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

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


Objective: 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.

Design: 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.

Setting: 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.

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

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

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

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Consensus*
  • Decision Making*
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Health Equity / standards*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / standards*

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