Strengthening Prevention Performance Using Technology

A Formative Evaluation of Interactive Getting to Outcomes®

Published in: The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, v.79, no. 4, Oct. 2009, p. 469-481

Posted on RAND.org on October 01, 2009

by Matthew Chinman, Beverly Tremain, Pamela Imm, Abraham Wandersman

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Communities face challenges implementing evidence-based prevention programs. To help, policymakers are exploring how to build community-level capacity for prevention for thousands of organizations or communities across the United States. This article reports on a formative evaluation within 2 states' prevention systems of an Internet system designed to build capacity on a large scale, interactive Getting To Outcomes® (iGTO). In Tennessee, 30 coalitions were randomly assigned to receive either the iGTO system or nothing. In Missouri, 18 coalitions receiving iGTO were compared with 8 like coalitions who did not receive iGTO. The primary outcome was iGTO's impact on the performance of the coalitions' programs, assessed through interviews at baseline and after a year of iGTO implementation. Analyses suggest that iGTO-programs improved their performance of prevention practices over non-iGTO programs. Semi-structured interviews of iGTO users and state-level stakeholders showed that iGTO was adopted by most iGTO-assigned coalitions, albeit in mostly an elementary fashion. Perceptions of the iGTO system were mixed. The findings suggest that more comprehensive integration requires that state leadership also use iGTO and provide more support for its use at the local level.

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