, Volume 27, Issue 2 Supplement, pp 157-164
Date: 24 Feb 2012

Translating Cancer Prevention and Control Research into the Community Setting: Workforce Implications

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Abstract

A gap exists between cancer prevention research and its translation into community practice. Two strategies to reduce this gap are community-based participatory research (CBPR) and dissemination research. CBPR offers an avenue to engage academic and community partners, thereby providing mechanisms for joint learning and application of knowledge. Dissemination research examines the movement of evidence-based public health and clinical innovations to practice settings. While applying these approaches may reduce the gap between research and practice, the cancer prevention workforce may be inadequate in size, insufficiently trained, lack resources and incentives, or face structural barriers to effectively participate in CBPR and disseminate evidence-based research findings into practice. Information on translating cancer prevention information to communities and workforce implications was obtained from a panel of experts and through a review of the literature on CBPR and dissemination research. The expert panel and literature review identified major barriers to successfully conducting CBPR and dissemination research in community settings. Barriers included inadequate policies; insufficient networking and communication infrastructures; unsupportive research cultures, climates, and mindsets; inadequate researcher and practitioner education; and limited CBPR and dissemination research with adequate study designs. No specific estimates of the cancer prevention workforce were found; however, indirect evidence for a shortfall were identified. We recommend expanding CBPR training for academic and community partners; increasing funding for dissemination research and practice; supporting proven partnerships; and providing strategic coordination for government agencies, research institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to foster better dissemination of information and integration of community-based cancer prevention and control programs and practices. Specific challenges and needs that must be addressed to improve the translation of cancer prevention research into community settings were identified.