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Title: Co-Creation of New Knowledge: Increasing the Research Capacity of Third Sector Organisations (TSO)
Contributor(s): Pearce, Tania A  (author)orcid ; Maple, Myfanwy  (supervisor)orcid ; Wayland, Sarah  (supervisor)orcid ; Shakeshaft, Anthony (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2022-12-13
Copyright Date: 2022-05-08
Thesis Restriction Date until: 2025-12-13
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Introduction: The primary goal of all health intervention research is to produce knowledge that improves the health and well-being of individuals and their communities. However, persistent systemic barriers create a time lag between generating knowledge through research and adopting that new knowledge into practice. A new approach is emerging to reduce this time lag by establishing partnerships between service providers, policymakers and researchers to co-create new knowledge. However, little is known about the effectiveness of a co-creation approach in reducing the research-practice gap, nor how co-creation might most efficiently be integrated into routine service delivery.

Aims: There are three aims. First, to define the concept of co-creation of new knowledge. Second, to explore co-creation from a multisectoral collaboration and social policy perspective. Third, to apply a co-creation of new knowledge framework to a third sector organisation (TSO)-led suicide prevention program evaluation.

Methods: A mix-methods approach was undertaken across four successive studies. Study 1 involved a content analysis of empirical evidence (n=42 published studies) to identify and synthesise existing definitions and terminologies associated with co-creation. Study 2 comprised a systematic review of intervention research (n=16 published studies) exploring the extent to which multisectoral collaborations existed in mental health and suicide prevention. Study 3 involved a summative and directed content analysis of publicly available health policy documents to determine the extent to which co-creation activities are used by governments, service providers and other stakeholders. Finally, Study 4 used a qualitative case study to examine the application of co-creation to a suicide prevention activity.

Results: Study 1 found the co-creation of new knowledge is a collaborative framework containing four collaborative processes (co-ideation, co-design, co-implementation and co-evaluation) and relies on quality data collection methods integrated into the delivery of services to produce robust and increase research uptake. Despite co-creation potentially reducing the research-practice gap, Study 2 and Study 3 demonstrate the paucity of multisectoral collaborations in mental health and suicide research and the lack of reference to co-creation activities in government health policy. Although Study 4 found misunderstandings between researchers and TSO stakeholders on what constitutes co-creation, the concept of a co-creation approach was shown to have the capacity to improve the quality of services being delivered and to increase the involvement of stakeholders in the research process.

Conclusions: This research asserts that the co-creation of new knowledge can reduce the research-practice gap and improve service quality, that the co-creation of new knowledge is currently under-utilised, at least in the field of mental health and suicide prevention services, and that governments could do more to encourage the implementation and evaluation of more collaborative practice. Collaboration can be challenging" however, good fortune and good management are integral to its success. Unlike participatory research, which seeks to empower stakeholders to lead research, the goal of co-creation requires researchers, policymakers and service providers to collaborate over time, recognising that an equitable share of knowledge and resources is needed to achieve their common goal of optimising the health and well-being of individuals and their communities.

Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 420313 Mental health services
440902 Counselling, wellbeing and community services
440903 Social program evaluation
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200202 Evaluation of health outcomes
200205 Health policy evaluation
200305 Mental health services
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Description: Please contact if you require access to this thesis for the purpose of research or study.
Appears in Collections:School of Health
Thesis Doctoral

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