The relationship between research and practice development has not always been a close one. Researchers focus upon the production of new knowledge to create the evidence base upon which the development of practice is taken forward, usually by other people within the clinical area. Work being undertaken at the Macmillan Practice Development Unit (MPDU) in London about the dissemination and utilisation of evidence concerning the management of breathlessness has raised a number of issues. These concern the confidence of practitioners to take on new approaches within the practice sphere, their desire for accredited education, and questions about responsibility for, and ownership of, the dissemination process. Different values about the nature of learning are explored here, which may explain the dissonance between practitioner and researcher expectations about the dissemination and utilisation process.