Background Ethical research practice requires that researchers have a clear plan about how research findings should be reported back to patients, study participants and members of the public. Communicating results solely through research journal publications is no longer sufficient. The GIRASOL study covers three stages: a review of the literature, three surveys of the public, participants and researchers, and a consensus meeting. Here we report on researchers’ views around the elements of a good dissemination/engagement strategy, on their perceptions of good dissemination/engagement strategies and on what would encourage them to get more involved in dissemination and other engagement activities.
Method Content and thematic analyses were used to analyse the three open-ended questions included in the on-line survey directed to UK-based researchers.
Results 89 out of the 106 respondents addressed the open-ended questions. 80% of these respondents have at least six years of research record and around 30% are/were members of funding committees. Researchers agree that when communicating results to patients/study participants, adhering to a principal of integration with the relevant end-users of the research findings is of paramount importance. Mechanisms which enable capture of end-users’ preferences for mode, timing, content and ways for seeking feedback around dissemination/engagement strategies should be in place. In addition to this, communicating/engaging with members of the public requires careful consideration of the targeted audience and mode of delivery. Lack of time, resources, training and support (both at institutional and senior staff level) hinders the development of good dissemination/engagement strategies.
Conclusions Alongside time and resources, support and cultural shifts are needed to allow a full implementation of the principles of a good dissemination/engagement strategy.