Tool: Is research working for you?

A Summary of

Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement. (2014). Is research working for you? A self-assessment tool and discussion guide for health services management and policy organizations. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement.

Relevance for Public Health

The tool was developed for use in health service organizations, including policy environments (e.g. provincial/territorial ministries of health), hospitals, professional practices, long-term care, and community health. This tool can be used for any public health context. For example, a public health organization could use this tool to evaluate an organization’s capacity to use evidence for decision-making and offer ideas for application of evidence for organizational decision-making.

Description

This tool aims to help an organization evaluate its strengths and gaps related to research application, and to incorporate research in its plans. Public health organizations must make structural, service and financial decisions in a rapidly changing, complex environment (CHSRF, 2005). In a political climate that emphasizes governance and accountability structures, using research to complement decision making is essential. The “Is research working for you?” tool assesses the organization’s capacity to use research evidence, including the availability of evidence; the ability to assess evidence quality; and the capability to disseminate evidence for decision-making (Thornhill, Judd, & Clements, 2009). This tool emphasizes the organization’s capacity to plan and evaluate research use, not the individual practitioner’s capacity to apply evidence to practice. While this tool was not created originally for public health, it can be used by decision-makers to identify how a public health organization looks for evidence, the ability of its staff to assess the quality and relevance of that evidence, and the ability of the organization to create user-friendly methods to disseminate that evidence.

Accessing the Method/Tool


Language(s)

  • English
  • French

Format(s)

On-line Access

Cost

Not Specified

Implementing the Method/Tool


Time for Participation/Completion

Information not available

Additional Resources and/or Skills Needed for Implementation

Upon completion of this tool, other resources available to the organization to help enhance its use of evidence. These resources are interactive including workshops and case studies.

Steps for Using Method/Tool

Complete the tool’s four categories to assess the organization’s capacity to use research:

  1. Acquire: Can your organization find and obtain the research findings it needs?
  2. Assess: Can your organization assess research findings to ensure they are reliable, relevant and applicable to you?
  3. Adapt: Does your organization present the research to decision-makers in a useful way?
  4. Apply: Are there skills, structures, processes and a culture in your organization to promote and use research findings in decision-making? Each question in each category is rated from 1 to 5; 1 indicating that an organization has a low capacity to assess and use research evidence, and 5 indicating that an organization is well-equipped to assess and use research evidence.

The cross-organizational discussion can be more valuable than the actual answer reached.

Who is involved

This tool for planning and evaluating an application is completed through discussion by decision-makers and interested individuals within the organization (known as cross-organizational discussion).

Conditions for Use

None

Evaluation and Measurement Characteristics


Evaluation

Has been evaluated.

An evaluation of this tool was completed which involved 32 focus groups across Canada with a variety of health service organizations. The evaluation tested the “user friendliness” of the tool, the ability of the tool to identify resources for research, and group consensus (Thornhill et al., 2009). The results of this evaluation show that the tool has good usability and strong response variability in long-term care, non-governmental and community-based organizations (Kothari, Edwards, Hamel & Judd, 2009). This means that the tool is valuable in assessing the skills and resources needed for research use. However, the tool was less useful in the government sector, suggesting that additional tailoring of the instrument may be needed (Kothari, Edwards, Hamel & Judd, 2009). Furthermore, this tool can distinguish between organizations that frequently use research relative to lower-use organizations. This was evident in differences in their scores, suggesting the tool has adequate discriminant validity.

Validity

Validity properties meet accepted standards.

Face and content validity were completed using 32 focus groups across four sectors of Canadian health care organizations (Thornhill, et al., 2009). The scale was modified based on results. The tool was re-launched for use after this evaluation (CHSRF, 2005). Further discussion of the tool’s validation process will be released in an upcoming peer-reviewed publication (Thornhill et al., 2009).

Reliability

Information not available

Methodological Rating

Unknown/No evidence

Method/Tool Development


Developer(s)

Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement
Website: http://www.cfhi-fcass.ca/Home.aspx

Method of Development

Information not available.

Release Date

2005

Contact Person/Source

Canadian Foundation for Health Improvement
1565 Carling Avenue, Suite 700
Ottawa, ON K1Z 8R1
Phone: (613) 728-2238
Fax: (613) 728-3527
Email: info@cfhi-fcass.ca

These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.

Resources

Title of Primary Resource Is research working for you? A self-assessment tool and discussion guide for health services management and policy organizations
File Attachment None
Web-link
Reference

Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement. (2014). Is research working for you? A self-assessment tool and discussion guide for health services management and policy organizations. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement.

Type of Material Instruction manual
Format On-line Access
Cost to Access None.
Language English, French
Conditions for Use

© 2014, Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement

Title of Supplementary Resource (Re)Introducing the self assessment tool that is helping decision-makers assess their organization’s capacity to use research
File Attachment None
Web-link
Reference

Thornhill, J., Judd, M., & Clements, D. (2009). (Re)Introducing the self assessment tool that is helping decision-makers assess their organization’s capacity to use research. Healthcare Quarterly, 12(1), 22-24.

Type of Material Journal article
Format Periodical
Cost to Access Must purchase periodical
Language English
Conditions for Use
Title of Supplementary Resource Is research working for you? validating a tool to examine the capacity of health organizations to use research
File Attachment None
Web-link
Reference

Kothari, A., Edwards, N., Hamel, N., & Judd, M. (2009). Is research working for you? validating a tool to examine the capacity of health organizations to use research. Implementation Science, 4, 46.

Type of Material Journal article
Format Periodical
Cost to Access None.
Language English
Conditions for Use

© Kothari et al. licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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