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PEN - The Global Resource for Nutrition Knowledge Translation

Date and Location




Saturday 21 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Beth Armour

Contact person

Jayne Thirsk
Abstract text
Background: Dietitians translate research into practice when applying the science of nutrition to the feeding and education of individuals or groups in health and disease. Maintaining currency is challenging when knowledge is constantly expanding. In 2005 Dietitians of Canada launched a dynamic knowledge translation subscription service called Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition (PEN) for dietitians, including those working in two Canadian provincial government call centres. Establishing international partnerships required modifying PEN processes of knowledge translation. Methods: Collaborating authors from each global partner use protocols to identify, analyse and synthesise the evidence to create new or update existing practice questions, practice-based evidence toolkits/guidance summaries and client resources, the key components of PEN. While the evidence to develop these components comes from the international literature, including Cochrane Systematic Reviews, global partners have customised PEN to take into account national reference documents e.g. nutrient reference values and dietary guidelines. Additional partners have meant enrichment in knowledge pathway content and usage data is helping to prioritise pathways for revision or development. Partners have used online tutorials, webinars and conference workshops to build capacity and maximise use by practitioners, and to encourage contribution to the PEN knowledge pool. Results: As of February 2013 there were 169 knowledge pathways, 1044 practice questions and 3341 resources. Usage data indicates that client handouts are often accessed more than practice questions. Social media confirms the popularity of PEN with distribution to 12,000 first year PEN eNews subscribers and greater than 1500 followers on each of Facebook and Twitter. Universities report PEN as a tool to support student studies and for students to gain recognition by refining their critical appraisal skills and contributing to the global knowledge pool. Conclusions: Problem solving and cooperation within the global partnership has enabled the development of PEN as a valuable international resource for practitioners.