. Through application of existing knowledge, much of the cancer burden is preventable. State- level practitioners are in ideal positions to affect programs and policies related to cancer control. Yet sparse knowledge exists regarding effective approaches for dissemination of evidence-based programs and policies (EBPPs) among practice audiences. There is a need to apply theory and organizational change approaches from outside of the health sector. Goal. Our primary goal is to increase the dissemination of EBPPs to control cancer, focusing on the uptake of effective approaches among state-level practitioners. Methods. To advance dissemination science, our project applies state-of-the-art methods in the dissemination of EBPPs among cancer control practitioners in public health departments. Cancer control practitioners are people who direct and implement population-based intervention programs in agencies or in community-based coalitions. We will make use of Diffusion of Innovations, supplemented by Institutional Theory, to inform our conceptual framework, dissemination activities, and measures. Institutional Theory uses an interdisciplinary approach to understand how social, governmental, political, cultural, and commercial institutions influence decision-making. This project includes two overlapping phases. In Phase 1, we will develop, refine and finalize measures (both self-reported and objective) to assess the effectiveness of our dissemination activities to facilitate uptake of EBPPs. Phase 2 uses a group-randomized effectiveness trial to evaluate the active dissemination of already proven EBPPs in 14 states (7 intervention, 7 control). The active dissemination activities include: conducting dissemination workshops, fostering institutional changes, and using knowledge brokers. Throughout the grant cycle, we will engage practitioners as partners to assure our approaches are timely and relevant for real world settings. Dissemination and innovations. We will conduct several activities to ensure that tools and interventions from our grant are useful, relevant, and ready for widespread dissemination when funding ends. To prepare for dissemination, we will assemble and work with an advisory group, capture project costs, and conduct qualitative case studies. Our results are likely to impact the field by enhancing abilities to: 1) conduct active dissemination in public health practice settings, 2) speed up the translation of cancer prevention knowledge into public health practice, and 3) measure dissemination of EBPPs. This research is innovative by working in real world settings on a multi-state scale, applying new theory from outside of health (Institutional Theory), and using social network analysis to better understand the flow of knowledge.

Public Health Relevance

This project is relevant to public health because it addresses EBPPs that can result in population-level reductions in premature cancer morbidity and mortality. Sparse knowledge exists regarding effective approaches for dissemination of research-tested interventions among real world public health audiences. Upon completion, our study will provide public health practice-relevant dissemination strategies that can be adapted to other settings and risk factors.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
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Application #
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Community-Level Health Promotion Study Section (CLHP)
Program Officer
Hesse, Bradford
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Washington University
Social Sciences
Schools of Social Work
Saint Louis
United States
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