The transfer of knowledge on integrated care among five European regions: a qualitative multi-method study

Research article published on BMC Health Services Research. 2020 January 3

AUTHORS: L. Grooten, H. Vrijhoef, T. Alhambra-Borrás, D. Whitehouse, D. Devroey.


To examine how the knowledge transfer processes unfolded within SCIROCCO, a EU funded project (3rd Health Programme (2014–2020)) that aimed to facilitate the process of knowledge sharing across five European regions, to speed up adoption and scaling-up of integrated care initiatives.

A qualitative multi-method design was used. Data collection methods included focus groups, project documents and action plans of the regions. The data was analysed using a qualitative content-analysis procedure, which was guided by the frameworks of knowledge exchange and the why, whose, what, how framework for knowledge mobilisers.

All five components (including the themes) of knowledge exchange could be identified in the approach developed on the knowledge transfer processes. The four questions and accompanying categories of the framework of knowledge mobilisation were also identified to a large degree.

The observed incorporation of distinct forms of knowledge from multiple sources and the observed dynamic and fluid knowledge transfer processes both suggest that SCIROCCO developed a comprehensive knowledge transfer approach aiming to enable the adoption and scaling-up of integrated care. Overall, the multi-method qualitative nature of this research has allowed some new and practical insights in the knowledge transfer activities on integrated care between several European regions. To obtain a clear understanding of the content of the knowledge transfer approaches, which could assist the operationalising of models to support the evaluation of knowledge transfer activities, it is strongly recommended that further research of this type should be conducted in other research settings.

Keywords: transfer of knowledge, integrated care,  European regions, qualitative multi-method study