Alonzo, C. N., Komesidou, R., Wolter, J. A., Curran, M., Ricketts, J., & Hogan, T. P. (2022). Building Sustainable Models of Research-Practice Partnerships Within Educational Systems. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 1-13.
The research-practice gap refers to a disconnect between the latest evidence regarding practice in a field and the practices used in clinical settings. In speech-language pathology there is a current and ongoing movement for the use of implementation science to minimize the research-practice gap. Implementation science studies strategies that facilitate the movement of evidence-based practices into clinical settings. Central to implementation science are sustainable collaborations between researchers and those who use the research or knowledge, called knowledge users. Given the importance of partnerships, researchers have begun to look at how to build partnerships. Henrick and colleagues (2017) propose five critical dimensions for successful partnerships that include: (1) building trust and cultivating partnership relationships, (2) conducting research to inform action, (3) supporting the partner organization in achieving their goals, (4) producing knowledge to inform educational efforts, and (5) building capacity of participating researchers, knowledge users, and the organization.
In the current article, the authors apply this partnership framework to their own partnerships in elementary schools. They outline three different ongoing partnerships in which they have been involved and describe the characteristics of the three schools, and the researchers and knowledge users included in each partnership. Each partnership also included the use of a knowledge broker who worked with the knowledge users and researchers to support the partnership and its success. The authors then mapped their own experiences onto the five dimensions proposed by Henrick et al., (2017). These authors report that their collaborative projects improved clinical knowledge for both the researchers and knowledge users.
By sharing their experiences of working in partnerships, the authors provide an example of successful partnerships and how their partnership activities map onto an established framework in the field. Since there is a lot of momentum in communication sciences and disorders to use knowledge translation approaches such as implementation science, examples demonstrating experiences and outcomes support others looking to use similar approaches.
Blogger: Meghan Vollebregt is a student in the combined SLP MClSc/PhD program working under the supervision of Dr. Lisa Archibald.