Blog: Patient Partners and researchers work together to navigate and spread knowledge about nurse-led primary care in Nova Scotia

Alannah Delahunty-Pike – Research Associate
Donna Rubenstein and Judy Porter – Patient Partners  

Knowledge translation, or KT, is an integral part of health research projects. KT is how we share what is learned in a study and how to apply those learnings. In a Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) grant, Patient Partners and researchers can work together to move beyond sharing study findings. An integrated KT approach demonstrating co-development and team collaboration with visuals, allows us to begin to do that.

Traditional ways of KT often take the form of PowerPoint webinars or, in the past, and hopefully not too distant future – in-person seminars. And of course, findings are published in peer-reviewed journals. But health research KT can and should go beyond traditional research and scientific spaces which often translate knowledge to one or a few specific audiences, largely academic, research or clinically focused.

In our experience with the PriCARE Program, a multi-provincial SPOR programmatic grant studying nurse-led case management in primary care clinics with pre and post-funding support from BRIC-NS, Patient Partners and researchers in Nova Scotia have co-developed presentations. We have incorporated reflections and visual tools developed from the lived experience and expertise of Patient Partners, alongside findings from the data.

The Patient Journey Map, a visual tool, was borne out of a need for a more tangible way to understand what nurse-led case management looks like. Put simply, if you were approached to participate in our study and wanted to chat it over with a friend or family member, how would you do that? You could show them the Patient Journey Map. In co-developing our Patient Journey Map, it has undergone several iterations to adapt and integrate researcher’s feedback.

In fact, this co-development has laid the groundwork for creating presentations together. Patient Partners and researchers alike brainstorm presentation goals, content and possible formats. As content is developed, we tweak and offer feedback as needed. Visuals, such as the Patient Journey Map, drive the notion of Patient Partners bringing a range of skills including lived experience and creativity to KT efforts in the PriCARE Program, enhancing our output and impact. While we build upon this format, we continue to look for less traditional health research KT audiences to share with.

Patient Journey Map
PriCARE Checklist on back of Journey Map