You Spoke — We Listened

Updates from our 2018 KnowledgeNudge Reader Survey

CHI KT Platform
Oct 3, 2018 · 6 min read

Back in January 2018, we conducted a brief survey to find out what you, our readers, thought of KnowledgeNudge — our post frequency, content, and subject matter. We didn’t get a ton of responses (okay, it was literally 12 people, which is only a tiny fraction of our readership), but we heard you, and we wanted to let you know we’ve been working on incorporating your feedback to make KnowledgeNudge even better, more interesting, and as useful as possible.

Our Audience

We asked what you do and where you get your KnowledgeNudge fix. We had respondents from a variety of areas, from biological and applied health sciences to government and communications. Everyone who responded told us they are alerted to new posts via Twitter (as opposed to Medium itself, or a message from a colleague, or a newsletter).

Our Schedule

About half of our readers who answered the survey visit KnowledgeNudge at least once a month. Most of the other half visit less than once a month, and a few keeners visit every time we post a new blog (our biggest fans!). Most of you think our post frequency is ‘just right’, so we’ll do our best to keep chugging along at our once-per-week pace.

Our Topic Areas

We asked what topic area(s) you found most useful. Given that we are a knowledge translation (KT) blog, it makes sense that knowledge translation was the more popular topic (though only marginally). The type of posts you found most useful were about:

  • The science of KT
  • The practice of KT (and related tools), and
  • Patient engagement.

Your Suggestions

Finally, as with any good survey, we asked what subjects our readers wanted to see from KnowledgeNudge moving forward. As we mentioned in our blog about KnowledgeNudge being our #KTFail, managing a consistent blog is not an easy task. So while we’ve addressed a few of these, many are still either in the works or on our wish list.

Here’s the list of suggested topics we received from respondents, with links to blogs where we’ve addressed the subjects that our beloved readers wanted to know more about [Note: If you feel like you have useful knowledge to impart in any of these (or other) areas, please feel free to contact us via Twitter to pen a KnowledgeNudge article of your own!]:

1. Measuring Impact/Tools for Impact Tracking & Assessment

We’ve done some research, but a blog (or two, or three) on this topic is/are still in the works. In future posts, we hope to explore how ‘impact’ is defined in both KT and PE, who we should be asking about impact (i.e. which stakeholders?), how it’s currently being evaluated, and what the future of evaluation for KT and PE looks like.

2. Internal Conflicts & Challenges in PE

This is something we are eager to address in an upcoming post — how do you move forward when engagement goes sideways? What do you do when issues arise? For now, what we can say for sure is that discussions of safe spaces and assessing expectations should occur before any engagement activity is underway. This means working together as a group to develop guidelines around what safety means (physical, psychological, and emotional) for both patient partners and researchers.

Another critical element that will help research teams sensitively and appropriately address conflicts around power imbalances that may arise between researchers and patient partners is the incorporation of both critical reflexive practice (i.e. health researchers and patient and public partners examining how their own social locations affect their perspectives, beliefs, behaviours and understandings of the area of research they are investigating) and embodied reflexive practice (i.e. researchers and patient and public partners having an awareness of how their bodily presence may impact the sharing of experiential knowledge) before and during engagement as an ongoing conversation.

These discussions helps in setting boundaries and creates space for people to speak up when issues arise. Development of these shared guidelines for engagement should follow a trauma-informed approach, which we will explore in a future post. In the meantime, check out Carolyn’s blog posts on what trauma is, the effects of trauma, and 5 reasons why a trauma-informed approach is so important to the engagement process.

3. How to Form Key Messages

We’ve got you covered on this one. Check out Trish’s blog, Getting Your Message Out. Though it’s tailored to developing an infographic or other visual knowledge product, the steps for crafting your key message can be applied to almost any medium.

4. How to Advocate for KT Amongst Researchers & Clinicians

We really wish we had a pre-packaged answer for this one! Why should you bother promoting your message outside of academia when the only things that really seem to matter for career progression are funds and publications? We’ve discussed why knowledge translation is important for reducing research waste and publication bias, but in terms of how to convince stakeholders — let’s just say we don’t yet have all the answers. The truth is, the answer is probably going to change depending on what type of research you’re doing, with whom, and other contextual factors.

5. Guidelines for Knowledge Product Creation

For visual knowledge products, Patrick wrote a blog on what makes a great infographic, and our guest blogger Joanne Wincentak from Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital shared 7 tips for creating visual knowledge products. Patrick also penned KT productivity hacks, which touches on some tips for knowledge product creation, such as adopting a design thinking mindset. In the future, we’ll look guidelines or tips we can offer to create specific tools, such as decision aids.

6. Patients as Partners, Not Participants

We hear about this in our CHI Patient and Public Engagement Champions discussions and consults with clients quite regularly — where is the line between patient partner and participant? When should you collect data? What do your choices mean in terms of ethics requirements? If you are evaluating a patient engagement strategy, are those involved partners, participants, or both? Check out Carolyn’s post “What is patient engagement?” to learn about what it means to be a patient or public partner, and stay tuned for an upcoming post on the more nuanced differences between partners and participants.

7. Knowledge Synthesis Tips

Lucky for us, the Manitoba SUPPORT Unit houses seven different platforms, including the Knowledge Synthesis platform, our in-house methodological experts. You guessed it — this post too is also under development.

Update: see our interview with knowledge synthesis expert Ahmed Abou-Setta, and Carly’s article review on scoping vs. systematic reviews.

8. Shared Decision-Making for Complex Patient Groups

We’re going to make the assumption that ‘complex patient groups’ refers to those voices that are traditionally less heard in health research. Though we haven’t yet addressed shared decision-making, we have talked about the importance of using a trauma-informed intersectional approach to patient engagement, with social justice and health equity at the forefront, to begin the conversation around inclusion and safety. This includes asking four important questions of yourself and your research program before initiating the engagement process. As with many strategies, case studies are always a great way to learn, so feel free to share your experiences in shared decision-making!

9. Podcasts

We had one respondent mention that for busy stakeholders, reading a blog might not be the easiest way to access information, and they suggested we look into sharing our blogs as podcasts. Though our capacity to transfer our written content to spoken word is limited, this is definitely something we are considering for our long-term KnowledgeNudge strategy!

On a final note, we want to (very belatedly) thank our readers who filled out the survey and for your exceptionally kind and uplifting words. Our KnowledgeNudge team appreciates your support.


Publishing bi-weekly, we focus on all things knowledge translation (KT) – synthesis, exchange, application & dissemination – from a health perspective. Topics include the science of KT, patient engagement, and media & dissemination.

CHI KT Platform

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Know-do gaps. Integrated KT. Patient & public engagement. KT research. Multimedia tools & dissemination. And the occasional puppy.


Publishing bi-weekly, we focus on all things knowledge translation (KT) – synthesis, exchange, application & dissemination – from a health perspective. Topics include the science of KT, patient engagement, and media & dissemination.