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Am J Prev Med. 2006 Oct;31(4 Suppl):S57-65.

Dissemination of physical activity evidence, programs, policies, and surveillance in the international public health arena.

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  • 1Centre for Physical Activity and Health, Sydney University, Sydney New South Wales, Australia.


The concepts of dissemination can be applied to the international challenges of promoting physical activity. With the 2004 release of the World Health Organization Global Strategy for Diet and Physical Activity, risk factor reduction and noncommunicable disease control are of global health interest. A six-step framework is proposed for understanding the attributes of successful international dissemination. These include the development of clear and evidence based resources or innovations, defining the target audience, selecting communication channels, engaging decision makers, and developing evaluation frameworks around dissemination. Four case studies to illustrate aspects of the framework are presented: (1) learning from dissemination of effective tobacco control initiatives, (2) the experience of developing global measures and surveillance systems for physical activity, (3) case study of disseminating the Agita program-an effective community wide intervention, and (4) disseminating the World Health Organization Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity. Substantial similarities across the experiences described in these case studies suggest underlying common themes for international dissemination, but developing a stronger evidence base for dissemination efforts remains a research priority.

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