Improving the School Health Action, Planning and Evaluation System (SHAPES) School Profile as a Knowledge Exchange Strategy: The Example of the Youth Smoking Survey (YSS) Profile
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Objective: The objective of this study was to understand school administrators’ experience using the Youth Smoking Survey (YSS) school smoking profile to inform and improve future knowledge exchange strategies with schools. Methods: This study employed a two-phase, sequential explanatory mixed method approach. Phase One consisted of a close-ended mail-out questionnaire to 111 school administrators who had not viewed their schools’ feedback report. Phase Two consisted of telephone interviews with consenting questionnaire participants. Results: Of the 111 eligible schools, 71% (N=79) responded to the questionnaire; 29 school administrators participated in the follow-up interviews. Overall, questionnaire respondents rated the feedback report’s layout very positively in terms of clarity and relevancy, but somewhat less positively on timeliness and level of detail (too much). The majority of school administrators (82%) plan to use the feedback report when planning programs, curriculum, or events, and would primarily discuss the report with teachers, students, and parents. While interview participants provided positive feedback regarding the communication quality, relevance, timeliness, and content of the smoking profile, further investigation revealed a weak relationship between these information characteristics and knowledge use (conceptual and instrumental). The weak association could be attributed to the small sample (N=29), the fact that participants had not previously viewed their feedback reports, and did not have adequate time to incorporate the findings into their practice. Conclusions: The findings have contributed to our understanding of the knowledge utilization process of school administrators. Specifically, it examined how end users perceived source and information characteristics in school smoking profile, and the extent conceptual and instrumental knowledge use are associated with the these characteristics. Findings will guide profile revisions and process.