Translating evidence and knowledge for informed practice

In 2006, the Department of Health funded Flinders University to establish an Australian palliative care knowledge network which led to the release of the CareSearch website in 2008. What differentiated our approach to website development was the intent to identify, synthesise, tailor, implement and monitor the use of the palliative care knowledge. The initial web architecture and project activity was informed by the Knowledge to Action Framework developed by Graham and Tetroe. [1]

CareSearch has continued to develop and refine a robust model for the translation of research evidence and knowledge to support informed decision-making in palliative care. More recently, a program logic model to guide evaluation of the project developed in conjunction with our external evaluator, Australian Institute for Primary Care and Ageing, has explicitly defined the CareSearch Model.

In essence, the CareSearch model is a process model guiding translation.

The central parts of the CareSearch model are functionality and content as outlined in the program logic framework. Driven by rigorous processes for research evidence identification, appraisal, and synthesis, the relevance and applicability of outputs (products) is ensured through:

  • active consultation with knowledge experts
  • active consultation with knowledge user (consumer) groups
  • optimisation of technical online functionality via knowledge platforms.

The model is completed through targeted dissemination and promotion using available technology to extend access to the information and products.

In applying the model CareSearch does the valuable work of continuously identifying, evaluating, synthesising and disseminating trustworthy information and best available evidence on palliative care. The technology enabled CareSearch model is well positioned to exploit technology solutions including apps for mobile devices. It also supports a network of partners providing information specific to the needs of Australian professional and community groups (CareSearch partners).

Helping us to assess the impact for our work

Evaluation informs us whether a program of work has achieved the intended goals. It also highlights strengths and weaknesses of the approaches taken. To enable evaluation of the CareSearch project a program logic approach has been adopted.

Program logic shows the relationship between the resources and activities of a project and the intended changes or outcomes.

The CareSearch model Program logic framework centres on model functionality, content, and promotion leading to increased accessibility and implementation of evidence based knowledge. 

  1. Graham ID, Tetroe J; KT Theories Research Group. Some theoretical underpinnings of knowledge translation. Acad Emerg Med. 2007 Nov;14(11):936-41. doi: 10.1197/j.aem.2007.07.004.

Last updated 02 August 2021