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Dissemination Methods for Rural MOUD Programs

There are a variety of ways to share information about a rural program providing medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD). The best dissemination method may depend on the audience and the topic being addressed. Specific approaches rural communities are using include:

  • Professional meetings, including convenings at the local, regional, or state level
  • Conversations, both formal and informal, and meetings with partners
  • Traditional media, including radio, newspaper, and television ads
  • Social and digital media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and program websites
  • Publications, such as local magazines

When disseminating information, a rural MOUD program will need to tailor messages and materials for each audience. Messages and materials should:

  • Briefly convey the main idea
  • Use clear, plain language that people understand
  • Use analogies to explain opioid use disorder (OUD) is a complex chronic disease
  • Use non-stigmatizing terminology
  • Convey the best available evidence

Programs can share success stories about people in long-term recovery. For example, one program uses media approaches for dissemination, and also plans to disseminate information through a local magazine. The publication will include practical information about the program, educational information about OUD and treatment options, and a success story from one patient who has entered long-term recovery.

Programs can also engage partners for dissemination. Medical professionals can help communicate the evidence supporting MOUD, and partners such as local pharmacies can help facilitate access to the target audience. One existing rural program formed an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) within the community and is using the ACO as an avenue for dissemination. Through the ACO, the program shares best practices and has connected with partners in the community at large.

Resources to Learn More

How AHRQ Grantees Make Work Visible Through Effective Dissemination
Document
Highlights strategies used by providers in rural communities for sharing their findings and experiences when expanding access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs.
Organization(s): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), AHRQ Academy
Date: 2019