Spatially informed knowledge translation: Informing potential users of Canada's Compassionate Care Benefit
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Implemented in 2004 by the Canadian government, the Compassionate Care Benefit (CCB) program aims to provide income assistance and job security to caregivers who decide to take temporary leave from their employment to care for a terminally ill family member at risk of dying. Reports have cited numerous challenges with respect to the benefit's successful uptake, including the major obstacle of a general lack of awareness regarding the program's existence. Based on this knowledge, the present analysis aims to consider local contexts and potential barriers through engagement with the knowledge-to-action (KTA) cycle. Using an innovative and spatially informed three-step mixed-method analysis, we identify: (1) who likely CCB-eligible family caregivers are; (2) where these individuals' households are located; and (3) how best to get information about the CCB to them. Melding the findings from the three analytic steps generates a tailored path from which an information dissemination strategy can be guided (the intended action). Results indicate that targeted dissemination efforts undertaken outside of urban cores are likely to be most efficient in reaching potential or current CCB-eligible family caregivers. This strategy should be implemented through multiple formats and venues via two information pathways: (1) from key professionals to family caregivers and (2) from the community to the general public. Through employing a spatial perspective, these findings engage and usefully contribute to the KTA cycle process. Future involvement in the cycle will entail translating these findings for use in a decision-making context in order to implement an intervention. This approach can also be applied to other health and social programs where lack of awareness exists or for targeted interventions that require identifying specific populations.
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