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Knowledge-exchange in the Pacific: outcomes of the TROPIC (translational research for obesity prevention in communities) project

Kremer, Peter, Mavoa, Helen, Waqa, Gade, Moodie, Marjory, McCabe, Marita and Swinburn, Boyd 2017, Knowledge-exchange in the Pacific: outcomes of the TROPIC (translational research for obesity prevention in communities) project, BMC public health, vol. 17, pp. 1-12, doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4254-3.

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Title Knowledge-exchange in the Pacific: outcomes of the TROPIC (translational research for obesity prevention in communities) project
Author(s) Kremer, PeterORCID iD for Kremer, Peter orcid.org/0000-0003-2476-1958
Mavoa, Helen
Waqa, Gade
Moodie, MarjoryORCID iD for Moodie, Marjory orcid.org/0000-0001-6890-5250
McCabe, Marita
Swinburn, Boyd
Journal name BMC public health
Volume number 17
Article ID 362
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication England
Publication date 2017
ISSN 1471-2458
1471-2458
Keyword(s) Evidence-informed policy making
Fiji
Knowledge-broking
Obesity
Science & technology
Life sciences & biomedicine
Public, environmental & occupational health
Policy
Organisations
Strategies
Summary Background
The Pacific TROPIC (Translational Research for Obesity Prevention in Communities) project aimed to design, implement and evaluate a knowledge-broking approach to evidence-informed policy making to address obesity in Fiji. This paper reports on the quantitative evaluation of the knowledge-broking intervention through assessment of participants’ perceptions of evidence use and development of policy/advocacy briefs.

Methods
Selected staff from six organizations - four government Ministries and two nongovernment organizations (NGOs) - participated in the project. The intervention comprised workshops and supported development of policy/advocacy briefs. Workshops addressed obesity and policy cycles and developing participants’ skills in accessing, assessing, adapting and applying relevant evidence. A knowledge-broking team supported participants individually and/or in small groups to develop evidence-informed policy/advocacy briefs. A questionnaire survey that included workplace and demographic items and the self-assessment tool “Is Research Working for You?” (IRWFY) was administered pre- and post-intervention.

Results
Forty nine individuals (55% female, 69% 21–40 years, 69% middle-senior managers) participated in the study. The duration and level of participant engagement with the intervention activities varied – just over half participated for 10+ months, just under half attended most workshops and approximately one third produced one or more policy briefs. There were few reliable changes on the IRWFY scales following the intervention; while positive changes were found on several scales, these effects were small (d < .2) and only one individual scale (assess) was statistically significant (p < .05). Follow up (N = 1) analyses of individual-level change indicated that while 63% of participants reported increased research utilization post-intervention, this proportion was not different to chance levels. Similar analysis using scores aggregated by organization also revealed no organizational-level change post-intervention.

Conclusions
This study empirically evaluated a knowledge-broking program that aimed to extend evidence-informed policy making skills and development of a suite of national policy briefs designed to increase the enactment of obesity-related policies. The findings failed to indicate reliable improvements in research utilization at either the individual or organizational level. Factors associated with fidelity and intervention dose as well as challenges related to organizational support and the measurement of research utilization, are discussed and recommendations for future research presented.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12889-017-4254-3
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30095953

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.