91% to 73.25%) in 7 of the 10 ACT concepts. Conclusion: The findings reported here represent the third published argument for validity of the ACT and adds to the evidence supporting its use to discriminate patient care units by all 10 contextual factors. We found evidence of relationships between a variety of individual and unit-level variables that explained much of this between-unit variation for each of the 10 ACT concepts. Future research will include examination of the relationships between the ACT's contextual factors and research utilization by nurses and ultimately the relationships between context, research utilization, and outcomes for patients.

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  • Nurses research utilization

  • Nursing practice

    • Patterns of Research Utilization on Patient Care Units

      Background: Organizational context plays a central role in shaping the use of research by healthcare professionals. The largest group of professionals employed in healthcare organizations is nurses, putting them in a position to influence patient and system outcomes significantly. However, investigators have often limited their study on the determinants of research use to individual factors over organizational or contextual factors. Methods: The purpose of this study was to examine the determinants of research use among nurses working in acute care hospitals, with an emphasis on identifying contextual determinants of research use. A comparative ethnographic case study design was used to examine seven patient care units (two adult and five pediatric units) in four hospitals in two Canadian provinces (Ontario and Alberta). Data were collected over a six-month period by means of quantitative and qualitative approaches using an array of instruments and extensive fieldwork. The patient care unit was the unit of analysis. Drawing on the quantitative data and using correspondence analysis, relationships between various factors were mapped using the coefficient of variation. Results: Units with the highest mean research utilization scores clustered together on factors such as nurse critical thinking dispositions, unit culture (as measured by work creativity, work efficiency, questioning behavior, co-worker support, and the importance nurses place on access to continuing education), environmental complexity (as measured by changing patient acuity and re-sequencing of work), and nurses' attitudes towards research. Units with moderate research utilization clustered on organizational support, belief suspension, and intent to use research. Higher nursing workloads and lack of people support clustered more closely to units with the lowest research utilization scores. Conclusion: Modifiable characteristics of organizational context at the patient care unit level influences research utilization by nurses. These findings have implications for patient care unit structures and offer beginning direction for the development of interventions to enhance research use by nurses.

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  • Research use

    • Interventions aimed at increasing research use in nursing: A systematic review

      Background: There has been considerable interest recently in developing and evaluating interventions to increase research use by clinicians. However, most work has focused on medical practices; and nursing is not well represented in existing systematic reviews. The purpose of this article is to report findings from a systematic review of interventions aimed at increasing research use in nursing. Objective: To assess the evidence on interventions aimed at increasing research use in nursing. Methods: A systematic review of research use in nursing was conducted using databases (Medline, CINAHL, Healthstar, ERIC, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Psychinfo), grey literature, ancestry searching (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews), key informants, and manual searching of journals. Randomized controlled trials and controlled before- and after-studies were included if they included nurses, if the intervention was explicitly aimed at increasing research use or evidence-based practice, and if there was an explicit outcome to research use. Methodological quality was assessed using preexisting tools. Data on interventions and outcomes were extracted and categorized using a pre-established taxonomy. Results: Over 8,000 titles were screened. Three randomized controlled trials and one controlled before- and after-study met the inclusion criteria. The methodological quality of included studies was generally low. Three investigators evaluated single interventions. The most common intervention was education. Investigators measured research use using a combination of surveys (three studies) and compliance with guidelines (one study). Researcher-led educational meetings were ineffective in two studies. Educational meetings led by a local opinion leader (one study) and the formation of multidisciplinary committees (one study) were both effective at increasing research use. Conclusion: Little is known about how to increase research use in nursing, and the evidence to support or refute specific interventions is inconclusive. To advance the field, we recommend that investigators: (1) use theoretically informed interventions to increase research use, (2) measure research use longitudinally using theoretically informed and psychometrically sound measures of research use, as well as, measuring patient outcomes relevant to the intervention, and (3) use more robust and methodologically sound study designs to evaluate interventions. If investigators aim to establish a link between using research and improved patient outcomes they must first identify those interventions that are effective at increasing research use.

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