COPD Dissemination Tools

COPD research is advancing, and the health care system is becoming more sophisticated, but COPD patients and families often feel like they are left behind. Improvements in COPD treatments and in the delivery of care are meaningless unless they reach the patients who are desperately seeking solutions.

The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) created a Dissemination and Implementation Framework to provide research teams with practical guidance on how to carry out the evidence assessment, dissemination and implementation phases of their research. PCORI has advocated for the initial framework to be customized as needed to reflect the unique barriers and facilitators present in different patient communities, and as such, they funded the CONNECT COPD project to do just that for COPD.

Why a COPD Dissemination Framework?

One might ask why there needs to be a special focus and dissemination framework for COPD -- are the barriers and facilitators to effectively translating evidence into practice so different from other diseases? The answer is yes. COPD is unique, and the diagnosis and determination of appropriate treatment plans are complex – yet it is often treated in primary care settings that are not well equipped to handle these complexities. Because COPD disproportionately affects those living in rural areas and those with lower wages, barriers to evidence dissemination and implementation are further complicated. Overall, there are large gaps in current application and accessibility to evidence-based therapy, while new treatments under development are skewed toward smaller subsets of the population that likely require access to specialist or academic medical center care.

COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States but barely registers on the radar of our national health improvement conversation. There is relatively little investment in COPD research and no investment in public health interventions for COPD compared to the burden of disease. Further, current COPD quality measures are inadequate and rarely included in major reporting programs. With such discrepancy, there is little wonder why the COPD patient population continues to bear such a high disease burden.


The CONNECT team developed a dissemination framework to address specific needs of the COPD community, modified from the original PCORI Dissemination and Implementation Framework. The COPD Dissemination Framework report provides nuanced insight for each of the core elements of PCORI’s Framework, including barriers and facilitators to dissemination, key stakeholder groups and their priorities, and specific considerations related to COPD.

COPD stakeholders helped to refine the focus of the Framework report and guide the development of tools designed to make research results easier to disseminate to new audiences. The engagement activities included focus groups with patients and caregivers, prioritization survey exercises, interviews with health care professionals, and structured verbal and written question/answer activities with payers, durable medical equipment providers, and others. These activities revealed that the patient is often overlooked when it comes to dissemination planning. Other important stakeholder groups like primary care professionals and advocacy organizations are also left out of dissemination planning and execution, despite their importance and influence on COPD outcomes.

As a result, the CONNECT Framework focuses on dissemination of research to three priority audiences; patients and caregivers, primary care professionals, and advocacy organizations. If you are a researcher or part of a team hoping to disseminate evidence relevant to the COPD community, then CONNECT COPD is for you.


Download the Framework Report

  • Framework Report
  • Learn about dissemination barriers and facilitators
  • Better understand the questions that COPD stakeholders need help answering
  • Review suggestions for evidence assessment to refine your planning
  • Learn practical tips for reaching your target audience

View the Downloadable Tools