- Do you have a practice-related question, but have limited experience in research?
- Are you interested in patient oriented research, but want some guidance?
Are you enthusiastic about applying evidence to improve clinical practice, but are not sure where to start?
Do you want to conduct research to address a knowledge or practice gap and learn more about the research process?
The BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services is launching the Research Challenge — an opportunity for direct care staff to engage with like-minded colleagues to form and answer a practice-based research question through research.
- Successful participants form research teams and apply for support to conduct a small-scale research study over a 12 month period.
- Teams are supported through educational workshops, mentors and up to $5,000 which can be used by teams to release time to work on research.
- By participating, direct care providers can develop their knowledge of research and promote evidence-informed practice.
Direct care staff are often asked to apply research in their practice, but many do not have the capacity, time or resources to engage in research themselves. However, they can use their unique understanding and experience of their programs, clients and patients to make research meaningful and relevant for improving clinical practice. Enabling direct care staff to conduct research for which they are the users of their own research allows them to fully participate in the cycle of moving research into practice.
The Research Challenge has been implemented in other health authorities in B.C. and has been evaluated to have positive clinical and professional impacts brought meaningful change to staff (e.g., procedures), patients and their families (e.g., quality of life) (Black et al., 2019). Participants became more interested in future research initiatives, dissemination activities (publishing research), interdisciplinary collaboration and promotion of evidence-based practice.
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