Edited by Ross C. Brownson, Graham A. Colditz, and Enola K. Proctor
Chapter 8: Viewing Dissemination and Implementation Research through a Network Lens, written by Douglas A. Luke
2012, Oxford Scholarship Online
Abstract: Fifteen to twenty years is how long it takes for the billions of dollars of university-based research to translate into evidence-based policies and programs suitable for public use. Over the past decade, an exciting science has emerged that seeks to narrow the gap between the discovery of new knowledge and its application in public health, mental health, and health care settings. Dissemination and implementation (D&I) research seeks to understand how to best apply scientific advances in the real world, by focusing on pushing the evidence-based knowledge base out into routine use. To help propel this crucial field forward, this book aims to address a number of key issues, including: how to evaluate the evidence base on effective interventions; which strategies will produce the greatest impact; how to design an appropriate study; and how to track a set of essential outcomes. D&I studies must also take into account the barriers to uptake of evidence-based interventions in the communities where people live their lives and the social service agencies, hospitals, and clinics where they receive care. The challenges of moving research to practice and policy are universal, and future progress calls for collaborative partnerships and cross-country research. The fundamental tenet of D&I research—taking what we know about improving health and putting it into practice—must be the highest priority.