Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

An interdisciplinary knowledge translation intervention in long-term care: Study protocol for the vitamin D and osteoporosis study (ViDOS) pilot cluster randomized controlled trial

Courtney C Kennedy123*, George Ioannidis14, Lora M Giangregorio5, Jonathan D Adachi14, Lehana Thabane3, Suzanne N Morin6, Richard G Crilly7, Sharon Marr12, Robert G Josse8, Lynne Lohfeld3, Laura E Pickard12, Susanne King12, Mary-Lou van der Horst12, Glenda Campbell9, Jackie Stroud9, Lisa Dolovich10, Anna M Sawka11, Ravi Jain12, Lynn Nash10 and Alexandra Papaioannou12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1, Canada

2 Hamilton Health Sciences - St. Peter's Hospital, Juravinski Research Centre, 88 Maplewood Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario L8M 1W9, Canada

3 Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, McMaster University, 1280 Main St. West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1, Canada

4 Charlton Medical Centre, 25 Charlton Ave East, Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 1Y2, Canada

5 Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave West, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1, Canada

6 Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, MUHC-Montreal General Hospital, 1650 Cedar Avenue, Montreal, QC, H3G 1A4, Canada

7 Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, The University of Western Ontario, Parkwood Hospital, 801 Commissioners Rd. East, London, Ontario, N6C 5J1, Canada

8 Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Toronto, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

9 Medical Pharmacies Group Limited, 590 Granite Court, Pickering, Ontario, L1W 3X6, Canada

10 Department of Family Medicine, McMaster Innovation Park, 175 Longwood Road South, Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 0A1, Canada

11 Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Toronto General Hospital, 200 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2C4, Canada

12 Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy, Osteoporosis Canada, 1090 Don Mills Road, Suite 301, Toronto, Ontario, M3C 3R6, Canada

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Implementation Science 2012, 7:48  doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-48

Published: 24 May 2012



Knowledge translation (KT) research in long-term care (LTC) is still in its early stages. This protocol describes the evaluation of a multifaceted, interdisciplinary KT intervention aimed at integrating evidence-based osteoporosis and fracture prevention strategies into LTC care processes.

Methods and design

The Vitamin D and Osteoporosis Study (ViDOS) is underway in 40 LTC homes (n = 19 intervention, n = 21 control) across Ontario, Canada. The primary objectives of this study are to assess the feasibility of delivering the KT intervention, and clinically, to increase the percent of LTC residents prescribed ≥800 IU of vitamin D daily. Eligibility criteria are LTC homes that are serviced by our partner pharmacy provider and have more than one prescribing physician. The target audience within each LTC home is the Professional Advisory Committee (PAC), an interdisciplinary team who meets quarterly. The key elements of the intervention are three interactive educational sessions led by an expert opinion leader, action planning using a quality improvement cycle, audit and feedback reports, nominated internal champions, and reminders/point-of-care tools. Control homes do not receive any intervention, however both intervention and control homes received educational materials as part of the Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy. Primary outcomes are feasibility measures (recruitment, retention, attendance at educational sessions, action plan items identified and initiated, internal champions identified, performance reports provided and reviewed), and vitamin D (≥800 IU/daily) prescribing at 6 and 12 months. Secondary outcomes include the proportion of residents prescribed calcium supplements and osteoporosis medications, and falls and fractures. Qualitative methods will examine the experience of the LTC team with the KT intervention. Homes are centrally randomized to intervention and control groups in blocks of variable size using a computer generated allocation sequence. Randomization is stratified by home size and profit/nonprofit status. Prescribing data retrieval and analysis are performed by blinded personnel.


Our study will contribute to an improved understanding of the feasibility and acceptability of a multifaceted intervention aimed at translating knowledge to LTC practitioners. Lessons learned from this study will be valuable in guiding future research and understanding the complexities of translating knowledge in LTC.

Trial registration NCT01398527.

Knowledge translation; Long-term care; Nursing home; Osteoporosis; Fractures; Vitamin D; Multifaceted; Interdisciplinary; Feasibility; Audit and feedback; Reminders; Interactive; Educational meeting; Opinion leader