Headshot - Russ GlasgowRussell E. Glasgow, PhD

Research Professor, Department of Family Medicine University of Colorado

Director, ACCORDS Dissemination and Implementation Science (D&I) Program

Dr. Glasgow is an internationally known expert in studying ways to improve the translation of research into the health care delivery system. He is a driving force behind the planning and evaluation model RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance) which determines public health impact. He focuses on designing for dissemination and implementation on feasible, cost-effective, multi-level prevention and illness management programs and methods to promote transparent reporting of implementation outcomes. He has considerable experience in leading research teams and training researchers, including mentorship in implementation science. He has been a primary developer of multiple training programs in D&I science locally and nationally, and currently directs ACCORDS NHLBI-funded K12 IMPACT (IMPlementation to Achieve Clinical Transformation) Career Development Training program in D&I science.

1. Why is your area of science important?
Dissemination and Implementation (D&I) science is important because so few of our research discoveries are translated into practice and policy, and when they are, it typically takes a long time and does not produce the same level of impact as the original research.
2. What was important in your Health Services Research training?
Truth in advertising – I have had relatively little formal HSR training (some postdoc program work and a couple public health courses in grad school). With that caveat, I would say learning about systems and complexity science; population health and health equity; and health policy have been most important...though I still have a lot to learn about some of these.
3. What are the major take home messages your current research provides?

There is a sequence of steps necessary to translate research into practice (RE-AIM)- a research product needs to be adopted in many and representative settings, then implemented with skill; then reach those citizens most at risk; then sustained, etc.; and  insufficient attention is paid to almost all of these steps other than initially demonstrating evidence of effectiveness.

Replication is a critically important and undervalued issue across scientific disciplines- and can be enhanced by transparent reporting on external validity issues.

4. What are your goals or areas for future research?

Identifying effective and cost-efficient, equitable ways to provide guidance for new settings to select, implement- and adapt- research tested programs

Using D&I strategies and tools to enhance the scope and value of ‘big data’ approaches- for example, by adding information on patient report and social environmental issues to EHR and ‘omic’ data

Building capacity for and expertise in D&I science

5. What advice do you have for researchers who want to work in this area?  Or what is the most important advice you have received from your mentors?

Pay attention to (multi-level) context

Most important health and societal problems are complex, messy, dynamic and tough to change, and attempts to do so may have unintended consequences...if you are not interested in those challenges, D&I science is probably not for you

Advancing science often requires ‘unlearning’ much of the linear reductionistic approaches to research most of us have been trained in (I was).


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