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Table 7. CREST.BD communication strategies

From: Improving care and wellness in bipolar disorder: origins, evolution and future directions of a collaborative knowledge exchange network

As with any academic team, we publish our research findings in peer-reviewed journals. However, working in a multidisciplinary environment affords us additional leverage in terms of capitalizing on our research findings. For example, we published the primary findings from our self-management strategies for BD study in a top-ranked mood disorders journal[15]. Additional team members then went on to explore the clinical implications of the findings[24], perform an in-depth analysis of the role of stigma[8] and replicate the study in a New Zealand population[61]. We also endeavour to transform the findings from our academic publications into other more accessible formats (e.g., content for newsletters, magazine articles), media (e.g., radio or television segments, public discussion forums), or materials that give voice to lived experience perspectives. In 2012 the network will be the subject of an in-depth Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) radio piece, the development of which was supported by a competitive CIHR Health Journalism Award. Underpinning our communications are three web platforms: a team website (www.crestbd.ca), Twitter (www.twitter.com/CREST_BD) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CRESTBDBipolarResearch), which continue to demonstrate sustained growth in visitor traffic. For instance, from January to April 2011, the website welcomed 1,320 new visitors and 714 returning visitors; between January and April 2012 this had increased to 2027 new visitors and 1028 returning visitors. The visitors in this first quarter of 2012 also demonstrated increased engagement; spending, on average, more time on the website. Our CREST.BD Facebook page, launched in February 2011, received over 6554 post-views in June 2012, an increase from 1844 views from June 2011. On Twitter we now host over 130 followers including international researchers, journalists, mental health organizations and KT specialists, and @CREST_BD is featured on several subscribed Twitter lists. The website has a number of interesting features, including scientific publications and presentations tagged by theme, Bipolar Currents - general audience snapshots of our research findings, pages dedicated to sharing our major research projects and products (e.g. That’s Just Crazy Talk, Quality of Life in Bipolar Disorder Scale), embedded YouTube videos and Slideshare presentations from our branded CREST.BD channels, and a live Twitter feed representing further modes of KT. With multiple social media and website updates occurring each week, we expect a continued increase in viewership of this multi-modal, web-based KT infrastructure. Further, this KT infrastructure has the potential to facilitate our outreach into rural and remote communities.
In some CREST.BD activities, our research and communication goals are closely intertwined. For example, our ‘Recovery Narratives’ project pairs up a clinician team member with a person with BD who wishes to share their story of recovery from BD. The primary research objective of the study is to explore the impact of clinician-guided recovery narratives on various outcomes, measured quantitatively and qualitatively. However, there are also more rapid KT outputs from the study as the written recovery narratives are made available via the team website to the wider community.