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Conference Abstracts

Reflecting on Meaningful Research-Policy-Practice Partnerships: A Case Example Using Implementation Science to Improve Housing Outcomes for Low-Income Seniors


Christine Sheppard ,

St. John's Rehab Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute, CA
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Sander Hitzig,

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Andrea Austen,

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Jorge Rios Jorge Rios

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Research, community-based and government organizations are increasingly seeking opportunities to form research-policy-practice partnerships to promote the application of evidence-based decision making to improve health and social outcomes for vulnerable communities. The current project focuses on the development of such a partnership to co-design and evaluate a new housing services model seeking to advance housing outcomes for low-income older adults living in Toronto Community Housing, North America’s second largest social housing landlord.

Aims Objectives Theory or Methods

Our team ‘embedded’ a research staff with the partner organization to foster an effective research-policy-practice collaboration and used the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research to support the co-design, implementation, and evaluation process of the new housing services model. This included: 1) identifying all relevant stakeholders; 2) co-creating evidence in partnership with key stakeholders; 3) facilitating large-scale planning meetings to co-design an action plan; 4) supporting the development of an evaluation framework; and 5) providing opportunities for knowledge exchange and transfer across each phase of the initiative.

Highlights or Results or Key Findings

In collaboration with our stakeholders, we co-created three guiding research questions and developed a bevy of different data sources that would inform decision making and ensure that the major stakeholders had the opportunity to share their lived experiences. In addition to a scoping review and environmental scan, we were able to conduct in-depth qualitative interviews with 116 older adults and service providers living and working in Toronto Community Housing and host a planning meeting with 72 interdisciplinary stakeholders to understand existing challenges and the types of changes they wanted to see in a new model. Throughout this process, our primary goal was to rapidly process and translate our findings into useable products to support our partners, which included policy-briefs and reports, as well as information sessions and workshops.


Our approach created opportunities for older tenants and community partners to actively participate in the co-creation of the intervention. Our use of an embedded researcher ensured that our policy and practice partners were able to design a new housing strategy that will improve housing and health outcomes vulnerable older adults.

Implications for applicability/transferability sustainability and limitations

The key strategies for building successful research-policy-practice partnerships include identifying and balancing the needs of various stakeholders and implementing processes for meaningful communication across partners. There is also a need to acknowledge and understand barriers that may hinder or slow down the process (e.g., legal agreements, research ethics, etc.).

How to Cite: Sheppard C, Hitzig S, Austen A, Jorge Rios JR. Reflecting on Meaningful Research-Policy-Practice Partnerships: A Case Example Using Implementation Science to Improve Housing Outcomes for Low-Income Seniors. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S2):80. DOI:
Published on 16 May 2022.


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