College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Bridging the Gap between Science and Practitioners

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Summer 1996

Publication Title

Behavior Therapy

ISSN

0005-7894

Volume

27

Issue/No.

3

Abstract

The need to develop effective and efficient strategies for the dissemination of evidence-based health care has been recognized by governments, researchers, and clinicians alike. However, recognition and implementation are separate issues. If scientists are to have a significant impact on clinical practice, they will have to learn a new way of “doing business.” Lessons from the business community and from the field of diffusion of innovations research (dissemination research) have direct applicability to disseminating science-based clinical procedures. This paper presents two examples of the successful integration of science and clinical practice. The goal in each case was to address problems fundamental to dissemination research, specifically for addictions treatment. The first example demonstrates how scientists and practitioners successfully worked hand-in-hand to integrate science and practice, by creating a clinical protocol that subsequently served almost 300 clients. The second example describes the successful dissemination of a clinical research intervention into community settings. The key to effective dissemination was to make practitioners true partners in the research, development, and dissemination process. For the effective wedding of clinical science and practice on a wide scale, dissemination must be adopted as a value and become a major objective of health care organizations. Current health care emphasis on evidence-based practice suggests that alliances between practitioners and scientists will point the way to clinical standards of practice for the next millennium.

DOI

10.1016/S0005-7894(96)80019-0