Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)




Ruta Valaitis


Donna Ciliska, Linda O'Mara



Committee Member

Donna Ciliska, Linda O'Mara


The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of academic and decision-maker researchers participating in a public health integrated knowledge translation (IKT) and exchange program of research in Ontario and British Columbia. This research sought to identify structures and processes that acted as enablers or barriers for all partners on a research team as they engaged in collaborative research. The researcher answered the following research questions: What are the experiences of academics and decision-makers participating in the first two years of an integrated knowledge translation program of research? What structures and processes positively and negatively influence the engagement of partners on the collaborative research team? Through answering these two questions the research contributes relatively new knowledge in the form of strategies for engaging academics and decision-makers engaging in collaborative public health systems and services research.

A qualitative descriptive approach was used to gain a contextual understanding of experiences of participants in the IKT research program. Twelve semi-structured, one-on-one interviews were conducted with academic and decision-maker researchers working in British Columbia universities and Health Authorities. Qualitative content analysis of transcripts was used to explore and identify concepts emerging from the data.

Data analysis identified IKT processes and concepts that encompass and underlie a collaborative research team. An overarching systems approach is used to examine the evolution of the collaborative team. Themes are presented in relation to IKT engagement concepts identified from the literature as well as those that emerged from analysis including: establishing and maintaining relationships, communication, capacity building, multidirectional knowledge sharing, and multidisciplinary capacity.

By examining experiences of research partners representing both academia and decision and policy-making, this research contributes new knowledge about strategies to support collaborative health services research which can subsequently strengthen the Canadian public health systems and services research agenda.

McMaster University Library