CITRA’s Research-Practice Consensus Workshop Model (RPCW) is an innovative process to help bridge the gap between research and practice. Consensus workshops are often used by government agencies and scientific organizations to provide direction on a field of research, and they are typically led by a group of scientific experts. CITRA adapted the traditional consensus workshop model to include translation of the research into nontechnical language and the involvement of practitioners in every step the process. Not only do practitioners have first-hand knowledge of gaps that affect their practice, they ultimately determine how research findings are used. Although CITRA’s workshops have been specific to the field of aging, this model can be used for any topic of interest.
Goals & Objectives of the Program
The primary goal of RPCW is to develop more productive, meaningful dialogue between researchers and practitioners to improve the efficacy and effectiveness of research. Similar to community-based participatory research approaches, the aim is to have researchers and practitioners as equal partners in the process. Too often, there is a gap between empirical research on human problems and practical programs to address them. Another objective, therefore, is to identify discrepancies between interventions recommended by research and the actual experience of practitioners.
Structure of the Program
As in conventional consensus conferences, RPCW includes a systematic review of the recent scientific literature on a particular question of interest. However, CITRA has added an additional step. Research findings are rendered in less technical language and are presented to practitioners. The practitioners then join with researchers in a dialogue about the current research and future research priorities. Next, researchers and practitioners work together to create a final consensus document that reflects their agreed upon conclusions.
Benefits of the Program
RPCW provides new insights beyond a traditional research review. Researchers are able to share the latest research findings with practice communities, and practitioners are able to provide guidance to research communities based on their day-to-day field experience. The dialogue and interaction among researchers and practitioners can lead to new and innovative strategies and recommendations for practice, research, and policy.
Planning & Implementing the Program
CITRA has created a manual for facilitators to conduct their own consensus workshops using CITRA’s Research-Practice Consensus Workshop Model (RPCW). The manual provides an overview of the goals and objectives of RPCW, and it describes the process in detail. Handouts are included in the manual, and well as other resources and materials.