Research as Intervention in Heart Health Promotion
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BACKGROUND: Capacity building in health promotion has traditionally involved training interventions to support knowledge, skill and resource building for effective practice. However, there is a need to understand how research can be used to support capacity building and practice. METHODS: Findings are based on a parallel case study comprising qualitative analysis of 66 key informant interviews from five provincial heart health projects (Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador) as part of the Canadian Heart Health Dissemination Project. FINDINGS: Results indicate research was used primarily to monitor and report results about health promotion capacity and dissemination to stakeholders, and contribute to participatory processes. Respondents noted that research as intervention had an influence on five areas of health promotion capacity and practice: increased heart health promotion knowledge/skills; improved programming, planning and prioritizing; increased motivation for (heart) health promotion initiatives; and cultivation of relationships as well as buy-in. INTERPRETATION: Research was a complementary capacity-building activity, although it did not directly increase program implementation. These findings contribute to linking researchers, practitioners and community decision-makers in the process of enhancing health promotion practice.
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