Heather Colquhoun

Heather ColquhounAssistant Professor

Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
(416) 978-1817



Current research suggests that approximately 30-40% of the health care delivered is not consistent with recommended best practices, and 20-40% of the care delivered is of no benefit or even harmful. As a knowledge translation (KT) scientist, Heather’s research focuses on how best to improve these percentages. Her work is currently focused on measuring care gaps in rehabilitation, designing KT interventions to close gaps with a focus on audit and feedback, and developing and applying theories and frameworks to improve our ability to design effective KT interventions. Heather also studies the methodologies used to design and report scoping reviews.

Research Interests

Knowledge translation, evidence-to-practice gaps, chronic conditions, outcome measurement, theory application, knowledge-user engagement, audit and feedback, scoping reviews, systematic reviews, tailored interventions, intervention reporting.

Selected PublicationsAll PublicationsKeywords
  1. Colquhoun, H., Levac, D., O’Brien, K., Straus, S., Tricco, A., Perrier, L., Kastner, M., & Moher, D. (2014). Scoping reviews: Time for clarity in definition, methods, and reporting. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 67, 1291-1294.
  2. Colquhoun H, Leeman J, Michie S, Lokker C, Bragge P, Hempel S, McKibbon KA, Peters GJY, Stevens KR, Wilson MG, Grimshaw J. (2014). Towards a common terminology: a simplified framework of interventions to promote and integrate evidence into health practices, systems, and policies. Implementation Science 2014, 9:51. DOI: 10.1186/1748-5908-9-51.
  3. Ivers, N., Sales, A., Colquhoun, H., Michie, S., Foy, R., Francis, J., & Grimshaw, J. (2014). No more ‘business as usual’ with audit and feedback interventions: Towards an agenda for a reinvigorated intervention. Implementation Science, 9:14. DOI: 10.1186/1748-5908-9-14
  4. Mathew, D., McKibbon, A., Lokker, C., & Colquhoun, H. (2014). “WhatisKT wiki: a platform for knowledge translation terms and definitions – survey of wiki users”. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16(1):e21. URL: http://www.jmir.org/2014/1/e21/ doi: 10.2196/jmir.3001
  5. Urquhart, R., Cornelissen, E., Lal, S., Colquhoun, H., Klein, G., Richmond, S., & Witteman, H. (2013). A community of practice for knowledge translation trainees: an innovative approach for learning and collaboration. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 33(4).
  6. Colquhoun HL, Brehaut JC, Sales A, Ivers N, Grimshaw J, Michie S, Carroll K, Chalifoux M, & Eva KW. (2013). A systematic review of the use of theory in randomized controlled trials of audit and feedback. Implementation Science, 8:66. DOI: 10.1186/1748-5908-8-66.
  7. McKibbon KA, Lokker C, Keepanasseril A, Colquhoun H, Haynes RB, Wilczynski NL. (2012). WhatisKT wiki: a case study of a platform for knowledge translation terms and definitions-Descriptive analysis. Implementation Science, 8:13.
  8. Colquhoun, H., Letts, L. J., Law, M. C., Macdermid, J. C., & Missiuna, C. A. (2012). Administration of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure: Effect on practice. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy. 79(2), 120-129.
  9. Letts, L., Martin Ginis, K. A., Faulknew, G., Colquhoun, H., Levac, D., & Gorczynski, P. (2011). Preferred Methods and Messengers for Delivering Physical Activity Information to People with Spinal Cord Injury: A Focus Group Study. Rehabilitation Psychology, 56(2), 128-137.
  10. Cornelissen, E., Urquhart, R., Chan, V., DeForge, R., Colquhoun, H., Sibbald, S., & Witteman, H. (2011). Creating a knowledge translation trainee collaborative: from conceptualization to lessons learned in the first year. Implementation Science, 6:98. doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-98.
  11. Colquhoun, H., Letts, L., Law, M., MacDermid, J., & Edwards, M. (2010). Routine administration of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure: Effect on functional outcome. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 57(2), 111-117.
  12. Colquhoun, H., Letts, L., Law, M., MacDermid, J., & Edwards, M. (2010). Clinical utility of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure for routine use. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 73(2), 48-54.
  13. Colquhoun, H., Letts, L. J., Law, M. C., Macdermid, J. C., & Missiuna, C. A. (2010) A scoping review of the use of theory in studies of knowledge translation, Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 77, 270-279. doi: 10.2182/cjot.2010.77.5.3.
  14. Levac, D., Colquhoun, H., & O’Brien, K. (2010). Scoping studies: advancing the methodology. Implementation Science, 5:69. doi:10.1186/1748-5908-5-69.
  • Knowledge Translation
  • Implementation Science
  • Occupational Therapy
Recent Thesis/Projects Supervised

Heather is currently accepting MSc and PhD students.

Current Courses
  • OCT1141H Assessment in Occupational Therapy
Special Lectures /Workshops

Selected Conference Presentations

  1. Colquhoun, H., Rafat, I., Sullivan, K., & Grimshaw, J. (2014). Increasing outcome measure use with a behaviour change lens. Paper presentation. Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists National Conference, Fredericton, NB, May 7-10.
  2. Colquhoun, H., LaMontagne, M., Fiander, M., Duncan, E., & Grimshaw, J. (2014). Increasing outcome measure use in occupational therapy: A systematic review. Paper presentation. Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists National Conference, Fredericton, NB, May 7-10.
  3. Donnelly, C., Colquhoun, H., Cramm, H., Lal, S., LaMontagne, M., & Mofina, A. (2014). Knowledge Translation in Occupational Therapy: The Canadian Landscape. Paper presentation. Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists National Conference, Fredericton, NB, May 7-10.
  4. Colquhoun, H., Brehaut, J., Sales, A., Ivers, N., Grimshaw, J., Michie, S., Carroll, K., & Chalifoux, M., and Eva, K. (2013). What kinds of feedback are given to health care providers? A systematic review. Poster presentation. 35th Annual Meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making, October, 2013.
  5. Levac, D., Colquhoun, H., Glegg, S., Sveistrup, H., Millar, P., Finestone, H., DePaul, V., Wishart, L., Harris, J., Brien, M. (2013). Supporting therapists to integrate virtual reality systems within clinical practice: A knowledge translation study. Poster presentation, Canadian Stroke Congress, October 17 – 20, 2013.
  6. Ivers, N., Grimshaw, J., Colquhoun H., Chignell, M., Brehaut, J., & French, S. (2013). Optimizing The Design And Delivery of Audit And Feedback to Improve Quality of Care, Two-hour Workshop, NAPCRG (North American Primary Care Research Group). Annual Meeting, November 2013.
  7. Colquhoun H, Helis E, Mayhew A, Belanger D, Worswick J, Sullivan K, Taylor M, Lowe D, Hill S, Grimshaw J. (2013). Improving Evidence-based Prescribing: engaging knowledge users in developing and implementing training for a database of interventions. CADTH Symposium. Oral presentation. May 5-7, 2013, St John’s Nfld.
  8. Colquhoun, H., Squires, J., & Grimshaw, J. (2012). Methods for designing interventions for behavioural change: Unpacking the Intervention Design Box. Poster presentation. Knowledge Utilization (KU) Colloquium, Melbourne Australia.
  9. Colquhoun, H., Brehaut, J., Eva, K., Sales, A., Ivers, N., Grimshaw, J., Michie, S., & Carroll, K. (2012). Understanding Audit and Feedback: Applying cognitive theories and constructs to address the ‘intention-behaviour gap’. Paper presentation. 5th Annual NIH Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation, March 19-20.
  10. Colquhoun, H., Cramm, H., White, C., Lal, S., & Shaw, L. (2012). Developing a knowledge translation agenda in occupational therapy. One hour extended discussion session. Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists National Conference, Québec City, QC, June 6-9.
  11. Colquhoun, H., Letts, L., Law, M., Macdermid, J., & Missiuna, C. Routine administration of the COPM: Effect on occupational therapy practice. Paper presentation, June 2011, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists Conference, Saskatoon, Sask.
Invited Presentations
  1. Colquhoun, H. (2013).“Closing evidence-to-practice gaps in rehabilitation”. Invited talk to Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario(CHEO), Education Session. Sponsored by Ottawa Pediatric Rehabilitation Research Alliance in partnership with the CHEO Rehab Research Committee and the OCTC Research Advisory Board. Thurs May 23, 2013, 12-1.
  2. Colquhoun, H., (2013). Terminology issues in knowledge translation, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland.
  3. Colquhoun, H., (2012). Exploring peer mentorship in knowledge translation. Knowledge Translation Trainee Collaborative, Annual Meeting.
  4. Colquhoun, H., (2012). A systematic review of A&F interventions: The good, the bad and the ugly. International Meeting on Audit and Feedback, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.
  5. Colquhoun, H., (2012). The uptake of standardized outcome measures by occupational therapists. Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne Australia.