Dissemination and implementation science activities across the Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) Consortium: Report from a survey of CTSA leaders

J Clin Transl Sci. 2019 Sep 25;4(3):188-194. doi: 10.1017/cts.2019.422.


Introduction: Dissemination and implementation (D&I) science is not a formal element of the Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program, and D&I science activities across the CTSA Consortium are largely unknown.

Methods: The CTSA Dissemination, Implementation, and Knowledge Translation Working Group surveyed CTSA leaders to explore D&I science-related activities, barriers, and needed supports, then conducted univariate and qualitative analyses of the data.

Results: Out of 67 CTSA leaders, 55.2% responded. CTSAs reported directly funding D&I programs (54.1%), training (51.4%), and projects (59.5%). Indirect support (e.g., promoted by CTSA without direct funding) for D&I activities was higher - programs (70.3%), training (64.9%), and projects (54.1%). Top barriers included funding (39.4%), limited D&I science faculty (30.3%), and lack of D&I science understanding (27.3%). Respondents (63.4%) noted the importance of D&I training and recommended coordination of D&I activities across CTSAs hubs (33.3%).

Conclusion: These findings should guide CTSA leadership in efforts to raise awareness and advance the role of D&I science in improving population health.

Keywords: CTSA; Dissemination; NIH; implementation; research training; translational science; workforce development.