How blogs support the transfer of knowledge into practice in the field of dementia palliative care: a survey of facilitators and barriers

BMC Palliat Care. 2022 Jul 1;21(1):117. doi: 10.1186/s12904-022-01001-7.


Background: Blogging can help to maximise the impact of one's work in academia and beyond by making research findings accessible for multiple knowledge users, such as healthcare professionals and the public, as well as other researchers. As part of the knowledge exchange and dissemination activities of the Model for Dementia Palliative Care Project, this study explored stakeholders' views of blogs as a means to translate research findings.

Methods: A web-based survey was developed, piloted, and revised. It was distributed electronically via key dementia and palliative care organisations websites, newsletters, social media platforms, and within the staff mailing lists of five Universities in Ireland. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and content analysis.

Results: Complete responses were received from 128 participants. The majority of respondents were healthcare researchers (n = 53), followed by healthcare providers (n = 46). The preferred methods of reviewing research findings were scientific papers, websites and news articles. Respondents read healthcare blogs "sometimes" (39.1%), with < 19% reading them "often" or "very often". Receiving an email notification might increase the likelihood of reading a new blog post for 83% of respondents. Barriers to engaging with blogs included lack of time, preference for other media, lack of awareness regarding available blogs, and concerns about the credibility and source of information. An appropriate length and the author of the blog were key features that encouraged engagement with a blog.

Conclusions: Despite respondents choosing a scientific paper as their preferred method to consume research findings, many indicated an openness to reading blogs on their area of interest. Creating concise, relevant, and credible blogs, and suitably promoting them, could increase the impact and reach of healthcare research, such as in the emerging field of dementia palliative care, and thus promote translation of research findings into practice.

Keywords: Blogs; Dementia; Dissemination; Education; Knowledge Transfer; Palliative Care; Social Media.

MeSH terms

  • Blogging
  • Dementia* / therapy
  • Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing*
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires