Across Ontario, since the year 2006 various knowledge translation (KT) interventions designed to improve the quality of rectal cancer surgery have been implemented by the provincial cancer agency or by individual researchers. Ontario is divided administratively into 14 health regions. We piloted a method to audit and score for each region of the province the KT interventions implemented to improve the quality of rectal cancer surgery.
We interviewed stakeholders to audit KT interventions used in respective regions over years 2006 to 2014. Results were summarized into narrative and visual forms. Using a modified Delphi approach, KT experts reviewed these data and then, for each region, scored implementation of KT interventions using a 20-item KT Signature Assessment Tool. Scores could range from 20 to 100 with higher scores commensurate with greater KT intervention implementation.
There were thirty interviews. KT experts produced scores for each region that were bimodally distributed, with an average score for 2 regions of 78 (range 73–83) and for 12 regions of 30.5 (range 22–38).
Our methods efficiently identified two groups with similar KT Signature scores. Two regions had relatively high scores reflecting numerous KT interventions and the use of sustained iterative approaches in addition to those encouraged by the provincial cancer agency, while 12 regions had relatively low scores reflecting minimal activities outside of those encouraged by the provincial cancer agency. These groupings will be used for future comparative quantitative analyses to help determine if higher KT signature scores correlate with improved measures for quality of rectal cancer surgery.