Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of completing my practicum with the knowledge translation (KT) team of the Canadian Population Attributable Risk of Cancer (ComPARe) study. This team consists of individuals from both the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and Cancer Care Ontario (CCO). My practicum was unique in that I was co-supervised by a member of CCS and a member of CCO, which gave me the opportunity to work with and learn from both organizations.
The ComPARe study utilized an integrated knowledge translation (iKT) approach in which knowledge users (individuals or organizations who will be applying the study results in their work) were engaged in the study process. The KT team took the lead in planning and implementing all knowledge translation activities for the ComPARe study. Throughout my placement, I had the opportunity to help develop a variety of knowledge products, assist with the dissemination of the study and undertake a few of the evaluation activities. Through my work with the ComPARe study, I witnessed how integrating knowledge users into the research process not only enhanced the relevance of the study, it greatly impacted how the research findings were used and how many people they reached.
I was immediately attracted to the ComPARe study and this practicum placement given my interest in cancer prevention. Prior to starting my Masters, I worked in oncology clinical trials. After working in treatment research, I wanted to switch gears and work towards preventing cancer and reducing the impact of cancer on Canadians. When joining the ComPARe team, I valued the opportunity to work with a pan-Canadian team of cancer prevention researchers and individuals with interests in alignment with my own. The overarching goal of the results of the ComPARe study are to impact cancer prevention decision making, inform program development and influence behaviour change among Canadians to decrease the burden of cancer in Canada.
In a short time after the release of the study, I was able to see the results of the study being used such as in the CCS federal election platform, as well see the excitement of future possibilities in CCS and across provincial cancer agencies. In the long term, I hope to see the results of this study influence large-scale changes to reduce the risk of cancer among Canadians and reduce the overall burden of cancer in Canada.
Lastly, I am excited to continue to use the results of this incredible study in my work as I begin my career in cancer prevention.
Apiramy Jeyapalan, MPH
Project Coordinator, Knowledge Translation, Canadian Cancer Society (Former MPH student)
ComPARe study Knowledge Translation team