Interventions in Organizational and Community Context: A Framework for Building Evidence on Dissemination and Implementation in Health Services Research

  • Peter Mendel
  • Lisa S. Meredith
  • Michael Schoenbaum
  • Cathy D. Sherbourne
  • Kenneth B. Wells
Original Paper


The effective dissemination and implementation of evidence-based health interventions within community settings is an important cornerstone to expanding the availability of quality health and mental health services. Yet it has proven a challenging task for both research and community stakeholders. This paper presents the current framework developed by the UCLA/RAND NIMH Center to address this research-to-practice gap by: (1) providing a theoretically-grounded understanding of the multi-layered nature of community and healthcare contexts and the mechanisms by which new practices and programs diffuse within these settings; (2) distinguishing among key components of the diffusion process—including contextual factors, adoption, implementation, and sustainment of interventions—showing how evaluation of each is necessary to explain the course of dissemination and outcomes for individual and organizational stakeholders; (3) facilitating the identification of new strategies for adapting, disseminating, and implementing relatively complex, evidence-based healthcare and improvement interventions, particularly using a community-based, participatory approach; and (4) enhancing the ability to meaningfully generalize findings across varied interventions and settings to build an evidence base on successful dissemination and implementation strategies.


Dissemination Diffusion Implementation Organizational context Community-based research Evidence-based interventions 



This article was prepared under the auspices of the UCLA/RAND NIMH Center for Research on Quality in Managed Care and supported by funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, Grants# P30 MH068639 and P50 MH054623 (Wells, PI), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation #038273 (Wells, PI), and the NIH National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities #1P20MD00182-01 (Norris, PI). The authors would like to thank the participants of the NIMH Conference on Advancing the Science of Implementation, David Chambers of NIMH, and the anonymous reviewers for their insights and comments on earlier versions of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Mendel
    • 1
  • Lisa S. Meredith
    • 1
  • Michael Schoenbaum
    • 1
    • 3
  • Cathy D. Sherbourne
    • 1
  • Kenneth B. Wells
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.RAND CorporationSanta MonicaUSA
  2. 2.UCLA-Semel Institute, Health Services Research CenterLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.NIMH Division of Services and Intervention ResearchBethesdaUSA

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