The role of transdisciplinary collaboration in translating and disseminating health research: lessons learned and exemplars of success

Am J Prev Med. 2008 Aug;35(2 Suppl):S204-10. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.05.009.


In the past few decades, significant advances have been made related to understanding, preventing, and treating chronic disease. Given these many advances across multiple disciplines, it is unclear why the potential for yielding substantial reduction in disease has not been achieved overall and across various subgroups. Socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in a wide range of disease outcomes persist, and a number of studies highlight the importance of further improving behavioral risk-factor prevalence on a population level. The goal of this paper is to explore the role of transdisciplinary collaboration in the translation of research related to these vexing public health problems, and, in particular, to explore factors that appear to facilitate effective and sustainable translation. Transdisciplinary collaboration also has great potential to speed the rate of adoption of evidence-based practices. Examples of transdisciplinary collaborations in academic and community settings are provided, along with factors that may influence the long-term outcomes of transdisciplinary efforts.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / organization & administration
  • Cancer Care Facilities / organization & administration
  • Community Networks / organization & administration
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Group Processes*
  • Health Services Research / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / methods*
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Models, Organizational
  • Public Health Administration / methods
  • Research Personnel / organization & administration