Mentored training is an essential approach to build capacity in D&I research

Dissemination and implementation science aims to address the research-to-practice gap by 1) identifying and understanding barriers and facilitators that influence evidence based interventions and 2) developing strategies to enhance adoption of evidence-based interventions.

D&I is an important consideration in enhancing the uptake of evidence-based practices and, as such, so is strengthening researcher’s understanding and proficiency of D&I. A common way to do this is through trainings that focus on D&I; however, there remains a continued need to evaluate these training programs for effectiveness.

Researchers at the Prevention Research Center sought to evaluate a mentored training program in terms of scientific productivity among applicants. To do this, researchers selected participants from the Mentored Training for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Cancer (MT-DIRC), a program that has trained and mentored over 50 junior to mid-level career researchers to increase their knowledge and capacity for D&I research in cancer, and determined if participants were more likely to produce D&I research outputs after participation compared to nonparticipating researchers.

After reviewing Scopus citations and US federal grant funding records, analysis showed that selected fellows were three times more likely than nonfellows to have grant funding and four times more likely to publish D&I focused work after the MT-DIRC application year.

This quasi-experimental study is important because it 1) reports that the MT-DIRC program enhances academic productivity and highlights mentored training for D&I scholars as an essential approach for building capacity for D&I research and 2) provides a replicable method to analyze D&I training impact.

The authors note that though this study used one evaluation approach to examine scientific productivity, additional steps are needed (e.g., stronger evaluation designs, standardized metrics and measures) to fully document training program impacts.

To read more about the program and the full journal article, please visit the publication website.

Jacob RR, Gacad A, Padek M, Colditz GA, Emmons KM, Kerner JF, Chambers DA, Brownson RC. Mentored training and its association with dissemination and implementation research output: a quasi-experimental evaluation. Implement Sci. 2020 May 11;15(1):30. doi: 10.1186/s13012-020-00994-0. PubMed PMID: 32393285.