Posted by: bluesyemre | June 12, 2012

A Guide to Researcher and Knowledge-User Collaboration in Health Research

Canadian Institutes of Health Research
 
  • The INEPT team has spent the past five years developing, testing and validating a new tool for assessing the nutrition level of patients presenting to primary care clinics. INEPT researchers envision that family physicians will administer this ten-minute tool to all their patients during their annual checkup visit. Furthermore, they propose that personalized recommendations should be made to patients who are assessed as having a poor level of nutrition and referrals made to nutritionists as appropriate. The scientific properties of this tool are excellent: very good sensitivity and specificity, as well as validation in a range of clinics across the country. The INEPT team results have been published in high-impact peer-reviewed journals and presented at academic conferences, with very warm receptions from the scientific community. They predict, conservatively, that poor nutrition rates could drop by 50% if the tool was systematically used. Now, at the end of their CIHR grant, the INEPT researchers are wondering why their finding is not being widely applied. They are further frustrated at a lack of will on behalf of health planners, public policy makers, family physicians and even patients to implement this tool. Health planners say it will be too expensive and that they would rather focus their limited resources on encouraging good nutrition habits in the general populations, by public awareness campaigns. Family physicians say it is too long and they just don’t have time to squeeze it into their already jam-packed appointments. Patients say that being identified as having poor nutrition would leave them not knowing what to do, unless they are willing and able to pay a nutritionist or spend hours pursuing nutrition websites.

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