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Can J Public Health. 2018 Nov 19. doi: 10.17269/s41997-018-0153-3. [Epub ahead of print]

A mixed methods evaluation of capturing and sharing practitioner experience for improving local tobacco control strategies.

Author information

1
Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, N2L3G1, Canada. j3boyko@uwaterloo.ca.
2
Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, N2L3G1, Canada.
3
School of Public Health and Health Systems, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada.
4
Program Training and Consultation Centre, Toronto, Canada.
5
Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Practitioner experience is one type of evidence that is used in public health planning and action. Yet, methods for capturing and sharing experience are under-developed. We evaluated the reach, uptake and use of an example of capturing and sharing practitioner experience from tobacco control known as documentation of practice (DoP) reports.

METHODS:

The participatory, mixed methods approach included the following: a document review to capture data related to the extent and how DoP reports reached the target population; an online survey to assess awareness, use and perceptions about DoP reports; and semi-structured interviews to identify and explore examples of instrumental, conceptual and symbolic use of DoP reports. The samples for the survey and interviews included tobacco control practitioners from public health units in Ontario, Canada.

RESULTS:

Seventy-three individuals participated in the survey and 10 were interviewed. Awareness of at least one DoP report was high. The most common way of learning about DoP reports was email. DoP reports focused on policy issues had highest use; these reports were used in conceptual (helped raise awareness), instrumental (directly informed local policy development) and symbolic (confirmed a choice already made) ways. DoP reports may be improved with key messages, shorter development timelines, more relevant topic selection and dissemination to audiences beyond public health.

CONCLUSION:

DoP reports are useful to public health practitioners working in tobacco control within Ontario; refinements to development and dissemination processes will enhance use. Future studies and adaptations of DoP reports could help improve use of practitioner experience as one source of evidence informing public health practice.

KEYWORDS:

Diffusion of innovation; Documentation; Evaluation studies; Evidence-based practice; Public health practice; Smoke-free policy

PMID:
30456744
DOI:
10.17269/s41997-018-0153-3

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