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Stakeholder Perspectives of Attributes and Features of Context Relevant to Knowledge Translation in Health Settings: A Multi-Country Analysis

Squires, J. E., Hutchinson, A. M., Coughlin, M. , Bashir, K., Curran, J., Grimshaw, J. M., Dorrance, K., Aloisio, L., Brehaut, J., Francis, J. J. ORCID: 0000-0001-5784-8895, Ivers, N., Lavis, J., Michie, S., Hillmer, M., Noseworthy, T., Vine, J. & Graham, I. D. (2022). Stakeholder Perspectives of Attributes and Features of Context Relevant to Knowledge Translation in Health Settings: A Multi-Country Analysis. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 11(8), pp. 1373-1390. doi: 10.34172/ijhpm.2021.32


Context is recognized as important to successful knowledge translation (KT) in health settings. What is meant by context, however, is poorly understood. The purpose of the current study was to elicit tacit knowledge about what is perceived to constitute context by conducting interviews with a variety of health system stakeholders internationally so as to compile a comprehensive list of contextual attributes and their features relevant to KT in healthcare.

A descriptive qualitative study design was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with health system stakeholders (change agents/KT specialists and KT researchers) in four countries: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Interview transcripts were analyzed using inductive thematic content analysis in four steps: (1) selection of utterances describing context, (2) coding of features of context, (3) categorizing of features into attributes of context, (4) comparison of attributes and features by: country, KT experience, and role.

A total of 39 interviews were conducted. We identified 66 unique features of context, categorized into 16 attributes. One attribute, Facility Characteristics, was not represented in previously published KT frameworks. We found instances of all 16 attributes in the interviews irrespective of country, level of experience with KT, and primary role (change agent/KT specialist vs. KT researcher), revealing robustness and transferability of the attributes identified. We also identified 30 new context features (across 13 of the 16 attributes).

The findings from this study represent an important advancement in the KT field; we provide much needed conceptual clarity in context, which is essential to the development of common assessment tools to measure context to determine which context attributes and features are more or less important in different contexts for improving KT success.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s); Published by Kerman University of Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: Context; Knowledge Translation; Implementation
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
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