One of the most critical issues impeding improvements in public health today is the enormous gap between what we know can optimize health and healthcare and what actually gets implemented in everyday practice. The science of dissemination and implementation (D&I) seeks to address this gap by understanding how to best ensure that evidence-based strategies to improve health and prevent disease are effectively delivered in clinical and public health practice.
- D&I research draws from a variety of behavioral and social science disciplines and employs approaches and methods that in the past have not been taught comprehensively in most graduate degree programs.
- Though this field of research has gained incredible momentum in recent years, there remains a need to grow a cadre of both new and established scientists who are prepared to (1) address the complex process of bridging research and practice in a variety of real-world settings and to (2) conduct research that balances rigor with relevance and employs study designs and methods appropriate for the complex processes involved in dissemination and implementation.
Dissemination research is the systematic study of processes and factors that lead to widespread use of an evidence-based intervention by the target population. Its focus is to identify the best methods that enhance the uptake and utilization of the intervention.1
Implementation research seeks to understand the processes and factors that are associated with successful integration of evidence-based interventions within a particular setting (e.g., a worksite or school). Implementation research assesses whether the core components of the original intervention were faithfully incorporated into the real-world setting (i.e., the degree of fidelity of the disseminated and implemented intervention with the original study) and is also concerned with the adaptation of the implemented intervention to the local context.1
Harvard University and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, with support from the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Mental Health, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, Office of Disease Prevention), and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, are sponsoring this 5-day training institute to provide participants with a thorough grounding in conducting dissemination and implementation research in health. Faculty and guest lecturers will consist of leading experts (practitioners and teachers) in theory, implementation and evaluation approaches to D&I, creating partnerships and multi-level, transdisciplinary research teams, research design, methods and analyses appropriate for D&I investigations and conducting research at different and multiple levels of intervention (e.g., clinical, community, policy).
Participants will be expected to return to their home institutions prepared to share what they have learned at the institute to help grow the field of D&I research (e.g., giving talks, leading seminars, forming new collaborations, mentoring, and submitting D&I grant proposals, etc.).
For a background on the training institute, please see the Implementation Science 2013 8:12 article published January 24, 2013: The U.S. training institute for dissemination and implementation research in health.
1 Rabin, B.A., Brownson, R.C., Haire-Joshu, D., Kreuter, M.W., & Weaver, N.L. (2008). A Glossary for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health. Journal of Public Health Management Practice, 14, 117-123.