McMaster University

Scope of Search

Knowledge Translation

  • Guidelines for healthy aging
  • Involvement in health and healthcare decisions
  • Impact of the Optimal Aging Portal
  • Communication toolbox for research evidence

Providing recommendations from guidelines for healthy aging through the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal

Holger Sch√ľnemann and Nancy Santesso
From left: Holger Schünemann and Nancy Santesso


Nancy Santesso and Holger Schünemann

Project Description:

Practice guidelines provide guidance to assist health care providers and patients to make health care decisions. These guidelines, however, are typically written for health care professionals but could be an excellent source of evidence based information to communicate to people seeking information. At McMaster University, we produce many guidelines that are directly relevant to healthy aging and could be made available on the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal.

This research project asks:

  • How are guidelines perceived by people who want information about healthy aging?
  • In what format should we provide guidelines on the Portal? As a summary? As a video?
  • Could we develop a template and approach for guideline producers at McMaster, and others, to easily provide this information on the Portal?

Helping Canadians get more involved in health and healthcare decisions: Adding a decision aids database to the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal

Anthony Levinson and John Lavis
From left: Anthony Levinson and John Lavis


John N. Lavis, Brian Haynes, Maureen Dobbins, Anthony Levinson, Parminder Raina, Sandra Carroll, Michael McGillion and Dawn Stacey

Project Description:

Patient decision aids are "tools that help people become involved in decision making by making explicit the decision that needs to be made, providing information about the options and outcomes, and by clarifying personal values" (source: OHRI: Patient Decision Aids). This project will set up a mechanism to add to the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal content from a citizen-focused evidence database of decision aids through a collaboration with University of Ottawa, and will include pilot monitoring and evaluation work on this proposed new feature of the Portal.

Evaluating the impact of the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal on knowledge, behavioural intentions and health behaviours related to physical mobility

Susannah Watson, Sarah Neil-Sztramko, Julie Richardson, Maureen Dobbins and Jenna Smith
From left: Susannah Watson, Sarah Neil-Sztramko, Julie Richardson, Maureen Dobbins and Jenna Smith


Maureen Dobbins, Sarah Neil-Sztramko, Julie Richardson, Jenna Smith, Susannah Watson

Project Description:

The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal was launched in 2014 to increase public access to trustworthy health information. The Portal helps readers to access evidence-based resources; identify trustworthy messages; and understand scientific findings. Now we want to know whether using the Portal changes what people know and do to stay healthy and mobile as they age.

This project will help us to: 

1) Understand how older adults (age 65+) use the Portal to obtain information about maintaining and improving mobility.
2) Evaluate whether or not use of the Portal results in a change in knowledge or behaviour that may help maintain or improve mobility with age.

Co-design and production of a user-optimized communication toolbox for delivering research evidence to older adults

Rebecca Ganann, Alfonso Iorio, Cynthia Lokker, Stephen Gentles
From left: Rebecca Ganann, Alfonso Iorio, Cynthia Lokker, Stephen Gentles


Alfonso Iorio, Rebecca Ganann, Stephen J. Gentles, Ruta Valaitis, Cynthia Lokker

Project Description:

The Optimal Aging Portal is valuable source of health research information for aging Canadians. Feedback suggests that alternative ways of communicating OAP Evidence Summaries may be needed to better address diverse older adult user needs. This project will:

  1. Engage older adults to co-design a communication toolbox (i.e., technology, content focus and format) for delivering evidence-informed health content to older adult portal users
  2. Apply the resulting design requirements to the production of a new communication toolbox (up to three new information and communication tools) for Evidence Summaries
  3. Evaluate the process of older adult engagement in collaborative design and whether the new toolbox meets initial expectations.