Dissemination and Implementation Science

Amy Drahota, PhD
Conference Presentation
Introduction: Focused dissemination of research outcomes is a key strategy for improving public health. While federally-funded research centers are required to have a dissemination core, efforts are typically directed toward academics (e.g., manuscripts, academic presentations). However, opportunity exists to leverage the dissemination core requirement in center grants by involving specific dissemination and implementation (D&I) research aims. Project Description: The NIMHD-funded Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions (FCHES) is a transdisciplinary collaborative center, utilizing a CBPR approach, focused on reducing health disparities. DISC specific aims include: (1) Converting FCHES research projects into hybrid effectiveness-implementation trials; (2) Collaborating with the FCHES Consortium Core to keep community partners informed of FCHES activities; (3) Evaluating dissemination, implementation and sustainment of previous health promotion efforts to inform the development of DISC D&I toolkits; (4) Developing a dissemination toolkit for community use then research its reach and impact across community agencies; (5) Utilizing D&I theory and research evidence to develop policy-change strategies and evaluate the reach and impact of these strategies; and (6) Training regional stakeholders in the use of D&I toolkits, policy-change strategies and effective dissemination of research findings. The DISC will generate knowledge that is relevant and meaningful to community needs. The primary audience for DISC efforts includes FCHES academic and community partners, community stakeholders, service providers, policy-makers, consumers, and the general public locally, regionally, and nationally. Evaluation Plan: We will provide the rationale for embedding D&I research questions into effectiveness trials as well as the specific processes that were utilized by the DISC team to accomplish this specific aim within two distinctly different FCHES research projects. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first center-funded dissemination core that focuses on conducting D&I research within a NIMHD-funded center, collaborating with cores to embed D&I methods, and involving a CBPR approach to apply findings for community use. Moreover, the DISC may be able to act as a model for future center dissemination cores. Embedding dissemination and implementation science research into center project activities from the outset may facilitate uptake if findings and reduce research-to-practice gaps.