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Knowledge Mobilisation in Safeguarding for Healthcare in England

Clark, Maria T.; Vakaj, Edlira; Beirnat, Karolina N.; McKnight, K. Louise; Cowdell, Fiona


Edlira Vakaj

Karolina N. Beirnat

K. Louise McKnight

Fiona Cowdell


Safeguarding for healthcare involves working together to protect adults, children, and young people at risk of harm and abuse. Despite global research and national guidance outlining health professionals’ roles in this regard, there is limited knowledge about the type of strategies employed to mobilise safeguarding research to practitioners in England. Our critical interpretive synthesis (CIS) seeks to explore how safeguarding knowledge is (or might be) mobilised to enable practitioners to use research evidence effectively. This synthesis aimed to identify how to bridge the theory-practice gap by mobilising safeguarding knowledge to practitioners. Knowledge mobilisation (KMb) is an emerging discipline concerned with moving knowledge across communities to catalyse change. This review aimed to build an understanding about how safeguarding knowledge is mobilised for healthcare in England; to synthesise the type of approaches undertaken to protect adults and children from harms related to abuse.

A critical interpretive synthesis was undertaken using KMb theory and computer assisted modelling technologies for secondary thematic analysis. Few papers informed how safeguarding knowledge is mobilised for healthcare in England. Learning from experience dominated the literature in three ways, i) crisis response, ii) practice engagement, and iii) influencing actions (for best practice). Embedding safeguarding knowledge and skills in healthcare settings usually followed a crisis response. Learning from experience showed a movement between practice engagement and influencing actions for adult and/or child protection.

KMb might be a useful approach to supporting the implementation of evidence-based safeguarding in practice. CIS identified a gap in how safeguarding research is mobilised to practitioners for healthcare. KMb theory provided an analytical bridge to computer assisted modelling of factors associated with moving learning from experience to learning in practice. Future research could build on the hybrid synthesising of safeguarding functions and impacts for healthcare, to enable practitioners to protect adults and children from harms associated with abuse.


Clark, M. T., Vakaj, E., Beirnat, K. N., McKnight, K. L., & Cowdell, F. Knowledge Mobilisation in Safeguarding for Healthcare in England. Manuscript submitted for publication

Journal Article Type Article
Deposit Date Jan 27, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 27, 2023
Print ISSN 0966-0410
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL


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