Mélanie Ruest: Enhancing the Knowledge Application Process

How can we enhance the research-generated knowledge application process among rehabilitation professionals working with seniors and the elderly? Ms. Mélanie Ruest is examining this question which is at the very centre of her research. She has undertaken doctoral studies with the scientific research programs at the Université de Sherbrooke with a specialization in geriatrics at the Research Centre on Aging.

It was during her clinical internship, while completing her combined bachelor's and master's program in occupational therapy at the Université de Sherbrooke, that she noticed the discrepancy between the generation of new knowledge and its application in clinical rehabilitation settings. "The scientific literature indicates that there is on average a 17-year gap between the two," she said.

But is there a way to speed up the knowledge application process so that users can benefit sooner from improvements to health care and health services?

The Algo model

To study this issue, the Ph.D. candidate is examining the case of Algo, a decision-making algorithm developed by Researcher Manon Guay of the Research Centre on Aging. Algo is a decision-support tool intended for non-occupational therapists (e.g., health care and health services assistants, social worker) which helps them select equipment to be used by elders for their personal hygiene (e.g., taking a bath).

"Which factors explain that some workers in certain settings use Algo while others don't?" asked Ms. Ruel. The factors worth considering focus, among others, on the nature of knowledge, the organizational background, knowledge application strategies, and the professionals involved.

 In the end, Mélanie Ruest's research will make it possible to gain a better understanding of the knowledge application process and thereby optimize tangible outcomes on the work of the various researchers at the Research Centre on Aging.

A Passion for Research

Ms. Mélanie Ruel developed a passion for research during her various internships at the Research Centre on Aging. She has participated, under the supervision of Manon Guay, in research on the clinical reasoning of health care workers as well as in research, under the supervision of Guillaume Léonard, also a researcher at the Research Centre on Aging, on pain assessment among elders with dementia.

After completing her bachelor's and master's in occupational therapy at the Université de Sherbrooke in 2014, Mélanie Ruel undertook her master's in health sciences research. She completed a microprogram to accelerate competency development and improvement in research. She then benefited from access to speed up her doctoral work. She began her doctoral research with a specialization in geriatrics in the winter of 2016. Professors Manon Guay and Guillaum Léonard have been supervising Mélanie Ruest's research work since she began her graduate studies. 


Photo credit: Robert Dumont

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