Barriers and facilitators to knowledge transfer and exchange in palliative care research

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Abstract

In order to ensure the effective transfer of research knowledge to those who can effect positive changes in practice, models of knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) are required. Limited evidence exists as to how palliative care researchers use existing models to support their practice and to what extent they are perceived as effective. We set out to identify factors that influence KTE planning and implementation through semistructured interviews with experienced palliative care researchers in Ireland. Issues around KTE were drawn out through thematic analysis. Nine interviews were held with investigators on eight research projects. Ten themes were identified and categorised as either barriers or facilitators to KTE. Perceived barriers included inadequate time and funding, limited institutional capacity, competing priorities, weak communication channels and negative perceptions of palliative care. Perceived facilitators included dedicated time and resources, aligned priorities, strong professional networks, multipronged approach and KTE experience. In order to improve the quality, acceptability and reach of palliative research, it is vital that researchers improve their understanding of KTE within the context of palliative care, moving beyond academic dissemination to achieve research-informed practice by overcoming barriers to KTE through facilitated action. This study provides an overview of factors that influence KTE planning and implementation among palliative care researchers.

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