Letting others know

Dissemination is the conscious effort to spread new knowledge, policies, and practices. To disseminate evidence and knowledge you will need to have a good understanding of your audience and what available evidence and knowledge is relevant for them. In the context of KT it begins with the synthesis and management of knowledge. An increasingly important step given the often overwhelming volume of research evidence. These skills are covered in the Evidence Training Hub.

Dissemination of knowledge might be undertaken to simply raise awareness and provide access to evidence. You might also include it as part of an implementation program aimed at facilitating uptake of evidence into practice.

Some of the skills you will need to develop and where you can find help to build these skills include: [1]

  • Understand the research process: knowing the process of conducting research [see RePaDD and Research in Evidence Training]
  • Be aware of evidence resources: Know a variety of ways to find evidence or expert opinion where there is no evidence [see Searching for Evidence and Acquire in Evidence Training]
  • How to synthesize knowledge: Have the skills to combine research findings and grey literature following robust processes. [see Appraise and Synthesise in Evidence Training]
  • Know how knowledge is disseminated: understand meaningful ways to share knowledge/evidence with a variety of stakeholders with the aim of making it available and accessible.


Strategies to disseminate evidence and knowledge might be used individually or in combination. Optimally they are tailored to the intended audience. This requires an understanding of and collaboration with stakeholders.

In palliative care your audience might include people with a life-limiting illness their carer and family members, as well as health professionals and professional caregivers. Focus groups with stakeholders can help you to understand audience preferences, to develop a network, and to identify champions who are respected for their opinion within the community or sector.

While dissemination might initially engage a ‘push’ mechanism whereby information is taken to the end user, its aim should be to develop user capacity to ‘pull’ the information they need when they want or need it.

Some dissemination tips:

You will need to consider the literacy level of your audience.

  • For any audience plain language that people can understand quickly is preferred.
  • Avoid the use of technical jargon and too many acronyms.
  • For general audiences a reading level of Grade 8 is considered appropriate.
  • Messages should be clear and succinct.
  • Consider a range of formats including printed copy and online

Depending on the format of information, direct or surrogate indicators might be used to assess the impact of your dissemination efforts.

  • Local consensus and policy processes
  • Local opinion leaders and clinical leads
  • Audit and feedback programs
  • Mass media and social media campaigns
  • Educational sessions in-house and external
  • Journal clubs
  • Educational material
  • Decision support systems
  • Reminders

  • Newsletters
  • Information or fact sheets
  • Websites
  • Journal articles
  • Social media posts
  • Blogs
  • Research summaries
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts

  • Subscribers for newsletters
  • Registrations for education courses
  • Website visits and page views
  • Social media followers, comments, and shares
  • Feedback via surveys to provide greater understanding of how the resources are being used
  • Video views

  1. Mallidou AA, Atherton P, Chan L, Frisch N, Glegg S, Scarrow G. Core knowledge translation competencies: a scopingreview. BMC Health Serv Res. 2018 Jun 27;18(1):502. doi: 10.1186/s12913-018-3314-4.

Page created 28 March 2022