What We Did and Why About the Research Study
Development of a Tool to Measure the Impact of Research-Oriented Partnerships
Research partnerships between universities and community organizations or groups are increasing in number in Canada and elsewhere. These partnerships are thought to produce knowledge that informs community members and leads to more efficient service delivery, more effective clinical programs, and enhanced community development. However, there is little concrete evidence of these benefits. One reason there is little evidence is the lack of a reliable and valid tool to measure various types of community impacts on a general level. We need to be better able to describe and demonstrate the benefits of research partnerships from the perspective of community members.
Who We Are About The Partnership
Researchers from five community-university research partnerships from Ontario, Canada joined together to develop a reliable and valid survey to measure the community impacts of research partnerships between universities and community agencies. The five partnerships included:
- The Research Alliance for Children with Special Needs
The Research Alliance for Children with Special Needs (RACSN)
The Research Alliance for Children with Special Needs (RACSN) was a London-based partnership of researchers from the fields of education, health, social services, and academia. RACSN was led by a community-based research program located at Thames Valley Children's Centre, and partnered with two local school boards, two social service agencies, and the University of Western Ontario. RACSN addressed the issue of enhancing children's participation through an integrated research program bridging research and practice. The Alliance was based on an infrastructure model. RACSN provided the necessary structure and organizational support to allow partner groups to pool their energies, skills, and knowledge to provide a concerted and coordinated research, dissemination, and training effort.
Gillian King - Director of RACSN
Marilyn Kertoy, Jacqueline Specht, and Melissa Currie - RACSN Investigators
Years Active: 2000–2007
- Mental Health and Housing
Partnerships in Capacity Building, Housing, Community Economic Development and Psychiatric Survivors
In this London-based CURA, researchers, social service professionals, community volunteers, as well as individuals who have experienced mental health challenges, collaborated on a number of related projects to evaluate existing models of supported housing. This CURA has developed a template which seeks to explore and understand which type of housing works best for whom, and improve placement success. This participatory approach to research will give a real voice to a marginalized constituency, enabling them to share their insights and opinions with community and academic partners and to develop working relationships within their own community as well as between consumer, social agency, professional, and academic communities.
Cheryl Forchuk - Academic Director
Years Active: 2001–2006
- Youth Lifestyle Choices
Youth Lifestyle Choices - Enhancement of Youth Resiliency and Reduction of Harmful Behaviours Leading to Healthy Lifestyle Choices (YLC-CURA)
The St. Catharines-based YLC-CURA was a long-term strategic partnership between a number of Brock University faculty and Niagara community agencies to better understand resilience and youth lifestyle choices. By examining factors that enhance resilience, the team focused on minimizing risk behaviours to a responsible moderate level while protecting youth from adverse consequences. By promoting health rather than limiting risk, the focus was on all youth so that strategies and interventions could encourage positive lifestyle choices for all. The YLC-CURA was unequivocally committed to ensuring that all its members have the opportunity to fully participate and influence its direction and work.
Teena Willoughby and Heather Chalmers - Co-Directors of YLC-CURA
Years Active: 2000–2006
- Therapeutic Relationships from Hospital to Community
Therapeutic Relationships from Hospital to Community - Implementation of Evidence Based Practice
This four-year, $930,000 study tested a new approach to supporting people with chronic mental illness as they made the transition from the hospital to the community. It involved 380 discharged patients from Regional Mental Health Care London/St. Thomas (formally known as London/St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital), the Centre for Mountain Health Care, St. Joseph's Health Care, Hamilton (formally known as Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital) and the Whitby Mental Health Centre. The overall objective of this study was to assist individuals hospitalized with a chronic mental illness in successful community living. The specific objectives were to determine the cost and effectiveness of a transitional discharge model of care, and compare it to the standard model of discharge. The transitional model focused on interpersonal relationships.
Cheryl Forchuk - Project's Principal Investigator
Years Active: 2003–2007
- The CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research
The CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research
The CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research is a Health System-Linked Research Unit funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health. The Centre is sponsored by McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation in Hamilton. CanChild is a multi-disciplinary team whose mandate is to conduct high quality research in the area of childhood disability. A major goal of the unit is to foster the transfer of research findings into clinical practice. The Research programs at CanChild concentrate on children and youth with disabilities and their families within the context of the communities in which they live. CanChild's focus is on the interrelationships between individuals, their families, communities, and health systems. The focus of research conducted by CanChild is broad, and includes children and youth with physical, developmental, and/or communicative needs who require rehabilitation services, as well as their families.
Mary Law and Peter Rosenbaum - Co-Directors of CanChild
Years Active: 1989–Present