Background Dissemination of research results is now recognised as an important part of the research process. UK funding agencies and the Health Research Authority require that researchers have a clear plan about how findings should be reported back to patients and members of the public. Wider dissemination using a range of mechanisms specifically targeting the lay community enables the work to have impact outside its academic base and accelerate implementation. The study evolves over three stages: a review of the literature surveys of key stakeholders (research partners study participants members of the public and researchers) and a consensus meeting.
Aim To present a literature review of dissemination activities planned by researchers as reported in published protocol papers.
Methodology The MEDLINE electronic database was searched to identify study protocols published in 2017 and covering a range of study designs.
Results 138 papers published in 2017 were reviewed. Most papers lacked a clear and detailed dissemination plan. In general descriptions of dissemination plans were short and listed a very limited number of stakeholder groups targeted for dissemination and few dissemination channels. A few papers contained additional information on dissemination strategies and activities. Four papers mentioned specific feedback to participants by newsletter or other methods. A full and detailed dissemination plan was present in three protocol papers.
Conclusion Most of the previous research has focused on the researchers’ perspective. The guidelines will embed the views of other stakeholders including the general public patient participants in research trials funding bodies and policy makers.
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