Academic researchers who work on health policy and health services are expected to transfer knowledge to decision makers. Decision makers often do not, however, regard academics' traditional ways of doing research and disseminating their findings as relevant or useful. This article argues that consulting can be a strategy for transferring knowledge between researchers and decision makers and is effective at promoting the "enlightenment" and "interactive" models of knowledge use. Based on three case studies, it develops a model of knowledge transfer-focused consulting that consists of six stages and four types of work. Finally, the article explores how knowledge is generated in consulting and identifies several classes of factors facilitating its use by decision makers.
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This paper describes an organization-level initiative designed to promote linkage and exchange between a research unit and the mental health policy branch of Ontario's provincial government. Using a framework that conceptualizes four tiers--inter-organizational relationship, interactive research projects, dissemination and policy formation--in the application of linkage and exchange to the research and policy development processes, we present an example in order to explore the issues that arise in each tier. We conclude that while such initiatives enhance the relevance of research in the policy development process, they also present challenges that must be recognized and managed.
Residential Crisis Units (RCU) are non-hospital-based facilities that provide mental health crisis intervention. This paper reviews the RCU literature base and finds good evidence of the ability of RCUs to function as alternatives to hospitalization for many consumers, with equivalent effectiveness and for significantly less cost. Despite this promising research, the RCU model has not been widely adopted. Using two crisis units as case examples as well as key informant interviews, this paper explores factors affecting the lack of dissemination and potential barriers to the growth of the RCU model.