Provincial stakeholder's perceptions of barriers, opportunities, and communication strategies for using research evidence to inform youth sport delivery


The purposes of this study were to examine barriers, opportunities, and preferred communication strategies in the use of research evidence to inform the delivery of youth sport. Using descriptive qualitative methodology (Mayan, 2009), data were collected via individual semi-structured interviews (M = 43 minutes, range 23-84 minutes) with 12 executive or technical directors (4 female, 8 male) of different Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs). Interviews were transcribed verbatim and underwent thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The major barriers identified by participants were time and capacity (i.e., funding, being understaffed), knowing what research exists and where to find credible sources, and the lack of appropriate communication from researchers with stakeholders. The opportunities that the stakeholders saw were using research as a way to educate their constituents (i.e., coaches, parents, athletes), to increase athlete retention and recruitment, and to help inform organizational policies. Participants stated that single page research summaries, with links to full text articles, written in accessible language and clearly outlined practical implications would be their preferred method of receiving research information. Participants also expressed interest in receiving research updates via newsletters, so they remain up-to-date with current research. Overall, the results of this study showed that representatives of PSOs were interested in using research to inform their practice and policy and revealed information that may help researchers bridge the research-to-practice gap in youth sport.

Acknowledgments: This project is funded by SSHRC Partnership Development Grant #890-2014-0022