Improving knowledge mobilisation in healthcare: A qualitative exploration of creative co-design methods

Cheryl Grindell*, Tom Sanders, Remi Bec, Angela Mary Tod, Daniel Wolstenholme

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


Co-production, co-creation and co-design are increasingly used in healthcare research knowledge mobilisation. These methods have grown in popularity and the broad range of approaches are often used without any formal evaluation. The challenges to using these approaches are well reported yet there is little evidence on how to overcome them or how they work. This study evaluates ‘creative co-design’ a design led, solutions focused process developed specifically as a means to mobilise knowledge in healthcare.
Aims and Objectives:
To investigate the impact of creative co-design on the knowledge mobilisation process. To understand how it impacts on the application of research knowledge in routine clinical practice.
Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 20 participants from 14 projects. Data were analysed using the Framework approach. A workshop involving the first 10 participants was held prior to the final interviews and analysis.
The findings indicate that creative co-design successfully facilitates knowledge
mobilisation in healthcare. This is represented by 3 inter-connected themes; creative and visual, design led, and creating the right conditions.
The themes highlight how the approach supports engagement and creates a safe
space for knowledge sharing and synthesis in a non-hierarchical environment. We propose that these interconnected mechanisms are the basis of a mid-range theory for how creative methods enhance knowledge mobilisation.
This study contributes important insights into how creative co-design can mobilise knowledge in healthcare. Further evaluation is warranted to help it develop into a recognised and effective method for research implementation and service improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265–290
Number of pages26
JournalEvidence and Policy
Issue number2
Early online date24 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


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