The return of Alison Hoens in the position of Knowledge Broker

After two wonderful years on secondment to the BC SUPPORT Unit (, I am excited to return to the Physical Therapy Knowledge Broker (PT KB) position to reignite existing relationships and projects and to establish new ones.

Given that there has been an absence of a Knowledge Broker for the last two years, it may be helpful to provide a brief refresher on the PT KB position, roles / activities:

  • 0.5 FTE, funded equally by The UBC Department of Physical Therapy, PABC and the Vancouver Coastal Research Institute
  • Functions as a bridge between the worlds of practice, research and policy. There are five primary roles:
    • Supporting co-development of new knowledgee. bringing teams of clinicians, researchers, healthcare decision-makers and patients together to work on issues of shared relevance
    • Facilitating synthesis of existing knowledge with a focus on developing tools/resources that are meaningful and useful e.g., development of toolkits that provide evidence-informed options for care
    • Facilitating effective dissemination/sharing of information
    • Providing guidance in identifying barriers to use of knowledge/tools and the targeted solutions to address these barriers
    • Fostering capacity for evidence-informed practice g. providing opportunities for others to enhance knowledge/skills/experience

What’s new?

The two new projects that were selected by the PT KB Steering Committee to move forward from proposals submitted in February 2019 are:

1. Resisted Exercise Initiative (RExI)

The current volume and level of acuity of elderly patients in acute care settings challenges physical therapists to address all needs.  One area of practice that is receiving increasing attention is the use of resistance exercise for elderly patients in BC hospitals. There are four objectives for this project: (1) to determine current practice, (2) to identify opportunities to support enhanced practice, (3) to undertake knowledge translation (KT) strategies to target barriers that support the use of resisted exercise, and (4) to evaluate the effect of the KT strategies. The members of the team undertaking this project are: Patient Partner Marilyn Campbell and PTs Chiara Singh, Lori Hendry, Coleen Lapurga, Janet Lundie, Maylinda Urbina, Maha Elashi, PJ Lynd, Pamela McClelland, Angela Pace, Susanne Watson, Melissa Idle, Kristi Gerevas and Dr. Jasmin Ma.

2. Knowledge Translation for Pain Science Division (KT4PSD)

The Pain Science Division (PSD) of CPA has developed a number of resources (knowledge tools) available to support Canadian Physiotherapists to provide evidence-informed practice in pain management. Member surveys have indicated a reduction in awareness of the availability and use of these tools. The objectives of the  KT4PSD project are (1) to determine current awareness, use, barriers/facilitators to use of the PSD tools, (2) to undertake KT strategies to target barriers to use of the tools and (3) to evaluate the effect of the of KT strategies. BC PT Tori Etheridge is the lead of this national project.

Update on the Physical Activity Support Kit Initiative (PASKI)

PASKI, launched in 2014, is a PT KB facilitated project to develop a toolkit of resources to help persons living with chronic disease to be more physically active. It addresses a gap in vetted, user-friendly and evidence-based information and resources to support physical activity for both clinicians working with, and persons living with chronic disease (PWCD). The following diagram illustrates the process undertaken by the over 100 patients, clinicians and researchers who have generously donated their time to this project:





We are pleased to be working with HealthLink BC who will host the toolkit “ACTIVE 4 life: Resources to support activity for chronic health conditions”. Stay tuned for the launch.

Upcoming Activities– Webinars, hosted by PABC, with UBC Dept of PT Faculty

Two webinars with UBC Department of PT faculty are planned for the fall. On October 22nd, Dr Jackie Whittaker will join me in exploring the accuracy of diagnostic imaging in Ortho/MSK conditions. Dr Michael Hunt will co-present the second webinar, on November 13th, exploring the evidence and issues related to the use of orthotics for MSK lower limb pain. Please contact PABC ( if you are interested in joining us remotely or in accessing a recording of these webinars.