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Assessing researchers' capabilities, opportunities, and motivation to conduct equity-oriented dissemination and implementation research, an exploratory cross-sectional study.

Baumann AA, Woodward EN, Singh RS, Adsul P, Shelton RC. Assessing researchers' capabilities, opportunities, and motivation to conduct equity-oriented dissemination and implementation research, an exploratory cross-sectional study. BMC health services research. 2022 Jun 1; 22(1):731.

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BACKGROUND: A recent paradigm shift has led to an explicit focus on enhancing health equity through equity-oriented dissemination and implementation (DandI) research. However, the integration and bidirectional learning across these two fields is still in its infancy and siloed. This exploratory study aimed to examine participants' perceived capabilities, opportunities, and motivations to conduct equity-oriented DandI research. METHODS: We conducted an exploratory cross-sectional survey distributed online from December 2020 to April 2021. Participants were recruited at either DandI or health disparities-oriented conferences, meetings, through social media, or personal outreach via emails. Informed by the Capability, Opportunity, and Motivation Model (COM-B), the survey queried respondents about different aspects of engaging in and conducting equity-oriented DandI research. All analyses were conducted in SPSS Version 27.0. RESULTS: A total of 180 participants responded to the survey. Most participants were women (81.7%), white (66.1%), academics (78.9%), and faculty members (53.9%). Many reported they were advanced (36.7%) or advanced beginners (27.8%) in the DandI field, and a substantial proportion (37.8%) reported being novice in DandI research that focused on health equity. Participants reported high motivation (e.g., 62.8% were motivated to apply theories, models, frameworks for promoting health equity in DandI research), but low capability to conduct equity-oriented DandI research (e.g., 5% had the information needed for promoting health equity in DandI research). Most participants (62.2%) reported not having used measures to examine equity in their DandI projects, and for those who did use measures, they mainly used individual-level measures (vs. organizational- or structural-level measures). When asked about factors that could influence their ability to conduct equity-oriented DandI research, 44.4% reported not having the skills necessary, and 32.2% stated difficulties in receiving funding for equity-oriented DandI research. CONCLUSIONS: Study findings provide empirical insight into the perspectives of researchers from different backgrounds on what is needed to conduct equity-oriented DandI research. These data suggest the need for a multi-pronged approach to enhance the capability and opportunities for conducting equity-oriented DandI work, such as: training specifically in equity-oriented DandI, collaboration between DandI researchers with individuals with expertise and lived experience with health equity research, funding for equity-oriented DandI research, and recognition of the value of community engaged research in promotion packages.

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