Community-based participatory research and integrated knowledge translation: advancing the co-creation of knowledge

Dec 19, 2017 | Jull J, Giles A, Graham ID.

BACKGROUND: Better use of research evidence (one form of “knowledge”) in health systems requires partnerships between researchers and those who contend with the real-world needs and constraints of health systems. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) and integrated knowledge translation (IKT) are research approaches that emphasize the importance of creating partnerships between
researchers and the people for whom the research is ultimately meant to be of use (“knowledge users”). There exist poor understandings of the ways in which these approaches converge and diverge. Better understanding of the similarities and differences between CBPR and IKT will enable researchers to use these approaches appropriately and to leverage best practices and knowledge from each. The
co-creation of knowledge conveys promise of significant social impacts, and further understandings of how to engage and involve knowledge users in research are needed.

MAIN TEXT: We examine the histories and traditions of CBPR and IKT, as well as their points of convergence and divergence. We critically evaluate the ways in which both have the potential to contribute to the development and integration of knowledge in health systems. As distinct research traditions, the underlying drivers and rationale for CBPR and IKT have similarities and differences across the areas of motivation, social location, and ethics; nevertheless, the practices of CBPR and IKT converge upon a common aim: the co-creation of nowledge that is the result of knowledge user and researcher expertise. We argue that while CBPR and IKT both have the potential to contribute vidence to implementation science and practices for collaborative research, clarity for the purpose of the research-social change or application-is a critical feature in the selection of an appropriate collaborative approach to build knowledge.

CONCLUSION: CBPR and IKT bring distinct strengths to a common aim: to foster democratic processes in the co-creation of knowledge. As research approaches, they create opportunities to challenge assumptions about for whom, how, and what is defined as knowledge, and to develop and integrate research findings into health systems. When used appropriately, CBPR and IKT both have the potential to contribute to and advance implementation science about the conduct of collaborative health systems research.

PubMed Abstract

Implement Sci. 2017 Dec 19;12(1):150. doi: 10.1186/s13012-017-0696-3.