SIIReN - System Integration & Innovation Research Network

Primary Health Care System


The use of information and communication technologies for knowledge translation in a mentoring network of primary care physicians to optimize roles in the management of chronic pain

  • Investigators: A. Radhakrishnan1,2, R. Upshur1,2, A. Jadad1,3
  • Affiliations:
    1 - Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    2 - Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    3 - Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

With significant challenges to timely and appropriate accesses to chronic pain care, a possible solution is a process called Role Optimization. This process uses knowledge translation tools to enable health care providers to add or improve performance of a task. Two program examples have been identified in Ontario and Nova Scotia, where mentoring networks are used to translate chronic pain management knowledge to interested primary care physicians. The goal of this study is to understand how collaborative Information and Communication Technologies (cICT) are being used to support Role Optimization in both programs.


Using Communities of Practice as a theoretical framework a cross sectional survey was developed and distributed to both networks. Descriptive statistics and multi-variable analysis are used to describe the participants and identify effects of cICT use on interactions between them.


The survey response rate for the Nova Scotia network is 80% (N=29). Members use a declining number and variety of cICTs from personal to professional purposes. A similar decline is seen in the use of cICTs on a handheld mobile device. Univariable logistic regression found increased use of cICTs predicts increased interactions amongst members. In addition over 63% of members agree that cICTs are valuable in collaborative learning about chronic pain.


This project is research in progress. Preliminary data indicates that cICTs are being used to support the development of practice and community in translating knowledge in a chronic pain mentoring network

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