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Theories & Approaches

All Theories & Approaches

Using Research to Improve Practice

Welcome to Using Research to Improve Practice. In this section, you will find the following:


In October 2002, ETR Associates in partnership with the National Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting and Prevention (NOAPPP) received funding from the Division of Reproductive Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support state and local adolescent pregnancy prevention coalitions in implementing science-based programs.

The information you will find in this edition of ReCAPP is largely adapted from a training that ETR and NOAPPP have developed over the past year. The development of the "Using Research to Select, Adapt and Improve Programs" training came about after a comprehensive needs assessment with five state coalitions (AZ, MA, MN, NC, and SC).

From this needs assessment, our project team learned that coalitions wanted to learn more about how to interpret emerging adolescent reproductive health research (and research from related fields), as well as how to integrate this research to improve or strengthen their programming. In addition, coalitions expressed a need for guidance on how to adapt effective evidence-based programs to meet the unique needs of their communities.

We hope you will find the information presented in this edition of ReCAPP to be practical and useful. For more information, please contact ReCAPP's Project Director, Lori Rolleri at Lori also serves as Project Director on the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Coalition project.


What You will Find in this Edition

  1. Slide Presentation
    This set of 62 slides provides an overview of the one-day face-to-face training.

    To download a Power Point version of this presentation, click here.3

    To view an on-line Flash version of this presentation, click here.2

  2. Using Data to Develop a Program Worksheet1
    This worksheet will guide the learner in developing a hypothetical adolescent pregnancy prevention grant proposal and will require that he/she use data to back up his/her responses.

    For a list of online public health data resources and other resources, click here.
  3. Teens and Sex Program Description and Worksheet
    The Program Description provides information about a fictional program titled Teens and Sex and includes a table of contents. The Worksheet guides the learner in assessing whether or not this program meets the 10 Characteristics of Effective Programs. Learners will need two additional resources to complete this activity:
    1. The 10 Characteristics of Effective Programs
      In a qualitative analysis of effective evidence-based programs, ETR's Douglas Kirby, PhD found that there are 10 characteristics that effective programs share. These appear to be necessary characteristics. That is, any evaluated program which lacked one or more of these characteristics was found to be ineffective.
    2. 10 Characteristics of Effective Programs - An Assessment Tool1
      This tool asks a series of questions that support each of the ten characteristics. Practitioners can use this tool to help determine whether or not the 10 Characteristics are reflected in their programs. Click here to find this assessment tool.
  4. Practice Profiles for Reducing the Risk and Get Real About AIDS1
    Practice profiles for Reducing the Risk and Get Real About AIDS were developed by ETR Associates in 1999 with funding from the Division of Adolescent School Health (DASH) at CDC. These practice profiles can help practitioners in three ways. First, practitioners can review the practice profile to see what variations in program implementation are considered acceptable and what changes are considered unacceptable. Second, because key elements of the program are identified in the practice profile, it can be used for program planning and teacher training. And third, the practice profile is a tool that can be used for program evaluation and improvement.

    For an overall program description of Reducing the Risk, click here.

    For an overall program description for Get Real About AIDS, click here.
  5. Assessing Dimensions of Program Fidelity
    This assessment form helps practitioners determine how changes/modifications made to a program may compromise its core components (the key components responsible for the program's effectiveness).
  6. Creating an Infrastructure Worksheet1
    This worksheet asks you and your co-workers a series of questions that will help you plan for ways to learn about, as well as integrate, emerging research.


On-line Data Sources


Other Resources

Adams, J, Terry, MA, Rebchook, GM, O'Donnell, LO, Kelly, JA, Leonard, NR and Spink Neumann, M. Orientation and training: Preparing agency administrators and staff to replicate an HIV prevention intervention. AIDS Education and Prevention, 12, Supplement A: 75-86.

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: Preserving Core Values in Science

Dissemination Self-Inventory. (January 2002). The National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory: Austin, TX.

Evaluation Consultation Center. (1996). Developing the marketing plan: Insights from the diffusion of innovation literature. Academy of Educational Development: Washington DC.

Finding the balance: Program fidelity and adaptation in substance abuse prevention. (2002). Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration(SAMHSA): Washington DC.

Goodman, RM, McLeroy, KR, Steckler, AB and Hoyle, RH. (1993). Development of level of institutionalization scales for health promotion programs. Health Education Quarterly, 2092: 161-178.

Kelly, JA, Heckman, TG, Stevenson, LY, Williams, PN, Ertl, T, Hays, RB, Leonard, NR, O'Donnell, L, Terry, MA, Sogolow, ED, and Spink Neumann, M. (2000). Transfer of research-based HIV prevention interventions to community service providers: fidelity and adaptation. AIDS Education and Prevention, 12, Supplement A: 87-98.

O'Donnell, L, Scattergood, P, Adler, M, San Doval, A, Barker, M, Kelly, JA, Kegeles, SM, Rebchook, GM, Adams, J, Terry, MA and Spink Neumann, M. (2000). The role of technical assistance in the replication of effective HIV interventions. AIDS Education and Prevention, 12, Supplement A: 99-111.

Parcel, GS, Taylor, WC, Brink, SG, Gottlieb, N, Engquist, K, O'Hara, NM, and Eriksen, MP. (1989). Translating theory into practice: Intervention strategies for the diffusion of a health promotion innovation. Fam Community Health, 12(3): 1-13.

Sogolow, ED, Kay, LS, Doll, LS, Spink Neumann, M, Mezoff, JS, Eke, AN, Semann, and Anderson, JR. Strengthening HIV prevention: Application of a research-to-practice framework. AIDS Education and Prevention, 12, Supplement A: 21-32.

Spink Neumann, M, and Sogolow, ED. (2000). Replicating effective programs: HIV/AIDS prevention technology transfer. AIDS Education and Prevention, 12, Supplement A: 35-48.

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