A central priority of the Black Dog Institute is knowledge translation – addressing the gap between what is known from research and the implementation of this knowledge, by stakeholders, with the intent of improving health outcomes and efficiencies in the health care system.
Why study knowledge translation?
Australia has lagged behind in adopting effective and well-founded knowledge translation (KT) programs that are embedded in research in Europe, the USA, and Canada, where it is core to the funding structure. KT is the difference between research that shapes decisions and fosters innovation, and research that sits on a shelf. KT is a deliberate process of information exchange between producers and potential users of research that supports evidence-informed decision making and ultimately improved health
One form of KT is arts-based knowledge translation (ABKT), which includes using any art form(s) at any point in the research process whether to generate, interpret or communicate knowledge. ABKT strategies embrace the complexity of contextual knowledge, promote communities of practice, enhance practitioner engagement and draw on tacit knowledge to extend the impact of research evidence. The influence of ABKT approaches is their ability to reach and speak to audiences that may not be responsive to conventional research dissemination methods. By using ABKT, research shows one can increase knowledge about illness and health issues, raise awareness, decrease stigma, stimulate public engagement, and change attitudes, behaviour and practice
Black Dog Institute engages in advancing the science of knowledge translation and implementation by researching the most effective KT and implementation strategies.
Ahead of the Game: Knowledge Translation and Dissemination
Knowledge Translation science and strategies will be applied to the broader Ahead of the Game research project. The aim of the KT strategies is to reach every adolescent male sports participant in Australia with the innovative and multicomponent intervention, through the help of the partner organisations. This equates to a total of more than 1.25 million sport participants. The secondary goal of the knowledge translation strategy is to disseminate individual components of the intervention in formats that are accessible and appropriate for the non-sport community. This strategy is based on the Canadian Institutes for Health Research Model of Knowledge Translation, incorporating KT strategies at each stage of the project and will be led by Professor Katherine Boydell and her team.
National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) model
Professor Boydell’s team is currently testing the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) model and the factors identified in the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) in the Australian mental health context in order to inform the knowledge base on successful implementation of evidence-based practices. These models are being tested in the context of evidence based mental health and suicide prevention interventions being rolled out respectively in organised sports clubs as well as in public health networks in NSW.
Expressing the Ineffable: Body Mapping Anxiety
This project will utilise body mapping in order to explore every day and out-of-the-ordinary experiences of anxiety. Participants will undertake a series of creative, visual arts-based activities facilitated by workshop coordinators ultimately culminating in the creation of their own, life-sized body map, which visualises and explores both their experience of anxiety, and the processes and feelings associated with managing and/or overcoming this anxiety. In so doing, the project seeks to explore the use of body mapping as a tool which can capture and express ineffable, or difficult to verbalise, emotional and bodily experiences, in this case feeling anxious. It also seeks to develop body mapping as a qualitative research application which utilises visual ways of knowing and being.
Keeping the Body in Mind over Time: Mapping the Experiences of Young People Two Years Post Intervention
The research team, led by Professor Boydell, will use body mapping in conjunction followed by an in-depth qualitative interview to engage participants in a critical examination of the meaning of their involvement in the Keeping the Body in Mind (KBIM) intervention over the past two year period. The intent is to produce visual narratives through mapped bodies to facilitate reflection and knowledge translation. This research study follows up (2 years post intervention) with young people experiencing psychosis who participated in an intensive 12-week intervention focused on physical health. The goal is to document individual narratives on what has been going on in their lives since the intervention and their reflections on the impact that it had on their life.