Key components of knowledge transfer and exchange in health services research: Findings from a systematic scoping review 

Lucia Prihodova, Suzanne Guerin, Conall Tunney, W.George Kernohan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
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Aims: To identify the key common components of knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) in existing models to facilitate practice developments in health services research.
Background: There are over 60 models of knowledge transfer and exchange designed for various areas of health care. Many of them remain untested and lack guidelines for scaling-up of successful implementation of research findings and of proven models ensuring that patients have access to optimal health care, guided by current research.
Design: A scoping review was conducted in line with PRISMA guidelines. Key components of KTE were identified using thematic analysis and frequency counts.
Data Sources: Six electronic databases were searched for papers published before January 2015 containing four key terms/variants: knowledge, transfer, framework, healthcare.
Review Methods: Double screening, extraction and coding of the data using thematic analysis were employed to ensure rigour. As further validation stakeholders consultation of the findings was performed to ensure accessibility.
Results: Of 4,288 abstracts, 294 full-text articles were screened, with 79 articles analysed. Six key components emerged: KTE Message, Stakeholders and Process components often appeared together, while from two contextual components Inner Context and the wider Social, Cultural and Economic Context, with the wider context less frequently considered. Finally, there was little consideration of the Evaluation of KTE activities. Additionally, specific operational elements of each component were identified.
Conclusions: The six components offer the basis for KTE activities, enabling researchers to more effectively share their work. Further research exploring the potential contribution of the interactions of the components is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberJAN-2018-0308.R1
Pages (from-to)313-326
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number2
Early online date30 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished online - 30 Aug 2018


  • Health services research
  • Systematic scoping review
  • Research implementation
  • Evidence-based practice


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