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BMJ Open. 2019 Jul 30;9(7):e026866. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026866.

Taking an integrated knowledge translation approach in research to develop the CONSORT-Equity 2017 reporting guideline: an observational study.

Author information

School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Clinical Epidemiology, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.
Ottawa Methods Centre, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Bruyere Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Elisabeth Bruyere Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



We describe the use of an integrated knowledge translation (KT) approach in the development of the CONsolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials extension for equity ('CONSORT-Equity 2017'), and advisory board-research team members' ('the team') perceptions of the integrated KT process.


This is an observational study to describe team processes and experience with a structured integrated KT approach to develop CONSORT-Equity 2017. Participant observation to describe team processes and a survey were used with the 38 team members.


Use of the CONSORT health research reporting guideline contributes to an evidence base for health systems decision-making, and CONSORT-Equity 2017 may improve reporting about health equity-relevant evidence. An integrated KT research approach engages knowledge users (those for whom the research is meant to be useful) with researchers to co-develop research evidence and is more likely to produce findings that are applied in practice or policy.


Researchers adopted an integrated KT approach and invited knowledge users to form a team.


An integrated KT approach was used in the development of CONSORT-Equity 2017 and structured replicable steps. The process for co-developing the reporting guideline involved two stages: (1) establishing guiding features for co-development and (2) research actions that supported the co-development of the reporting guideline. Stage 1 consisted of four steps: finding common ground, forming an advisory board, committing to ethical guidance and clarifying theoretical research assumptions. Bound by the stage 1 guiding features of an integrated KT approach, stage 2 consisted of five steps during which studies for consensus-based reporting guidelines were conducted. Of 38 team members, 25 (67.5%) completed a survey about their perceptions of the integrated KT approach.


An integrated KT approach can be used to engage a team to co-develop reporting guidelines. Further study is needed to understand the use of an integrated KT approach in the development of reporting guidelines.


collaborative research; consort; health equity; integrated knowledge translation; reporting guidelines; research co-creation

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: All authors have completed the Unified Competing Interest form (available on request from the corresponding author) and declare no support from any organisation for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organisations that might have an interest in the previous 3 years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work, with the following exceptions: (1) LGC reports he works as a Senior Advisor for Health Systems Research to the Pan American Health Organization/WHO. His Organization’s Policy on Research for Health calls for the development and use of research reporting standards and improving the value and impact of research for health. His opinions and contributions to this manuscript are his own and do not necessarily reflect the decisions or policies of his employer. (2) DM reports that he is one of the ‘inventors’ of CONSORT. (3) VAW reports grants from Canadian Institutes of Health Research, grants from Ontario Early Career Researcher Award, during the conduct of the study.

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