Synthesis Maps

CanIMPACT collaborated with the Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) at OCAD University to create synthesis maps which represent research findings as visual knowledge translation tools. Synthesis mapping involves five stages:

  1. domain and literature research;
  2. expert interviews and content analysis using visual note taking;
  3. initial knowledge synthesis into preliminary maps;
  4. peer critique of preliminary maps; and
  5. iterative final map design.

Figure 1. Draft map to illustrate the iterative design process.

Following initial consultations with our Patient Advisory Committee and CanIMPACT Investigators, the sLab team (led by Dr. Peter Jones) determined that a single clinical system map would not sufficiently represent a patient-centred orientation to cancer care. Therefore 2 synthesis maps were created, including:

  1. Clinical map, which depicts the complex care process that breast and colorectal cancer patients experience in Canada, and
  2. Patient map, which represents the breast and colorectal cancer experience from the patient’s point of view.

CanImpact Synthesis Map: Canadian Clinical System of Primary Care in the Cancer Continuum

Figure 2. CanIMPACT Clinical Synthesis Map (PDF)

CanImpact Synthesis Map: Patient Experience of Primary Care in the Cancer Continuum A Relationship-Centred View of Breast and Co

Figure 3. CanIMPACT Patient Experience Synthesis Map (PDF)

The final maps were presented at a number of cancer research conferences, as well as as the Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium and Stanford Medicine X. The synthesis maps development process was described in the April 2017 issue of Current Oncology.

Jones P, Shakdher S, Singh P. Synthesis maps: Visual knowledge translation for the CanIMPACT clinical system and patient cancer journeys. Curr Oncol. 2017;24(2):129-34.

For more information on synthesis maps, please visit the sLab website.