Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)




Maureen Dobbins


Donna Ciliska



Committee Member

Michelle Butt


Objective: The purpose of this systematic review is to identify the effectiveness of KT strategies used to promote evidence-informed decision making (EIDM) among public health decision makers.

Methods: A search strategy was developed to identify primary studies published between 2000-2010. Studies were obtained from multiple electronic databases, supplemented by checking the reference lists of included articles and background papers. Two independent reviewers screened studies for relevance, assessed methodological quality and extracted data from relevant studies using standardized tools. Disagreements were resolved through consensus.

Results: The search identified 92, 548 titles related to KT interventions. After duplicate articles were removed 64, 391 were imported into Distiller SR of which 345 articles were deemed potentially relevant on double title and abstract review. Of the 345 articles, 30 met all relevance criteria on full text screen and after revisions to the inclusion criteria, 6 studies of moderate quality were included in this review.

KT interventions tested in the systematic review included organization change, provider reminders, education, financial incentives and feedback. Interventions tested in the five primary studies ranged from; educational sessions; dissemination channels including print, CD-ROM and Internet; technical assistance and staff training; and web-based services such as databases, information services, registries of pre-processed research evidence and tailored targeted messaging.

KT strategies shown to be less effective included access to registries of pre-processed research evidence or print materials. Simple or single KT interventions were shown in some circumstances to be as effective as multifaceted ones including organizational change, provider reminders and tailored targeted messaging. While knowledge brokering did not have a significant effect generally, results suggest that it did have a positive effect on organizations with low research culture.

Conclusion: KT research in public health is in early stages. Single interventions can be effective. Researchers and practitioners must pay attention to contextual factors.

McMaster University Library