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  • Author or Editor: Mandy Andrew x
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Quality improvement has been proposed as a means of enhancing health and social care on an international scale. Despite being a key stakeholder in health and social care delivery, there is a lack of evidence regarding the adoption of quality improvement in the voluntary sector. For this study, 21 semi-structured interviews and five focus groups were conducted with Scottish voluntary sector staff. A gap analysis was undertaken, and findings were used to co-create educational sessions that may aid capacity building. Our findings suggest that knowledge, adoption and practice of quality improvement are currently variable in the Scottish voluntary sector. Capacity building for improvement is most successful when supported with sector-specific examples and networking opportunities. We conclude that the current policy landscape provides an opportunity for national governments to involve the voluntary sector as an equal partner in the adoption of quality improvement. We make recommendations for researchers and policy makers on how this may be achieved.

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Background:

A number of ways to conduct research are designed to maximise the likelihood that evidence from research is quickly transferred into practice. This includes action research and partnership research between researchers and policy makers. Such approaches focus research effort on questions of highest relevance to practice and policy so as to create ownership of the results. However, such approaches on their own do not necessarily visualise or illuminate possible pathways of action or create a sense of personal connection to these possible actions.

Aims and objectives:

Our intent is to foster high-level engagement with possible project findings by policymakers and researchers involved in partnership research. We describe a simple, creative, innovative device: production of co-authored mock (i.e., fake) in-house abstracts of peer reviewed papers as an aid in this process This occurs in advance of knowing real results of the study. The fake abstracts process described here occurs within a research-policy maker-practitioner partnership studying the scaling-up of childhood statewide obesity prevention programs and the electronic monitoring system being used to track progress.

Key conclusions:

The fake abstracts are a tool for identifying priority interests among a large data set. They act as a trigger to uncovering different interpretations of findings among the team. They foster discussion and mental rehearsal of actions based on different scenarios. And they help the team coordinate participation in the analysis and writing-up of the real findings. They also represent a hypothetical variety of research endpoints which also assist with maintaining project momentum during long phases of analysis.

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