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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

WashU: User Demand Should Drive Dissemination of Health Programs

Advice about evidence-based programs to promote child and adolescent health would be more useful if it included information about demand for those programs, say researchers from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

The 2014 Brown School Distinguished Alumni Awards reception and dinner was held on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at Palladium St. Louis. A panel discussion was also held at Brown Lounge on the Washington University in St. Louis Danforth Campus. (Photo © Whitney Curtis)
[Photo: Dr. Matthew W. Kreuter]

Scientific backing alone is not enough to put proven programs into practice, the authors say. Many evidence-based programs aren’t worth disseminating, while others aren’t ready for widespread use and program developers aren’t skilled at dissemination.

Three elements would create a more effective system:

“Collectively, these three components comprise an enhanced and efficient system for disseminating evidence-based solutions that can improve child and youth health,” concluded the lead author, Dr. Matthew W. Kreuter, Kahn Family Professor of Public Health and Associate Dean at the Brown School.

“Our proposition is not meant to dampen the growing enthusiasm for disseminating research-tested solutions, but rather to balance it with a broader understanding of how spread occurs and a more realistic view of its probability and sustainability.”

The paper was published in the fall edition of New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development. Dr. Monica Wang of the Boston University School of Public Health co-authored the paper with Dr. Kreuter.

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