Social and organizational factors affecting implementation of evidence-informed practice in a public health department in Ontario: a network modelling approach
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OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to develop a statistical model to assess factors associated with information seeking in a Canadian public health department. METHODS: Managers and professional consultants of a public health department serving a large urban population named whom they turned to for help, whom they considered experts in evidence-informed practice, and whom they considered friends. Multilevel regression analysis and exponential random graph modeling were used to predict the formation of information seeking and expertise-recognition connections by personal characteristics of the seeker and source, and the structural attributes of the social networks. RESULTS: The respondents were more likely to recognize the members of the supervisory/administrative division as experts. The extent to which an individual implemented evidence-based practice (EBP) principles in daily practice was a significant predictor of both being an information source and being recognized as expert by peers. Friendship was a significant predictor of both information seeking and expertise-recognition connections. CONCLUSION: The analysis showed a communication network segregated by organizational divisions. Managers were identified frequently as information sources, even though this is not a part of their formal role. Self-perceived implementation of EBP in practice was a significant predictor of being an information source or an expert, implying a positive atmosphere towards implementation of evidence-informed decision making in this public health organization. Results also implied that the perception of accessibility and trust were significant predictors of expertise recognition.
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