Designing for dissemination among public health researchers: findings from a national survey in the United States

Am J Public Health. 2013 Sep;103(9):1693-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301165. Epub 2013 Jul 18.


Objectives: We have described the practice of designing for dissemination among researchers in the United States with the intent of identifying gaps and areas for improvement.

Methods: In 2012, we conducted a cross-sectional study of 266 researchers using a search of the top 12 public health journals in PubMed and lists available from government-sponsored research. The sample involved scientists at universities, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.

Results: In the pooled sample, 73% of respondents estimated they spent less than 10% of their time on dissemination. About half of respondents (53%) had a person or team in their unit dedicated to dissemination. Seventeen percent of all respondents used a framework or theory to plan their dissemination activities. One third of respondents (34%) always or usually involved stakeholders in the research process.

Conclusions: The current data and the existing literature suggest considerable room for improvement in designing for dissemination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination* / methods
  • Public Health / methods
  • Public Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Research Personnel / organization & administration
  • Research Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Workforce