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Am J Public Health. 2009 Dec;99(12):2123-7. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.155218. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

Reframing the dissemination challenge: a marketing and distribution perspective.

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  • 1Health Communication Research Laboratory, Institute for Public Health, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, 700 Rosedale Ave., Campus Box 1009, St. Louis, MO 63112-1408, USA.


A fundamental obstacle to successful dissemination and implementation of evidence-based public health programs is the near-total absence of systems and infrastructure for marketing and distribution. We describe the functions of a marketing and distribution system, and we explain how it would help move effective public health programs from research to practice. Then we critically evaluate the 4 dominant strategies now used to promote dissemination and implementation, and we explain how each would be enhanced by marketing and distribution systems. Finally, we make 6 recommendations for building the needed system infrastructure and discuss the responsibility within the public health community for implementation of these recommendations. Without serious investment in such infrastructure, application of proven solutions in public health practice will continue to occur slowly and rarely.

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