A Knowledge Transfer Study of the Utility of the Nova Scotia Seniors’ Mental Health Network in Implementing Seniors’ Mental Health National Guidelines

Mark Bosma, Keri-Leigh Cassidy, J Kenneth Le Clair, Sherri Helsdingen, Pratima Devichand



The Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health (CCSMH) developed national best-practice guidelines in seniors’ mental health. Promoting adoption of new guidelines is challenging, as paper dissemination alone has limited impact on practice change.


We hypothesized that the existing knowledge transfer (KT) mechanisms of the Nova Scotia Seniors’ Mental Health Network would prove useful in transferring the CCSMH best-practice guidelines.


In this observational KT study, CCSMH best-practice guidelines were delivered through two interactive, case-based teaching modules on Depression & Suicide, and Delirium via a provincial tele-education program and local face-to-face sessions. Usefulness of KT was measured using self-report evaluations of material quality and learning. Evaluation results from the two session topics and from tele-education versus face-to-face sessions were compared.


Sessions were well attended (N = 347), with a high evaluation return rate (287, 83%). Most participants reported enhanced knowledge in seniors’ mental health and intended to apply knowledge to practice. Ratings did not differ significantly between KT session topics or modes of delivery.


The KT mechanisms of a provincial seniors’ mental health network facilitated knowledge acquisition and the intention of using national guidelines on seniors’ mental health among Nova Scotian clinicians. Key elements of accelerating KT used in this initiative are discussed.


knowledge exchange; knowledge transfer; knowledge translation; guideline implementation; mental health; delirium; depression; suicide

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5770/cgj.v14i1.6


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ISSN: 1925-8348 (Online)