Improving cancer control in Canada one case at a time: the “Knowledge Translation in Cancer” casebook
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PURPOSE: In-the-field projects aiming to improve quality in cancer control provide a valuable complement to health services and knowledge translation (kt) research studies. The present paper describes the methods used to develop the Knowledge Translation for Cancer Control in Canada: A Casebook and its results. METHODS: Nominations for in-the-field projects were accepted from individuals and organizations across Canada. The nominations had to demonstrate that a specific cancer control problem was identified; that a deliberate and organized effort was developed and implemented to address the identified problem; and that an evaluation-formal or informal-was used to assess the effort. A selection of nominated cases were chosen for more comprehensive analysis. RESULTS: Thirty nominations were received. Most tackled problems related to treatment or diagnosis. Challenges related to breast, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary cancer were most common among the disease-specific projects, and most projects were regional in scope, with strategies targeting organizational solutions. Of the 30 nominations, 19 were chosen for further analysis. Of those 19, 5 were influenced by a kt model or theory, and 16 reported formal evaluation strategies. Surveys were the most common evaluation method, and process outcomes and clinical surrogate outcomes were the most frequently cited. Financial and administrative challenges were most often cited as key barriers. The key lessons learned concerned the need for a collaborative high-functioning team, project management, and support. CONCLUSIONS: The casebook provides tangible examples of in-the-field efforts to improve cancer control and provides practical direction for other individuals and institutions facing similar challenges. We discuss the interface between field projects and research projects in the kt arena and how mutual learning can help to optimize the value of each approach.
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