A Practical Toolkit of Strategies for Building Research Capacity in Allied Health
Objectives: The objectives of this project were firstly to develop a practical toolkit of evidence-informed strategies for building research capacity in allied health, and secondly to disseminate and apply this toolkit to inform tailored research capacity building plans for allied health teams.
Design: This project used a plan, do, study, act (PDSA) service quality improvement methodology to develop, disseminate and apply a toolkit which was based on the results of a recent systematic review of allied health research capacity building frameworks and a narrative review of other interventions and theoretical recommendations.
Setting: Eight allied health professional teams in a publicly funded tertiary health service were supported to develop tailored research capacity building plans based on their specific needs, goals and context.
Main outcome measures: The outcomes of this project were evaluated using process measures including whether a research capacity building plan was developed and to what extent short-term goals were achieved within three months.
Results: A practical toolkit was developed which consolidates existing evidence-informed strategies and organises these around three components including ‘supporting clinicians in research’, ‘working together’ and ‘valuing research for excellence’ and 17 sub-components. Several barriers and facilitators to applying the toolkit to teams were identified and this paper suggests some recommendations and future directions for addressing these.
Conclusions: This toolkit may be a useful resource to inform the development of team-based research capacity building plans for allied health. The application of the toolkit may be enhanced by a needs assessment and facilitation from a researcher.