Improving Research Dissemination to Black Sexual Minority Men: Development of a Community-Led and Theory-Based Dissemination Plan

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Health promotion practice








Black sexual minority men; community engagement; dissemination; men who have sex with men; research communication; results sharing; sexually transmitted infections; syphilis


Although research dissemination to participants and community stakeholders is a fundamental component of translational research, it rarely occurs. The objective of this study was to create a community-led, theory-based dissemination plan to engage local Black sexual minority men in an active dissemination process throughout a sexual health research study. Seven focus groups ( = 38) were conducted with Black, cisgender sexual minority men aged 18 to 45 years. Findings were analyzed through thematic content analysis guided by McGuire's persuasive communication theory. Findings were used to draft a dissemination plan, which was then reviewed and edited by the study's community advisory board (CAB). The plan continues to be updated in response to community needs through CAB discussions. Participants preferred messages concerning syphilis and other health concerns as well as information on local resources. Preferred sources included researchers working with trusted community organizations and leaders. Preferred channels included community events and social media, implemented with consistency. CAB feedback included expanding the target audience of dissemination efforts as well as the development of ideas for channels (i.e., events) and sources (i.e., community organizations and leaders). Additional revisions occurred in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the continued lack of research dissemination to participant and community stakeholders, the process of developing a community-led, theory-based dissemination plan may benefit and help guide researchers to adopt this practice. It is critical that participant and community stakeholder dissemination become more highly prioritized as we strive for public health improvements and the elimination of health disparities.


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