Dissemination and implementation research on community-based cancer prevention: a systematic review

Am J Prev Med. 2010 Apr;38(4):443-56. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.12.035.


Context: An extensive array of effective interventions for the prevention of cancer exists, suggesting that evidence is ready for widespread use. However, few of these approaches have been extensively utilized in real-world settings. Further, little is known on how to best disseminate and implement evidence-based interventions for the primary prevention of cancer in community settings.

Evidence acquisition: A systematic review of the dissemination and implementation literature was conducted between 2006 and 2008 in the topic areas of smoking, healthy diet, physical activity, and sun protection. English-language peer-reviewed articles published between 1980 and 2008 that met the inclusion criteria were classified by suitability of study design (i.e., greatest, moderate, least); quality of execution (i.e., good, fair, limited); and effectiveness (i.e., substantial, some, or little/no evidence of effectiveness) and were abstracted for dissemination- and implementation-related content.

Evidence synthesis: Twenty-five unique dissemination and implementation studies were identified. The majority of included studies were conducted in the U.S., in schools, and with children as the ultimate target population, had the least suitability of study design, had fair or limited execution, and used a theoretic framework, active dissemination and implementation approaches, and multimodal strategies. There was considerable heterogeneity across studies in reported mediators, moderators, and outcomes.

Conclusions: Key implications from this review include the need for uniform language, studies targeting various populations and settings, valid and reliable measures, triangulation of and more practice-based evidence, standardized reporting criteria, and active and multimodal strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Services / organization & administration
  • Evidence-Based Practice / standards
  • Evidence-Based Practice / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Research* / standards
  • Health Services Research* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Primary Prevention* / organization & administration
  • United States