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Reprod Health. 2018 Jun 22;15(Suppl 1):86. doi: 10.1186/s12978-018-0538-z.

Overcoming challenges to dissemination and implementation of research findings in under-resourced countries.

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Global Affairs, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Global Affairs, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Louis Pasteur once commented on the happiness that a scientist finds when, besides making a discovery, study results find practical application. Where health status is poor and resources are limited, finding such applications is a necessity, not merely a joy.Dissemination, or the distribution of new knowledge gained through research, is essential to the ethical conduct of research. Further, when research is designed to improve health, dissemination is critical to the development of evidence-based medicine and the adoption of evidence-supported interventions and improved practice patterns within specific settings. When dissemination is lacking, research may be considered a waste of resources and a useless pursuit unable to influence positive health outcomes.Effective translation of the findings of health research into policy and the practice of medicine has been slow in many countries considered low or lower middle-income (as defined by the World Bank). This is because such countries often have health care systems that are under-resourced (e.g., lacking personnel or facilities) and thus insufficiently responsive to health needs of their populations. However, implementation research has produced many tools and strategies that can prompt more effective and timelier application of research findings to real world situations.A conscientious researcher can find many suggestions for improving the integration of research evidence into practice. First and foremost, the truthful reporting of results is emphasized as essential because both studies with desirable findings as well those with less than ideal results can provide new and valuable knowledge. Consideration in advance of the audience likely to be interested in study findings can result in suitable packaging and targeted communication of results. Other strategies for avoiding the barriers that can negatively impact implementation of research evidence include the early involvement of stakeholders as research is being designed and discussion before initiation of proposed research with those who will be affected by it. It is also important to recognize the role of education and training for ensuring the skills and knowledge needed for not only the conduct of high quality research but also for the meaningful promotion of results and application of research findings to achieve intended purposes.


Diffusion; Dissemination; Evidence-based; Evidence-supported interventions; Implementation; Under-resourced

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