Knowledge Translation Capacity of Arts-informed Dissemination: A Narrative Study


  • Jennifer L Lapum Ryerson University
  • Linda Liu Toronto General Hospital
  • Kathryn Church Ryerson University
  • Sarah Hume
  • Bailey Harding
  • Siyuan Wang
  • Megan Nguyen
  • Gideon Cohen Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Terrence M Yau Toronto General Hospital



Arts-informed dissemination, knowledge translation, cardiovascular population, aesthetics, implementation science, research uptake, installation art, poetry, photographic imagery



Arts-informed dissemination is an expanding approach to enhancing knowledge translation in the health sciences. Problematic is the minimal evaluation studies and the rare reporting of the influencing factors of knowledge translation. “The 7,024th Patient” is a research-derived art installation created to disseminate findings about patients’ experiences of heart surgery and the importance of humanistic patient-centred care approaches. The current study’s purpose was to explore how arts-informed dissemination (i.e., “The 7,024th Patient”) influenced healthcare practitioners’ delivery of care.


An arts-informed narrative study was guided by the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services framework. The sample included a multi-disciplinary group of 19 individuals who worked with patients undergoing and recovering from heart surgery. Two interviews were conducted with each participant at the time of viewing the installation and 6 months later. A narrative analysis was conducted using Pictorial Narrative Mapping techniques.


Study findings indicated that the arts as a form of evidence provide an experiential and aesthetic encounter, which stimulated reflective practice. Participants’ accounts reflected cognitive and behavioral modifications related to empathy, holistic approaches and relational care. However, the complexities associated with the interpretive process and the influencing knowledge translation elements indicated a need to dialogue about the translation process, including deconstructing the evidence within the context of one’s own practice.


Art is not just works of beauty or eccentric paintings. There is an imaginative and aesthetic capacity that can be cultivated with diligence, creativity, and rigour in the world of healthcare research and knowledge translation. Next steps require the examination of the knowledge translation capacity of different art forms with a range of populations and disciplines. Additionally, this study suggests the need to explore arts-informed dissemination that draws upon a more dialogical intervention in which knowledge users are involved in the interpretive processes of knowledge translation.

Author Biographies

Jennifer L Lapum, Ryerson University

Dr. Jennifer Lapum is an Associate Professor in the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing. She is a poet and arts-based researcher in the health sciences.

Linda Liu, Toronto General Hospital

Linda Liu is a Registered Nurse in the multi-organ transplant unit. She uses arts-informed and narrative methods in her research.


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How to Cite

Lapum, J. L., Liu, L., Church, K., Hume, S., Harding, B., Wang, S., … Yau, T. M. (2016). Knowledge Translation Capacity of Arts-informed Dissemination: A Narrative Study. Art/Research/International:/A/Transdisciplinary/Journal, 1(1), 258–282.