Health and care professionals
Health and care professionals can have many jobs within their professional role. These can be:
- clinical, eg diagnosing and prescribing
- managerial, eg developing IT systems, managing resources
- public health roles, eg screening, health promotion
- professional, eg nurturing networks, staying up to date with new research
They also often rely on many sources of evidence.
One model used to demonstrate this is ‘mindlines’. A mindline is an internalised, collectively reinforced “guideline in the head” that clinicians use to inform their practice. It takes into account an individual’s experiences, their practical skills, the clinical guidelines, the things they were taught by their lecturers, what’s normal for their organisation and much more.
With so many influences, how does new research fit in? Here are a few considerations to bear in mind when engaging with health and care professionals:
- check that the research is relevant to the context where it will be implemented and ask key stakeholders if the research findings will be useful to clients, staff and/ or systems
- check how ready the research is, has it been implemented elsewhere?
- remember that the evidence will change shape once it goes into the health or care context, this is a reflection of the organisation, service demands, resource problems or wider politics
Mindlines is a relational method that draws a method called communities of practice. Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern, set of problems or a passion and who deepen their knowledge of this area by interacting with others. These communities allow key individuals to consider a breadth of evidence, take account of the context they are in and learn from each other.
This webinar explains the nature and role of practitioner mindlines which aim to help researchers understand how to mobilise knowledge in a practice context: Webinar: Engaging practitioner mindlines: a relational approach to mobilising research knowledge
Young people with severe learning disabilities in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are being supported by a new service, shaped by ARC EoE (NIHR ARC East of England) researchers and health professionals working with families. Case study: Improved support helps young people with complex needs stay close to home
A guide for the Community of Practice approach in research Implementation, created in both a virtual gallery format and as a downloadable PDF. Guidance: The Implementation-Art Gallery
There are many other methods, theories and frameworks that could help you engage with this audience. For example, educational meetings,educational outreach visits, recruiting champions or opinion leaders and participatory techniques. You can find seminars on some of these other approaches here.