Connections: Optimizing the health of women with substance use issues and their children
At present, service provider capacity and preferences for receiving and using research evidence in the addictions field are not clearly understood. This is an important knowledge gap to address because presenting research findings to providers in formats that are tailored to their needs and preferences facilitates research uptake.
The goal of Connections, a program funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and led by researchers at McMaster University and McMaster’s Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, is to collaboratively develop and evaluate an innovative knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) strategy for service providers to improve services for women with substance use issues and their children in Canada.
“Substance use among pregnant and parenting women can lead to serious long- term side effects for both the mother and the child,” says Co-Principal Investigator Maureen Dobbins, RN, PhD. “Involving stakeholders in the research process in a meaningful way helps to ensure that the KTE strategies we develop are effective and lead to improved outcomes for this vulnerable and stigmatized population.”
The first phase of the research program identified the most common types of evidence used to inform decisions, and facilitators and barriers to using research evidence. Findings suggest that agencies providing services to women with substance use issues locate and use multiple types of evidence to inform decisions. Respondents emphasized the importance of incorporating the client’s perspective into KTE strategies.
The second phase of the program will evaluate the feasibility and potential impact of a one-year knowledge broker intervention.
To learn more about Connections, please visitwww.connectionscanada.ca.