Influence of an Implementation Support Intervention on Barriers and Facilitators to Delivery of a Substance Use Prevention Program

Published in: Prevention Science, Volume 20, Issue 8, pages 1200-1210 (November 2019). doi: 10.1007/s11121-019-01037-x

Posted on RAND.org on February 13, 2020

by Jill S. Cannon, Marylou Gilbert, Patricia A. Ebener, Patrick S. Malone, Caitlin M. Reardon, Joie D. Acosta, Matthew Chinman

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Implementation support interventions have helped organizations implement programs with quality and obtain intended outcomes. For example, a recent randomized controlled trial called Preparing to Run Effective Programs (PREP) showed that an implementation support intervention called Getting To Outcomes (GTO) improved implementation of an evidence-based substance use prevention program (CHOICE) run in community-based settings. However, more information is needed on how these interventions affect organizational barriers and facilitators of implementation. This paper aims to identify differences in implementation facilitators and barriers in sites conducting a substance use prevention program with and without GTO. PREP is a cluster-randomized controlled trial testing GTO, a two-year implementation support intervention, in Boys & Girls Clubs. The trial compares 15 Boys & Girls Club sites implementing CHOICE (control group), a five-session evidence-based alcohol and drug prevention program, with 14 Boys & Girls Club sites implementing CHOICE supported by GTO (intervention group). All sites received CHOICE training. Intervention sites also received GTO manuals, training, and onsite technical assistance to help practitioners complete implementation best practices specified by GTO (i.e., GTO steps). During the first year, technical assistance providers helped the intervention group adopt, plan, and deliver CHOICE, and then evaluate and make quality improvements to CHOICE implementation using feedback reports summarizing their data. Following the second year of CHOICE and GTO implementation, all sites participated in semi-structured interviews to identify barriers and facilitators to CHOICE implementation using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). This paper assesses the extent to which these facilitators and barriers differed between intervention and control group. Intervention sites had significantly higher average ratings than control sites for two constructs from the CFIR process domain: planning and reflecting and evaluating. At the same time, intervention sites had significantly lower ratings on the culture and available resources constructs. Findings suggest that strong planning, evaluation, and reflection—likely improved with GTO support—can facilitate implementation even in the face of perceptions of a less desirable implementation climate. These findings highlight that implementation support, such as GTO, is likely to help low-resourced community-based organizations improve program delivery through a focus on implementation processes.

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