An Overview of Research and Evaluation Designs for Dissemination and Implementation

C. Hendricks Brown, Geoffrey Curran, Lawrence A. Palinkas, Gregory A. Aarons, Kenneth B. Wells, Loretta Jones, Linda M. Collins, Naihua Duan, Brian S. Mittman, Andrea Wallace, Rachel G. Tabak, Lori Ducharme, David A. Chambers, Gila Neta, Tisha Wiley, John Landsverk, Ken Cheung, Gracelyn Cruden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The wide variety of dissemination and implementation designs now being used to evaluate and improve health systems and outcomes warrants review of the scope, features, and limitations of these designs. This article is one product of a design workgroup that was formed in 2013 by the National Institutes of Health to address dissemination and implementation research, and whose members represented diverse methodologic backgrounds, content focus areas, and health sectors. These experts integrated their collective knowledge on dissemination and implementation designs with searches of published evaluations strategies. This article emphasizes randomized and nonrandomized designs for the traditional translational research continuum or pipeline, which builds on existing efficacy and effectiveness trials to examine how one or more evidence-based clinicalprevention interventions are adopted, scaled up, and sustained in community or service delivery systems. We also mention other designs, including hybrid designs that combine effectiveness and implementation research, quality improvement designs for local knowledge, and designs that use simulation modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalAnnual Review of Public Health
StatePublished - Mar 20 2017


  • Adaptation
  • Adoption
  • Fidelity
  • Implementation trial
  • Scale up
  • Sustainment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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