Engaging the Community: Knowledge Translation as Transformation in the Lives of Children in One Rural Community of Prince Edward Island
AbstractThis research involves transdisciplinary, participatory research to identify strategies, approaches, tools, and resources that promote effective knowledge translation related to health in the rural communities of Prince Edward Island (PEI). Partnerships established with six rural PEI communities enabled researchers to identify and evaluate effective knowledge translation strategies. Interactive engagement of communities results in the most effective knowledge translation (St Croix 2001) and forms the basis of this research project. Knowledge translation has become a priority for many research organizations (Canadian Institute of Population Health 2002) because many decision makers have not used academic research findings in developing programs or policies (Barahamson 1996 & Mowday 1997). This gap is found in nearly all fields in which there are both practitioners and researchers. Preliminary findings from focus group interviews involving parents, youth and service providers from rural communities on PEI are presented as a means of addressing this gap. This research demonstrates that when rural communities are engaged in unique, participatory forms of relationship building and approaches that translate research results into meaningful information and programs, positive changes in a community’s attitudes and behaviours will result. This article describes how members of one rural community engaged with researchers and used knowledge gained from the results of research to established a youth centre for their children.