Social service practitioners and researchers have long been aware of the gap between research and practice. The evidence-based practice movement has brought increasing attention to the role of empirically based interventions within social service practice, however, effective methods of research dissemination and utilization have received relatively little attention. This article describes factors related to dissemination and utilization of research within human service agency settings, including those factors related to: (1) individual practitioners, (2) the organization, (3) the nature of research, and (4) how research is communicated. The implications of these factors for dissemination and utilization of research are also identified. Ultimately, effective dissemination and utilization of research will involve considerable collaboration between researchers and practitioners. If they are to reach the shared goal of improved interventions and client outcomes, effective collaboration will require both practitioners and researchers to make changes to their practice and to their research.
November 5, 2008