Knowledge Mobilisation in Safeguarding Adults and Children for Healthcare in England

Maria T. Clark*, Edlira Vakaj, Karolina N. Biernat, Louise K. McKnight, Fiona Cowdell

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Safeguarding for healthcare involves working together to protect adults, children, and young people at risk of harm. 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) sought to explore how safeguarding knowledge is mobilised to enable practitioners to use research effectively. This synthesis aimed to bridge the theory-practice gap in 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 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, including abuse.
    A critical interpretive synthesis was undertaken using KMb theory and computer assisted modelling technologies for secondary thematic analysis of complex literature of relevance, including qualitative research, reviews, and reports. 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 movement between practice engagement and influencing actions for adult and/or child protection.
    KMb might be useful to supporting the implementation of evidence-based safeguarding for 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 hybrid synthesising of safeguarding functions and impacts for healthcare, to enable practitioners to protect adults and children from multiple harms, including violence and abuse.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number6080695
    JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 19 Oct 2023


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