Comparison of the Use of Self-Report Surveys and Organizational Documents in Knowledge Translation Research
We compared the same outcome data obtained from two different sources (self-report surveys and organizational documents) in order to understand more about evaluating the effect of knowledge translation strategies on evidence-informed decision making. Our data came from a randomized controlled trial that evaluated the impact of knowledge translation strategies on promoting evidence-informed decision making in public health units across Canada. We found that: self-report surveys identified more outcome data than organizational documents; the types of documents that identified the most outcome data were evaluation plans, operational plans, work plans and evaluation data; the types of documents that identified the least outcome data were meeting minutes, statistics/annual reports and strategic plans; and, evaluation plans, operational plans and work plans together provide more outcome data than other combinations. Overall, our study suggests that evidence-informed decision making may be appropriately measured by using multiple data sources in order to compare data across sources and to gain a more accurate representation of the results. Our findings also suggest that if organizational documents are used as a source of data in knowledge translation research, then specific types should be used in order to maximize the likelihood of identifying measures of effectiveness.
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