Introduction and Aims: This paper discusses the formal dissemination of the School Health and Alcohol Harm Reduction Project (National SHAHRP Dissemination Project) in Australia. The original SHAHRP research program (SHAHRP Study) was previously assessed for effectiveness during a longitudinal research study which followed the student participants over 32 months post intervention. The SHAHRP Study focused on evaluating the behavioural impact of the program and the results indicated wider dissemination would be of value.
Design and Methods: The National SHAHRP Dissemination Project involved key decision makers of drug education in the Government, Catholic and Independent schools sectors, in targeted states, agreeing to disseminate the SHAHRP Project through teacher educators and teachers in their sector and regions. Process, reach and project satisfaction were assessed.
Results: The Dissemination Project conducted two workshops for 35 teacher educator. Fifteen Teacher educators subsequently conducted 21 workshops for teachers between August 2003 and June 2004. One hundred and seventy (170) schools and nearly three hundred (294) teachers were involved in this training.
Discussion and Conclusions: The advantages and barriers of researcher-led dissemination as illustrated in this study, suggest that methods other than publication in scientific journals and presentation at conferences may be useful for the transfer of effective intervention research programs to practice. There may be some benefit to identifying and testing other research initiated pathways leading to evidenced based policy and practice which, in combination with practitioner-led transfer, can help to bridge the gap between research and practice in the future.