Integrated Knowledge Translation for Health and Wellbeing in Health Geography

Type: Virtual Paper
Sponsor Groups: Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 20
Organizers: Andrea Rishworth
Chairs: Andrea Rishworth

Call for Submissions

We invite scholars to submit abstracts on new and on-going empirical and theoretical work related to knowledge translation. Topics include but are not limited to 1) knowledge translation theory and models, 2) evidence informed policy making processes, 3) stakeholder policy contexts, 4) geographies of knowledge translation. Please email your abstract (maximum 250 words), PIN and contact information to Andrea Rishworth at by November 19, 2020.


The sub-discipline of health geography has increasingly responded to the uneven processes, experiences and outcomes of health that are fundamental to health policy concerns. Reacting in part to Mikael Buraway’s call (2005) for human geography to engage in public policy scholarship, working directly with various ‘publics’ – including community groups, charities, unions, pressure groups and politicians – for change, health geographers have gradually considered the possibilities of a ‘public geography’ extension in the sub-discipline. As health geographers participate in policy making processes, they must respond to broader health policy and practice developments related to knowledge translation. Knowledge translation (KT) is based on the observation that although evidence might be produced through research, it does not necessarily find its way into practice, creating a ‘gap’ between knowledge and practice. KT thus involves finding approaches to close the gap between what researchers ‘know’, and what health professionals ‘do’.

While scholars have begun engaging in theoretical depth about models of and processes in KT (Dixon & Elliott, 2019), there is more room for health geographers to understand how to mobilize knowledge into action, both in terms of increasing the application of existing knowledge and informing emerging research agendas, across and between all global spheres (Plamondon et al., 2019; Plough, 2019). Indeed, as Andrews and Evens argued in 2012 and 2008, more substantive efforts by health geographers are needed to translate evidence of KT strategies, engage more critical approaches that consider ‘the introduction of evidence into places’, reflecting on how research evidence is collected and applied differently between individuals, institutions and localities through different kinds of networks, and pursue a more comprehensive ‘geography of knowledge translation’ – that is the application of theories of place, scale, mobility and diffusion in the ways that knowledge translation has been rationalized and implemented.

To this end, this session presents case studies that highlight the role of geographers in KT. This session welcomes scholars from all disciplinary areas across geography.


Andrews, G. J., Evans, J., Dunn, J. R., & Masuda, J. R. (2012). Arguments in health geography: on sub‐disciplinary progress, observation, translation. Geography Compass, 6(6), 351-383.

Andrews, G. J. and Evans, J. (2008). Understanding the reproduction of health care: towards geographies in health care work. Progress in Human Geography 32 (6), pp. 759–780.

Burawoy, M. (2005). 2004 American Sociological Association Presidential Address: for public sociology. The British Journal of Sociology 56 (2), pp. 259–294.

Dixon, J., & Elliott, S. J. (2019). Changing the culture is a marathon not a sprint. Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, 15(1), 8.

Plough, A. L. (Ed.). (2017). Knowledge to action: accelerating progress in health, well-being, and equity. Oxford University Press.

Plamondon, K. M., Caxaj, C. S., Graham, I. D., & Bottorff, J. L. (2019). Connecting knowledge with action for health equity: a critical interpretive synthesis of promising practices. International journal for equity in health, 18(1), 202.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Francesca S Cardwell*, University of Waterloo, Susan J Elliott, University of Waterloo, Ann E Clarke, University of Calgary, Investigating participant perceptions of hackathons in integrated Knowledge Translation (iKT) research 15 8:00 AM
Presenter Andrea Rishworth*, Pennsylvania State University, Investigating integrated knowledge translation approaches to aging research in Sub Saharan Africa 15 8:15 AM
Discussant Susan Elliott University of Waterloo 15 8:30 AM

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