Historical Roots of Dissemination and Implementation Science

James W. Dearing, Kerk F. Kee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Dissemination science is the study of how evidence-based practices, programs, and policies can best be communicated to an interorganizational societal sector of potential adopters and implementers to produce uptake and effective use. Implementation science is the study of what happens after adoption occurs, especially in organizational settings. This chapter addresses the following questions: Where does the current emphasis on dissemination and implementation science come from? How are new media altering the diffusion of new practices, programs, and beliefs? Collective knowledge of the diffusion-ofinnovations paradigm has given way to a focus on those paradigmatic concepts that can be operationalized in purposive tests of how to best disseminate and implement evidencebased health practices, programs, and policies. This has long been an objective in trying to spread effective innovations for improved global health as well as for domestic health care and public health. New media, in the ways in which they affect the dissemination of information by change agencies, the subsequent diffusion process among targeted adopters, and the resultant critical stage of implementation of evidence-based practices in organizations, are iteratively changing how we work and how targeted adopters respond to change initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDissemination and Implementation Research in Health
Subtitle of host publicationTranslating Science to Practice
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199933242
ISBN (Print)9780199751877
StatePublished - May 24 2012


  • Diffusion
  • Dissemination science
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Implementation science
  • New media
  • Public health


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