Spotlight On Implementation Science: Tari Turner, Ph.D.

November 26, 2018


Tari Turner, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, Cochrane Australia & School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Monash University

Since involving stakeholders is one of the key successes in Implementation Science, what is your role in engaging stakeholder, or to be engaged with the stakeholders?

To have many right people in the room is absolutely key (to the success of the engagement); and that means policy makers, clinicians, consumers, researchers, donors, and everybody who has a stake. It is not only very challenging but also fun to do; my favorite part of this implementation science is bringing together diverse people with a very different backgrounds, varying expertise and experiences, different views and perspectives; but they are all committed to achieving a good outcome. And if you have a group of passionate people in the room, literally or a virtual room, along with a very good quality of summary of research evidence and addressing important research questions, it is fantastic.

In providing assistance on Rapid Review for the government, how you would reach out to engage the government?

We have to be very explicit about the process of reviews; there is a spectrum, from the very quick review through 5 minutes Google search to a systematic Cochrane review which might take two years. We can let policy-makers know, it’s a trade-off, the further we move away from the rigorous method, the more likely we are to introduce bias. We can do a short, simple review, but it could be very wrong and has much more bias. But if they can give you six weeks or six months, you can explain the trade-off of longer time to do the review with good quality evidence and improving the trustworthiness of the result; and also explain that it could mean more resources are required (person-hours; skills; a medical librarian who could do a rigorous search in databases such as Medline). The important thing is to be clear and transparent about where these reviews fit into that spectrum, and to ensure to do work that is rigorous and produces the best evidence and most useful outcome. Being transparent about where we are in that review process and making good, clear decisions about which elements of the process we simplify, and explaining the consequences of doing that, is also important.