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Getting the Word Out: Multiple Methods for Disseminating Evaluation Findings

Mueller, Nancy B. MPH; Burke, Ryan C. MPH; Luke, Douglas A. PhD; Harris, Jenine K. MA

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: March/April 2008 - Volume 14 - Issue 2 - p 170–176
doi: 10.1097/01.PHH.0000311896.65454.77
Article

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of different strategies for disseminating evaluation Results to program stakeholders.

Methods: The Results from a process evaluation of eight states' tobacco control programs were disseminated to the state programs that were assigned to one of four dissemination conditions: print Reports only, Reports and Web site, Reports and workshop, or all three dissemination modes. Key measures included levels of usefulness of the evaluation Results and satisfaction of participation by study participants.

Results: Although exposure to the Web site and workshop individually did not provide a statistically higher degree of usefulness, a clear upward trend was observed in usefulness as the number of dissemination modes increased. Participants who engaged in all three dissemination modes found the Results more useful (P < .05) for their work and the work of their agency than participants using one or two dissemination modes. Participants who engaged in the three dissemination modes also appeared to be more likely to share the Results with their colleagues (P = .06).

Conclusions: This study shows that disseminating evaluation Results through multiple, active modes increased usefulness, satisfaction, and further dissemination of the Results. Evaluators should consider implementing more than one mode of dissemination to share findings with stakeholders.

This article provides multiple methods for disseminating evaluation findings of eight states' tobacco control programs. A clear upward trend in usefulness is observed as the number of dissemination modes increases.

Nancy B. Mueller, MPH, is Assistant Director, Center for Tobacco Policy Research, Saint Louis University School of Public Health, St. Louis, Missouri.

Ryan C. Burke, MPH, Center for Tobacco Policy Research, Saint Louis University School of Public Health, St. Louis, Missouri.

Douglas A. Luke, PhD, is Principal Investigator, Center for Tobacco Policy Research, Saint Louis University School of Public Health, St. Louis, Missouri.

Jenine K. Harris, MA, Center for Tobacco Policy Research, Saint Louis University School of Public Health, St. Louis, Missouri.

Corresponding Author: Nancy Mueller, MPH, Center for Tobacco Policy Research, Saint Louis University, 3545 Lafayette Ave, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63104 (mueller@slu.edu).

Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily Reflect the official views of the American Legacy Foundation (Legacy), the Association of State and Territorial Chronic Disease Program Directors (CDD), or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office on Smoking or Health. Human subjects approval was obtained from Saint Louis University Institutional Review Board.

The authors thank the tobacco control partners in Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon for participating in this project. They also thank Tanya Montgomery, Stephanie Herbers, Sarah Shelton, and Rachael Zuckerman for their contributions to this project. This Research was supported by the CDD and the Legacy with guidance from the CDC.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.