Commentary On “Dissemination of public health research to prevent non-communicable diseases: a scoping review”

May 12,2023 | Meagan Pilar Commentary

Within the #ImpSci community, there is a growing interest in furthering the field of dissemination science, with recent publications underscoring the need to clarify terminology, identify theoretical models, and define constructs to aid in measure development. In this study, Turon and colleagues conducted a scoping review to identify strategies used to disseminate information regarding the prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Using Brownson and colleagues’ Model for Dissemination of Research as a guide, the team characterized the components (i.e., the source, message, channel, audience) of each dissemination strategy and documented dissemination-related outcomes (e.g., reach, awareness, knowledge) in each study. Ultimately, 107 studies were included, with Turon et al., reporting a great deal of variability in the use of terminology, dissemination strategies, and reported outcomes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of included studies were descriptive in nature, with little work being done to develop or test the use of dissemination strategies. Though this review was limited to NCDs, we could extrapolate the findings to other areas of public health as well. This work highlights some important potential “next steps” within dissemination science, which could help to advance the field. For example, future studies could benefit from a taxonomy of dissemination strategies and outcomes, as well as a better understanding of when, why, and for whom dissemination strategies are effective.


Turon, H., Wolfenden, Turon, H., Wolfenden, L., Finch, M., McCrabb, S., Naughton, S., O’Connor, S. R., . . . Yoong, S. L. (2023). Dissemination of public health research to prevent non-communicable diseases: a scoping review. BMC Public Health, 23(1), 757. doi:10.1186/s12889-023-15622-x