Identifying candidate quality indicators of tools that support the practice of knowledge translation: A scoping review

Session Type
Overviews of reviews and scoping reviews
Bhuiya A1, Sutherland J2, Boateng R1, Makarski J2, Hayden L3, Perrier L4, Lewis I2, Graham I5, Holroyd-Leduc J6, Straus S7, Stelfox H8, Strifler L7, Lokker C9, Li L10, Leung F11, Dobbins M12, Puchalski Ritchie L1, Squires J13, Rac V14, Kastner M2
1Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation (IHPME), University of Toronto, Canada
2North York General Hospital, Canada
3Centre for Elder Research, Sheridan College, Canada
4University of Toronto Libraries, University of Toronto, Canada
5Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada
6Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada
7Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health, Canada
8Department of Critical Care Medicine and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, University of Calgary, Canada
9Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University, Canada
10Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, Canada
11Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada
12School of Nursing, McMaster University, Canada
13School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Canada
14Program for Health System and Technology Evaluation, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, University Health Network, Canada

Background: Knowledge translation (KT) methods tools provide guidance on how to facilitate the uptake and spread of research evidence into practice, programs, and health policy. KT researchers and practitioners can choose from many KT methods tools, but they are often selected and applied haphazardly without knowing their quality (i.e., how they were developed, validated, adapted, used stakeholder engagement). However, available guidance to appraise the quality of KT methods tools is limited.
Objectives: We conducted a scoping review to identify candidate quality indicators to inform a future KT quality appraisal instrument.
Methods: Using the JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis, we conducted a systematic search of six relevant electronic databases and gray literature. Articles were limited to English-only published from 2005 to 2021. Documents were independently screened, selected, and extracted by two reviewers. Data were analyzed and summarized descriptively on the characteristics of the included articles, KT methods tools, and candidate quality indicators. Content analysis was used to categorize the purpose of KT methods tools and quality indicators.
Results: Of 33,318 titles and abstracts that were screened, 544 potentially relevant full-text articles were identified, and 174 articles were included in the scoping review. KT methods tools were represented by four broad KT domains: implementation (46%); sustainability (14%); dissemination (12%), and scalability (3%). We identified 25 unique candidate quality indicators, which were organized according to how KT methods tools were developed, evaluated and adapted, and whether stakeholder engagement was considered in these processes. More than half of the quality indicators were represented by the development category. The results of our scoping review also confirmed that no tools currently exist to appraise the quality of KT methods tools.
Conclusions: Our scoping review findings are foundational to inform the future development of a quality appraisal instrument to appraise the quality of KT methods tools. A KT quality appraisal instrument could add robustness, consistency, and accountability to KT research production. In turn, this will ensure that KT strategies are rigorously developed, which will support the uptake of evidence-based discoveries that we seek to integrate into policy, programs, and practice to benefit all. Public involvement: None