Designing for diffusion: how can we increase uptake of cancer communication innovations?

Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Dec;81 Suppl(Suppl):S100-10. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.10.013. Epub 2010 Nov 9.


Objective: The best innovations in cancer communication do not necessarily achieve uptake by researchers, public health and clinical practitioners, and policy makers. This paper describes design activities that can be applied and combined for the purpose of spreading effective cancer communication innovations.

Methods: A previously developed Push-Pull-Infrastructure Model is used to organize and highlight the types of activities that can be deployed during the design phase of innovations. Scientific literature about the diffusion of innovations, knowledge utilization, marketing, public health, and our experiences in working to spread effective practices, programs, and policies are used for this purpose.

Results: Attempts to broaden the reach, quicken the uptake, and facilitate the use of cancer communication innovations can apply design activities to increase the likelihood of diffusion. Some simple design activities hold considerable promise for improving dissemination and subsequent diffusion.

Conclusion: Augmenting current dissemination practices with evidence-based concepts from diffusion science, marketing science, and knowledge utilization hold promise for improving results by eliciting greater market pull.

Practice implications: Inventors and change agencies seeking to spread cancer communication innovations can experience more success by explicit consideration of design activities that reflect an expanded version of the Push-Pull-Infrastructure Model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / methods
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Neoplasms*