Knowledge exchange outcomes tool

Skinner, K. (2007). Developing a tool to measure knowledge exchange outcomes. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 22(1), 49-73.


Best practice involves knowledge synthesis, exchange and evaluation. This tool was developed to evaluate knowledge exchange outcomes for best practices in Type-2 Diabetes prevention. The “Knowledge Exchange Outcomes Tool” measures knowledge exchange between those who distribute the knowledge (producers) and those who use and/or receive the knowledge (adopters). This instrument could be adapted to other areas of population health and evaluation research. Skinner (2007) developed the “Knowledge Exchange Outcomes Tool” after an initial literature review and scan of dissemination and uptake of best practices. Initial validation of tool was discussed in Bonin (2008). The instrument contains two sections: 1) Evaluating the awareness and uptake of a best practices document (Reach); 2) Evaluating the non-adoption of a best practice. The tool assesses best practice dissemination strategies such as individual awareness, the use of documentation for clinical practice, and/or the promotion of best practice among colleagues. Other questions in this tool seek to determine why an individual and/or organization chose not to adopt best practice. The instrument is carried out in interview format. Skinner (2004) provides accompanying instructions to aid with tool administration. The tool can be used to evaluate the uptake or non-adoption of other innovations, such as a project, program, intervention, practice, research, knowledge, information, evaluation and/or policy.

Steps for Using Method/Tool

This tool is intended to efficiently assess how well an individual within an organization is either undertaking or not adopting an innovation. Initial planning should identify a target audience for best practices and key informants for this tool. The instrument is simple to administer, with instructions provided where necessary. After the questionnaire has been completed, the level of use for each individual respondent can be determined.


Initial pilot testing has commenced as part of a larger research study looking at evidence-informed practice in public health. The “Knowledge Exchange Outcomes Tool” was used to interview 20 health unit practitioners in Ontario, Canada, who had received data reports on the smoking habits and physical activity of students in secondary schools in their regions. Changes were made to the instrument during this research process.

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.

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