Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 1990

Full Length Research Paper

Developing a knowledge exchange tool for school-based health policies and programs

Lynn Planinac1*, Scott T. Leatherdale2, Steve R. Manske3 and Meghan Arbour4
  1University of Toronto, Department of Public Health Sciences, 155 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 2Division of Preventive Oncology at Cancer Care Ontario, 620 University Avenue, Toronto,  Ontario, Canada. 3Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.  University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. 4Population Health Research Group, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 December 2007
  •  Published: 31 January 2008



Youth smoking and physical inactivity are significant public health issues, with implications for both health and education stakeholders, as school-based policies and programs have the potential to reach a broad population of youth to address these issues. Knowledge exchange tools designed around comprehensive school-level data collection systems allow for dissemination of evidence into such policies and programs. The purpose of this manuscript is to describe the process of developing knowledge exchange feedback reports for school-based health policies and programs, using the School Health Action, Planning and Evaluation System (SHAPES) data collection system. SHAPES-Ontario is a project that utilized the SHAPES research platform to collect student-level behavioural data and school-level policy and programs data on tobacco and physical activity in 81 secondary schools across Ontario, Canada. Methods used to develop the feedback reports involved categorizing and scoring survey response options based on extensive research evidence and expert feedback. Feedback report scores were aggregated into overall grades and presented in a short and long version of a feedback report for school administrators. These reports present prime examples of how to use the principles of knowledge exchange in developing a tool to bridge the gap between research and practice.


Keywords: Secondary schools, health policies, tobacco, smoking, physical activity