Needs Assessment

Under the leadership of TREKK Co-Director Dr. Shannon Scott, the TREKK team at the University of Alberta designed and implemented a needs assessment. With both quantitative and qualitative elements, the purpose of this needs assessment was to understand the knowledge needs and preferences of two communities:

  1. Health care professionals (HCP) working in general emergency departments (TREKK sites)

  2. Health consumers (HC) – families/caregivers who bring their children to general emergency departments for care

Quantitative Needs Assessment

TREKK coordinators from Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) visited associated TREKK sites (general emergency departments) between May 2012 and October 2013 to collect data via iPad surveys. Separate surveys were available for healthcare providers and health consumers with the option to complete in French or English. 

Receptor communities responded overwhelmingly to our request to complete these surveys – 1,471 healthcare provider and 897 health consumer surveys were completed across 32 general emergency departments, resulting in the largest known Knowledge Needs Assessment of emergency care in Canada. 


Qualitative Needs Assessment

The qualitative portion of the needs assessment phase was designed to follow survey data collection and obtain further clarity and a more in-depth understanding of the survey data. Seven TREKK sites were purposefully sampled for maximum variation by region of Canada, geography of the emergency department (remote, urban, rural), size of the emergency department (small or large), and logistical considerations (travel costs and availability of sites). Representatives from the needs assessment team and TREKK coordinators visited these sites between June and November 2013 to conduct focus groups with health care professionals to obtain more detailed information on initial needs assessment trends.

During the focus groups, preliminary data from the health care professionals survey was fed back to participants to see how well the results matched their experiences, preferences and clinical environment. Additional questions were also asked about gaps in procedural skill information and best approaches for creating a knowledge mobilization network. In total, 58 health care professionals participated in the qualitative needs assessment across two urban, three rural and two remote sites.


The information gathered from this phase has helped to identify priority topics and methods to develop resources and share evidence.

Related publications:   

January 2017 Needs Assessment Results Publication: 

Pediatric information seeking behaviour, information needs, and information preferences of health care professionals in general emergency departments: Results from the Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK) Needs Assessment

June 2016 Needs Assessment publication: 

Feasibility of an Electronic Survey on iPads with In-Person Data Collectors for Data Collection with Health Care Professionals and Health Care Consumers in General Emergency Departments


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