Utilization of Health Research Results: Alberta Extension

Start/End Dates: 2004 - 2007

Investigators: Judy Birdsell (PI), Rejean Landry, Carole A. Estabrooks, Peter Norton

Funder: Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR)

Grant Amount: $86,600

Background : A national survey of research utilization began in 2001 (Principal Investigator - Dr. Rejean Landry at Laval University in Quebec). The Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research strongly supported this research, and arranged to do some additional work in Alberta. This related mainly to increasing the sample sizes to enable analysis within Alberta and also to include nurses in the analysis.  The four groups surveyed included physicians, managers and policy makers, researchers and nurses. An Alberta team was formed to provide guidance to the Alberta activities and also to advise the Laval group where desired.  The Alberta team included Dr. Paul Hasselback, Dr. Peter Norton, Ms Brenda Waye-Perry and Dr. Carole Estabrooks. 

The objectives of the Alberta Extension were:

  1. To capture information about the current situation with respect to research utilization among key groups to enable longitudinal comparisons.

  2. To enable analysis which will inform future action related to research utilization in Alberta.

  3. To increase the analytic capacity within the national study by increasing sample size, and enabling increase inter-group comparisons (Alberta compared to other jurisdictions) on some variables.

  4. To increase the explanatory capacity of the national survey within Alberta by adding questions specific to Alberta.

The hypotheses and research questions related to the national study were:

  1. Identify uses providers and managers of the Alberta health care system make of health research results, and compare these to Canada-wide data;

  2. Identify factors explaining utilization of health research results by providers and managers of the Alberta health care system, and compare these to Canada-wide data.

  3. Identify factors inducing researchers to engage into dissemination efforts and adaptations of research results.

  4. Identify factors explaining the creation of linkage mechanisms and interactions between researchers and providers or managers of the Canadian health care system.

  5. Derive practical lessons from better understanding of factors explaining utilization of health research results.

  6. Compare research utilization patterns across different Alberta contexts (e.g. RHA groupings, professional groups).

The products of this research program are:

Technical Report:


  • Estabrooks, C.A., Norton, P., Birdsell, J.M., Newton, M.S., Adewale, A.J., & Thornley, R. (in press). Knowledge translation and research careers: Mode I and Mode II activity among health researchers. Research Policy, doi:10.1016/j.respol.2008.04.006

  • Newton, Mandi S; Estabrooks, Carole A; Norton, Peter; Birdsell, Judy M: Adewale , Niyi and Thornley, Richard (2007) Health researchers in Alberta: An exploratory comparison of defining characteristics and knowledge translation activities. Implementation Science 2:1

Related Technical Report: