A framework for training health professionals in implementation and dissemination science

Acad Med. 2012 Mar;87(3):271-8. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182449d33.


The authors describe a conceptual framework for implementation and dissemination science (IDS) and propose competencies for IDS training. Their framework is designed to facilitate the application of theories and methods from the distinct domains of clinical disciplines (e.g., medicine, public health), population sciences (e.g., biostatistics, epidemiology), and translational disciplines (e.g., social and behavioral sciences, business administration education). They explore three principles that guided the development of their conceptual framework: Behavior change among organizations and/or individuals (providers, patients) is inherent in the translation process; engagement of stakeholder organizations, health care delivery systems, and individuals is imperative to achieve effective translation and sustained improvements; and IDS research is iterative, benefiting from cycles and collaborative, bidirectional relationships. The authors propose seven domains for IDS training-team science, context identification, literature identification and assessment, community engagement, intervention design and research implementation, evaluation of effect of translational activity, behavioral change communication strategies-and define 12 IDS training competencies within these domains. As a model, they describe specific courses introduced at the University of California, San Francisco, which they designed to develop these competencies. The authors encourage other training programs and institutions to use or adapt the design principles, conceptual framework, and proposed competencies to evaluate their current IDS training needs and to support new program development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Communication
  • Community-Institutional Relations
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Curriculum / trends
  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Education, Medical / trends
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / trends
  • Forecasting
  • Health Plan Implementation / trends
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / trends
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination* / methods
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Translational Medical Research / education*
  • United States