Advancing the Science of Community-Level Interventions

Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 06/2011; 101(8):1410-9. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300113
Source: PubMed


Community interventions are complex social processes that need to move beyond single interventions and outcomes at individual levels of short-term change. A scientific paradigm is emerging that supports collaborative, multilevel, culturally situated community interventions aimed at creating sustainable community-level impact. This paradigm is rooted in a deep history of ecological and collaborative thinking across public health, psychology, anthropology, and other fields of social science. The new paradigm makes a number of primary assertions that affect conceptualization of health issues, intervention design, and intervention evaluation. To elaborate the paradigm and advance the science of community intervention, we offer suggestions for promoting a scientific agenda, developing collaborations among professionals and communities, and examining the culture of science.

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Available from: Kenneth Mcleroy, Oct 07, 2015
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    • "The collection of articles in this Special Section helps to address this by bringing together multiple strategies and demonstrating their strength in addressing research questions with small samples. Small sample research issues also arise in multi-level, group-based, or community-level intervention research (Trickett et al. 2011). An example of this is a study that uses a media campaign and compares the efficacy of that campaign across communities. "
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    ABSTRACT: Small sample research presents a challenge to current standards of design and analytic approaches and the underlying notions of what constitutes good prevention science. Yet, small sample research is critically important as the research questions posed in small samples often represent serious health concerns in vulnerable and underrepresented populations. This commentary considers the Special Section on small sample research and also highlights additional challenges that arise in small sample research not considered in the Special Section, including generalizability, determining what constitutes knowledge, and ensuring that research designs match community desires. It also points to opportunities afforded by small sample research, such as a focus on and increased understanding of context and the emphasis it may place on alternatives to the randomized clinical trial. The commentary urges the development and adoption of innovative strategies to conduct research with small samples.
    Prevention Science 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11121-015-0585-4 · 2.63 Impact Factor
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    • "Community engagement occurred through involvement of key stakeholders. Whilst the majority reported using guidelines to inform planning of initiatives, improvements could be made by integrating high-quality evidence, regional weight gain prevention frameworks and theories across all levels of the socio-ecological model (Trickett et al., 2011; Golden and Earp, 2012; Haby et al., 2012). The majority of CBIs reported conducting and allocating a budget for evaluation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Community-based initiatives (CBIs) that build capacity and promote healthy environments hold promise for preventing obesity and non-communicable disease, however their characteristics remain poorly understood and lessons are learned in isolation. This limits understanding of likely effectiveness of CBIs; the potential for actively supporting practice; and the translation of community-based knowledge into policy. Building on an initial survey (2010), an online survey was launched (2013) with the aim to describe the reach and characteristics of Australian CBIs and identify and evaluate elements known to contribute to best practice, effectiveness and sustainability. Responses from 104 CBIs were received in 2013. Geographic location generally reflected population density in Australia. Duration of CBIs was short-term (median 3 years; range 0.2-21.0 years), delivered mostly by health departments and local governments. Median annual funding had more than doubled since the 2010 survey, but average staffing had not increased. CBIs used at least two strategy types, with a preference for individual behaviour change strategies. Targeting children was less common (31%) compared with the 2010 survey (57%). Logic models and theory were used in planning, but there was low use of research evidence and existing prevention frameworks. Nearly, all CBIs had an evaluation component (12% of budget), but dissemination was limited. This survey provides information on the scope and varied quality of the current obesity prevention investment in Australia. To boost the quality and effectiveness of CBIs, further support systems may be required to ensure that organizations adopt upstream, evidence-informed approaches; and integrate CBIs into systems, policies and environments. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.
    Health Promotion International 04/2015; DOI:10.1093/heapro/dav024 · 1.94 Impact Factor
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    • "However, the dilemma of time-limited grant funding often leads to program implementation without a clear plan for sustainability (Adelman and Taylor 2003; Schierer and Dearing 2011). To promote greater sustainability of EBPs, it is necessary to identify factors contributing to successful resource generation (Trickett et al. 2011). Here, we investigate the community prevention teams' ability to gain sustainability funding and examine what factors over 5 years predict the generation of sustainable funding by 14 community teams. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study is a longitudinal investigation of the Promoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience (PROSPER) partnership model designed to evaluate the level of sustainability funding by community prevention teams, including which factors impact teams' generation of sustainable funding. Community teams were responsible for choosing, implementing with quality, and sustaining evidence-based programs (EBPs) intended to reduce substance misuse and promote positive youth and family development. Fourteen US rural communities and small towns were studied. Data were collected from PROSPER community team members (N = 164) and prevention coordinators (N = 10) over a 5-year period. Global and specific aspects of team functioning were assessed over six waves. Outcome measures were the total funds (cash and in-kind) raised to implement prevention programs. All 14 community teams were sustained for the first 5 years. However, there was substantial variability in the amount of funds raised, and these differences were predicted by earlier and concurrent team functioning and by team sustainability planning. Given the sufficient infrastructure and ongoing technical assistance provided by the PROSPER partnership model, local sustainability of EBPs is achievable.
    Prevention Science 04/2014; 16(1). DOI:10.1007/s11121-014-0483-1 · 2.63 Impact Factor
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