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    "Connecting research, policy, and practice": Knowledge translation in the context of child and family early intervention and prevention-based research in Ireland.

    O'Connor, Siobhan (2021) "Connecting research, policy, and practice": Knowledge translation in the context of child and family early intervention and prevention-based research in Ireland. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This multi-method research was carried out as part of a large, six-year research programme called ENRICH which assessed the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of two early years service models developed to support young children and families in Ireland. The overarching aims of the research were twofold: (1) to explore how research evidence relevant to child and family services and policies is disseminated in the field of public health; and (2) to increase visibility and understanding of, and engagement with, the evidence emerging from the ENRICH programme through a series of strategies targeted at KUs within child and family services in Ireland. The research comprised there separate but related phases including an evidence synthesis using realist principles; a documentary analysis; and a KT-D case study. The results from Phase One showed that the facilitation of engagements and relationship-building are important KT-D strategies across a range of contexts. A combination of KT-D strategies is likely to achieve multiple positive outcomes. More specifically, research summaries and social media are effective at increasing awareness, promoting engagement, and/or enhancing understanding. The results from Phase Two showed that research evidence was found to play an increasingly significant role (but is not the only factor involved) in the decision-making processes relating to child and family well-being policy and practice in Ireland. Phase Three of the research involved professionals working in child and family services/research in Ireland (N=162 ) (research n=57, practice n=67, policy n=9, other (funder, intermediary organisations) n=29) who completed a Research Dissemination Survey designed to explore a range of perspectives, experiences and views on research dissemination. Thirty-seven one-to- one interviews were completed to explore the barriers and facilitators to research dissemination and to amplify the survey findings (research n=7, practice n=7, policy n=12, other (funder, intermediary organisation) n=3, and parents n=8). Two focus groups were also carried out with parents (n=8) and with members of the ENRICH research team (n=3). The qualitative data were analysed using standard thematic analysis and the quantitative data were analysed using appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics; and online tracking analytics. The main factors influencing the dissemination of evidence, as identified by the participants were: a lack of resources; an under-developed understanding of research use and dissemination; insufficient collaboration and communication; and conflicting stakeholder priorities. The ENRICH research programme was also found to benefit from a multi- component KT plan, as guided by the Knowledge Translation Planning Template (Barwick, 2008, 2013, 2019). The case study was the first of its kind to provide important insights for stakeholders in Ireland and elsewhere, about how to improve the research dissemination process. Exploring the KT planning process resulted in more efficient and targeted dissemination of research findings, thereby delivering a better return on research investment and producing positive outcomes from research outputs.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Connecting research; policy; practice; Knowledge translation; child and family; early intervention; prevention-based research; Ireland;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 14932
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2021 10:43
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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