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Using Concept Mapping to Develop a Conceptual Framework for Creating Virtual Communities of Practice to Translate Cancer Research into Practice

Figure 1 consists of 9 polygons. Each polygon is numbered 1 through 9, and each represents a cluster of conceptually similar issues. The first cluster on the upper left side of the map is labeled Standardization/Best Practices. Navigating the map in a counter clockwise fashion, the second cluster is labeled External Validity; the third cluster, Funding/Resources; the fourth cluster, Social Learning and Collaboration; the fifth cluster, Cooperation; the sixth cluster, Partnerships; the seventh cluster, Inclusiveness; the eighth cluster, Social Determinants/Cultural Competency; and the ninth cluster, located in the center of the map, is labeled preparing the Environment. Numbers appear at various points on each polygon. Each numbered point represents a statement or issue for creating successful government-sponsored virtual communities of practice to move cancer control research into practice. The numbered points in Polygon 1, Standardization/Best Practices, are 1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 21, 28, 29, 45, 57, 64. The numbered points in Polygon 2, External Validity, are 33, 35, 48, and 62; Polygon 3, Funding/Resources, 15, 23, 25, 27, 44, 51, 54, 55, 60, 65; Polygon 4, Social Learning/Collaboration, 13, 20, 49, 63, 67; Polygon 5, Cooperation, 4, 6, 12, 17, 22, 34, 38, 41, 43, 46, 52, 53, 59, 70; Polygon 6, Partnerships, 30, 40, 42, 47, 56, 68; Polygon 7, Inclusiveness, 24, 58, 66, 69; Polygon 8, Social Determinants/Cultural Competency, 8, 14, 16, 18, 19, 26, 36, 37, 61; Polygon 9, Preparing the Environment, 3, 10, 11, 31, 32, 39, 50. The issue or statement associated with each number is given in the Appendix.

Figure 1. Point cluster map depicting a conceptual framework for creating federally sponsored virtual communities of practices for moving cancer control research into practice. Each number within a cluster indicates a specific statement or issue and how it was sorted in phase 2 of the study (see Appendix for the list of statements associated with each cluster). The position of a statement number within the cluster is significant: it depicts that statement’s relationship to other statements in the figure.

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Figure 2 is a pattern match showing the correlation between the average importance rating for each cluster for each of the 3 subgroups and how each group conceptualizes the issues related to the creation of successful virtual communities of practice. It also shows where there are areas of similarities or differences between groups. The first rating in the figure shows how researchers rated each cluster of issues on an importance range of 4.09. Partnerships were rated highest in importance (4.09) followed in descending order by cooperation, funding and resources, inclusiveness, standardization and best practices, preparing the environment, social learning and collaboration, and external validity. Social determinants and cultural competency was rated the lowest on importance (3.43) by researchers.

The second rating in the figure shows how 17 intermediaries rated the importance of domains of issues with ratings ranging from 3.40 to 3.82. Intermediaries rated preparing the environment highest on importance (3.82) followed in descending order by partnerships, cooperation, standardization and best practices, inclusiveness, social determinants and cultural competency, external validity, and social learning and collaboration. Intermediaries rated funding and resources lowest in importance (3.40). The correlation between research and intermediary ratings was 0.43.

Twenty public health practitioners rated clusters of issues in a range from 3.51 to 4.08. Practitioners rated partnership highest on importance (4.08) followed in descending order by cooperation, inclusiveness, preparing the environment, standardization and best practices, funding and resources, social determinants and cultural competency, social learning and collaboration. Practitioners rated external validity lowest on importance (3.51). The correlation between practitioner and researcher ratings was 0.83, and the correlation between practitioners and intermediaries was 0.71.

Figure 2. Pattern match of areas of importance for creating government-sponsored virtual communities of practice, by group.

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