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Brown ArrowDissemination and Implementation Science

Dissemination is the purposive distribution of information and intervention materials to a specific public health or clinical practice audience. The intent is to spread information and the associated evidence-based interventions. Research on dissemination addresses how information about health promotion and care interventions is created, packaged, transmitted, and interpreted among a variety of important stakeholder groups. [Internet]. 4th Annual NIH Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation: Policy and Practice [cited 30 March 2012].

Implementation science is the study of methods to promote the integration of research findings and evidence into healthcare policy and practice. It seeks to understand the behavior of healthcare professionals and other stakeholders as a key variable in the sustainable uptake, adoption, and implementation of evidence-based interventions. As a newly emerging field, the definition of implementation science and the type of research it encompasses may vary according [to] setting and sponsor. However, the intent of implementation science and related research is to investigate and address major bottlenecks (e.g. social, behavioral, economic, management) that impede effective implementation, test new approaches to improve health programming, as well as determine a causal relationship between the intervention and its impact. [Internet]. NIH Fogarty International Center, Frequently Asked Questions about Implementation Sciences [cited 10 February 2012].

Additional HSR resources related to Implementation Science may be found in the Main Topic pages for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER), and/or Evidence-Based Practice/Health Technology Assessment, and/or Quality .

Quality improvement tools and training for the public health workforce can be found on the Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce site.

Information on this page is not an index of all Dissemination and Implementation Science health services research resources on the Web. Rather, this page contains selective links representing a sample of available information. Items are selected for their quality, authority of authorship, uniqueness, and appropriateness.

Data, Tools, & Statistics

  • AHRQ Data & Surveys - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - AHRQ provides access to a plethora of data and surveys on healthcare access, expenditures, quality, etc.
  • Directory of Implementation Science Training Programs (March, 2011) images/pdf.gif icon - (Health Services Research and Development Service, Veterans Administration (HSR&D))  - This training directory lists fellowships, short-term training programs and other resources for training in the field of dissemination and implementation science (and related fields such as Knowledge Translation, etc.).
  • e-Source: Behavioral and Social Science Research - (Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, NIH (OBSSR))  - This website provides access to 20 interactive chapters with authoritative answers to methodological questions on behavioral and social science research. With contributions from a team of international experts, this anthology provides the latest information on addressing emerging challenges in public health.
  • HSRR (Health Services and Sciences Research Resources) - (National Library of Medicine, National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology)  - HSRR is a searchable database of information about research datasets, instruments/indices and software. Users may examine and compare characteristics of some of the resources employed in Health Services Research, the Behavioral and Social Sciences and Public Health. The database includes brief descriptions of research resources and links to PubMed. It also includes URLs of providers for additional information or access to the resources. HSRR is not a repository of the actual resources.
  • iCollaborative - (Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC))  - The iCollaborative is a service provided by AAMC's MedEdPORTAL that features innovative approaches to medical education, health care delivery, and research. This website provides access to data and publications.
  • PRIMER (Partnership-driven Resources to IMprove and Enhance Research (PRIMER): Research Toolkit - (University of Washington)  - This is a standard research toolkit and website to support practice based researchers. The PRIMER project was funded through an administrative supplement to the University of Washington's Institute for Translational Health Sciences Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (CTSA) UL1 RR025014 from the NIH National Center for Research Resources.
  • Thinking Page - This website provides information on improving organizational and individual thinking. Sections include systems thinking, creativity, cybernetics, cognition and reflexions.
  • Translational Science Search - (National Library of Medicine (NLM) U.S.)  - This is a web application for finding MEDLINE/PubMed journal articles that are regarded by their authors as novel, promising, or may have potential clinical application. A set of "translational" filters and related terms was created by reviewing journal articles published in clinical and translational science (TS) journals. Through E-Utilities, a user's query and TS filters are submitted to PubMed, and then, the retrieved PubMed citations are matched with a database of MeSH terms (for disease conditions) and RxNorm (for interventions) to locate the search term, translational filters found, and associated interventions in the title and abstract. An algorithm ranks the interventions and conditions, and then highlights them in the results page for quick reading and evaluation. Using previously searched terms and standard formulas, the precision and recall of TSS were 0.99 and 0.47, compared to 0.58 and 1.0 for PubMed Entrez, respectively.

Grants, Funding, & Fellowships

  • Directory of Implementation Science Training Programs (March, 2011) images/pdf.gif icon - (Health Services Research and Development Service, Veterans Administration (HSR&D))  - This training directory lists fellowships, short-term training programs and other resources for training in the field of dissemination and implementation science (and related fields such as Knowledge Translation, etc.).
  • Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R01) - (National Institutes of Health (NIH))  - This grant would identify, develop, evaluate and refine effective and efficient methods, systems, infrastructures, and strategies to disseminate and implement research-tested health behavior change interventions, evidence-based prevention, early detection, diagnostic, treatment and management, and quality of life improvement services, and data monitoring and surveillance reporting tools into public health and clinical practice settings that focus on patient outcomes.
  • Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R03) - (National Institutes of Health (NIH))  - This funding opportunity would support a grant to identify, develop, evaluate and refine effective and efficient methods, systems, infrastructures, and strategies to disseminate and implement research-tested health behavior change interventions, evidence-based prevention, early detection, diagnostic, treatment and management, and quality of life improvement services, and data monitoring and surveillance reporting tools into public health and clinical practice settings that focus on patient outcomes.
  • Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R21) - (National Institutes of Health (NIH))  - This research grant would identify, develop, evaluate and refine effective and efficient methods, systems, infrastructures, and strategies to disseminate and implement research-tested health behavior change interventions, evidence-based prevention, early detection, diagnostic, treatment and management, and quality of life improvement services, and data monitoring and surveillance reporting tools into public health and clinical practice settings that focus on patient outcomes.

Guidelines, Journals, Other Publications

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Process for Awarding Recovery Act Funds and Disseminating Results images/pdf.gif icon - (Government Accountability Office (GAO) US)  - According to AHRQ officials, the agency plans to disseminate the results of Recovery Act-funded CER using a range of existing mechanisms. These mechanisms include written products, training programs, social media tools, and AHRQ's website. AHRQ is also developing additional strategies to disseminate CER results. AHRQ awarded four contracts using Recovery Act funds totaling approximately $42.3 million to promote innovative approaches for disseminating CER results. A variety of efforts are conducted under these contracts, including efforts to educate clinicians and develop regional dissemination offices.
  • Dissemination & Implementation Measurement Compendium images/pdf.gif icon - (Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention, University of Connecticut, Storrs (CHIP) US)  - This white paper provides researchers with a synthesis of validated measurement tools designed to assess D&I-related constructs.
  • Implementation Research: A Synthesis of the Literature images/pdf.gif icon - (Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida US)  - This 2005 monograph summarizes findings from the review of the research literature on implementation. The review process began by identifying literature reporting any efforts to collect data on attempts to implement practices or programs in any domain, including agriculture, business, child welfare, engineering, health, juvenile justice, manufacturing, medicine, mental health, nursing and social services.
  • Implementation Science (Biomed Central) - (BioMed Central)  - Implementation Science is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal that aims to publish research relevant to the scientific study of methods to promote the uptake of research findings into routine healthcare in both clinical and policy contexts.
  • Moving from Research to Large-Scale Change in Child Health Care - (Commonwealth Fund)  - Dissemination, diffusion, and implementation (DD&I) science offers a model to identify innovations and understand the preferences, capabilities, and social networks likely to help facilitate adoption. This Commonwealth Fund-supported study outlines how the DD&I model can be used to enhance widespread adoption of innovative care practices that can improve the overall health of children. The authors detail the DD&I process from the initial exploration for practice change to planning, pilot implementation, and organization-wide implementation. The success and sustainability of each model requires constant surveillance and assessment to enable continuous improvement, the authors write.
  • Moving Research Into Practice: Lessons from the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's IDSRN Program - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - AHRQ's Integrated Delivery Systems Research Network (IDSRN) program was established to foster public-private collaboration between health services researchers and health care delivery systems. Its broad goal was to link researchers and delivery systems to encourage implementation of research into practice. The authors evaluated the program to address two primary questions: 1) How successful was IDSRN in generating research findings that could be applied in practice? and 2) What factors facilitate or impede such success?
  • Principles of Community Engagement, 2nd edition images/pdf.gif icon - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))  - This second edition of Principles adheres to the same key principles laid out in the original, 1997 booklet. It distills critical messages from the growing body of information and commentary on this topic. At the same time, it provides more detailed practical information about the application of the principles, and it responds to changes in our larger social context, including the increasing use of "virtual communities" and the growing interest in community-engaged health research.
  • QUERI Resources for Researchers - (Health Services Research and Development Service, Veterans Administration (HSR&D))  - This website provides links to some detailed resources representing the diversity of the field of implementation science.
  • Translating Research Into Practice Fact Sheet (AHRQ) - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - Translation of research findings into sustainable improvements in clinical outcomes and patient outcomes remains a substantial obstacle to improving the quality of care. Up to two decades may pass before the findings of original research become part of routine clinical practice. Translating Research Into Practice-II is an initiative that focuses on implementation techniques and factors associated with successfully translating research findings into diverse applied settings.
  • Translational Behavioral Medicine - (Springer)  - TBM is an international peer-reviewed journal that offers continuous, online-first publication. TBM's mission is to engage, inform, and catalyze dialogue between the research, practice, and policy communities about behavioral medicine. We aim to bring actionable science to practitioners and to prompt debate on policy issues that surround implementing the evidence. TBM's vision is to lead the translation of behavioral science findings to improve patient and population outcomes.

Key Organizations

  • AcademyHealth - (AcademyHealth)  - This site provides access to workshops, meeting agendas and information on implementation science.
  • Accelerating Change and Transformation in Organizations and Networks II (ACTION II) - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - ACTION II is a model of field-based research designed to promote innovation in health care delivery by accelerating the diffusion of research into practice. The ACTION II network includes 17 large partnerships and more than 350 collaborating organizations that provide health care to an estimated 50 percent of the U.S. population. ACTION II promotes and accelerates the development, implementation, dissemination, and sustainability of innovations in health care delivery to increase understanding of how to incorporate evidence-based improvements into routine practice to improve quality of care.
  • Administration for Children and Families - (Administration for Children and Families, HHS (ACF))  - This agency funds and produces publications on implementation science. Information on recent meetings as well as funding opportunities can be found on this site.
  • Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, Center for Primary Care, Prevention and Clinical Partnerships - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - The Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships (CP3) expands the knowledge base for clinical providers and patients and to assure the translation of new knowledge and systems improvement into primary care practice. CP3 supports and conducts research to improve the access, effectiveness, and quality of primary and preventive health care services in the United States.
  • American Association of Medical Colleges - Implementation Science - (Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC))  - As noted on the AAMC website, "The medical community is looking forward to the day when every patient receives proven interventions and treatments based on sound knowledge. In the meantime, a new and growing field of research is attempting to address the what's, how's, and whys underlying inefficiencies and gaps in clinical delivery."
  • Center for Health Education Dissemination and Implementation Research (CHEDIR) - (Center for Health Education Dissemination and Implementation Research (CHEDIR) US)  - CHEDIR's mission is to conduct research on the production and dissemination of applicable concepts and practical tools for the integration of health care research and practice. To serve as a collaborative learning laboratory and a resource to stimulate, support, and evaluate high-priority translational research.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Implementation Science - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))  - For the next phase of PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), increased attention will be given to evaluating the effectiveness and impact of PEPFAR programs; comparing evidence-based program models in complex health, social and economic contexts; and addressing operational questions related to program implementation within existing and developing health systems infrastructures.
  • Clinical & Translational Science Awards - (National Institutes of Health (NIH))  - The Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) program creates a definable academic home for clinical and translational research. CTSA institutions work to transform the local, regional, and national environment to increase the efficiency and speed of clinical and translational research across the country. In 2011, the CTSA Consortium reached its expected size of 60 medical research institutions located throughout the nation; linking them together to energize the discipline of clinical and translational science. The CTSA Consortium is funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Fogarty International Center, NIH - (National Institutes of Health (NIH))  - The Fogarty International Center is investing in implementation science to help researchers determine the most effective way to implement known efficacious interventions in global health settings. This website provides links to resources on implementation science.
  • GEM-Dissemination and Implementation Initiative (GEM-D&I) - (National Cancer Institute, NIH (NCI))  - The Grid-Enabled Measures Database D&I initiative is a project initiated and co-developed by the Cancer Research Network Cancer Communication Research Center at Kaiser Permanente Colorado and the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Division of Cancer Control & Population Sciences. The initiative looks to identify the outcomes and associated measures evidence base to inform D&I research and practice. Its purpose is to create a growing and evolving resource for standardized, vetted D&I measures that can lead to comparable datasets and facilitate collaboration and comparison across disciplines, projects, content areas, and regions.
  • Health Services Research & Development Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, Implementation Science - (Health Services Research and Development Service, Veterans Administration (HSR&D))  - The VA's HSR&D is interested in scientific approaches to developing methods that promote evidence based practices and translate research findings into mainstream practice in clinical settings. Studies in this portfolio explore the context for the implementation of a successful trial or method and actual implementation trials that will encourage the spread of clinical best practices across the VA Healthcare System.
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) - IHI focuses on motivating and building the will for change; identifying and testing new models of care in partnership with both patients and health care professionals; and ensuring the broadest possible adoption of best practices and effective innovations.
  • National Cancer Institute, Cancer Control & Population Sciences - Implementation Science - (National Cancer Institute, NIH (NCI))  - The vision of this group is to achieve the rapid integration of scientific evidence, practice and policy, with the ultimate goal of improving the impact of research on cancer outcomes and promoting health across individual, organizational and community levels. This website provides access to publications, presentations, and funding opportunities.
  • National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) - (National Institutes of Health (NIH))  - Working in partnership with the public and private sectors, this NIH Center will develop innovative ways to reduce, remove or bypass bottlenecks in the research translational pipeline. The mission of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences is to catalyze the generation of innovative methods and technologies that will enhance the development, testing, and implementation of diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of human diseases and conditions.
  • National Implementation Research Network - (National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) US)  - The mission of the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) is to close the gap between science and service by improving the science and practice of implementation in relation to evidence-based programs and practices. This site provides access to publications and research resources.
  • National Institute of Mental Health - Implementation Science - (National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) USA)  - This program includes studies that will contribute to the development of a sound knowledge base on the effective transmission of mental health information to multiple stakeholders and of the process by which efficacious interventions can be adopted within clinical settings.
  • Project HealthDesign - (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF))  - This national program aims to spark innovation in personal health technology.
  • VA HSR&D Successful Implementations - (Health Services Research and Development Service, Veterans Administration (HSR&D))  - This page links to several examples of HSR&D research and collaborative efforts with clinical and operational partners that have had an impact on the health care system and ultimately on the quality of healthcare for Veterans.

Meetings, Conferences, Webinars

  • 2006, Forum on the Science of Health Care Quality Improvement and Implementation (IOM and RWJF) - (Institute of Medicine (IOM))  - In December 2006, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) launched the Forum on the Science of Health Care Quality Improvement and Implementation to provide researchers and public and private stakeholders a structured opportunity for discussing issues surrounding the science of quality improvement and implementation. Forum members included researchers in health and social services, engineering experts, health care providers, implementers of quality improvement programs and journalists. Between December 2006 and October 2008 Forum members met seven times.
  • 2009, HSR&D QUERI Conference on Implementation Science (VA) - (Health Services Research and Development Service, Veterans Administration (HSR&D))  - Held in 2009, the conference was attended by nearly 50 experts in implementation science, including QUERI stakeholders, who met in workgroups to focus on objectives critical to advancing implementation science and the QUERI program. Objectives ranged from establishing consistent implementation science language to developing cross-QUERI collaborative goals to enhancing the QUERI process.
  • 2011, GIC Global Implementation Conference - The August 2011 Global Implementation Conference (GIC) brought together more than 750 scientists, policy makers, practitioners, and community and organizational leaders from around the world for an unprecedented focus on how evidence-based practices can be implemented effectively to improve outcomes for people and organizations. Fifteen organizations sponsored this conference.
  • 2012, July 26, EIS- Intro Program Session 6: Enhancing Implementation Science Evaluation Details (Outcome Measures, Formative Evaluation) - (Health Services Research and Development Service, Veterans Administration (HSR&D))  - QUERI Enhancing Implementation Science (EIS) Cyber Seminar Series includes separate collections of presentations related to the CIPRS "Enhancing Implementation Science in VA" training programs (www.queri.research.va.gov/ciprs/training.cfm). This series of EIS Cyber Seminars will replace the traditional in-person EIS training program for 2012 and represent a "distance learning" version of the EIS training program. The six EIS series presentations from May to July 2012 will cover the core topics in the EIS introductory curriculum, while a second set of presentations beginning in September 2012 will cover the EIS advanced curriculum.
  • 2012, Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health - (Health Services Research and Development Service, Veterans Administration (HSR&D), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, NIH (OBSSR), University of California San Francisco (UCSF))  - The goal of this July, 2012, 5-day training institute is 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).