Implementation and Evaluation
Full course description
To what extent are health promotion interventions that are developed and tested according to scientific standards, practically useful and effective? And how should policy makers take costs into account when deciding on the implementation of health promotion interventions? These are some of the key questions addressed in this module. The first step in the intervention process is the development and small-scaled evaluation of interventions. In this phase scientists are concerned with efficacy and internal validity, often realized through the use of randomized controlled trials. Internal validity is important for the interpretation of the intervention effects. Besides testing the effects of an intervention under ideal circumstances, it is also important to assess its effect in a ‘real world’ setting. The second step is therefore to study conditions for the effectiveness of the interventions and the actual use in practice. During the third step of real life intervention implementation, different aspects of external validity should be addressed to facilitate large-scale dissemination and implementation to other settings. In this stage, researchers reporting on programme effectiveness, should also report in detail the characteristics of the setting and study population, effect moderators, and methods and problems of implementation. This provides information about the settings and populations to which the observed intervention effects can be generalized. This aspect of external validity is very important; after all, why should one invest time and money into dissemination and implementation if the intervention is unlikely to work in the settings of concern? For health promoters and policy makers, interventions that are not used and implemented in practice are not only a waste of valuable time and money, but can also seriously impede effective health promotion. In this unit, students acquire knowledge about the successful dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions, and their effectiveness in relevant settings and target populations.
The first aim of this unit is that students acquire knowledge about the factors and strategies that influence the successful dissemination and implementation of evidence-based health-related interventions. Of concern are theories of dissemination and change, effective communication and marketing, adoption and tension between implementation fidelity and adaptation. Related to this, it focuses on the importance of cooperation among stakeholders, sensitivity to local values, and their responses to interventions. Second, student will get insight in how to evaluate intervention effectiveness and appreciation by users and the target group. Health technology assessment of interventions is also treated.
Knowledge and understanding.
- Describe the major factors that affect successful dissemination and implementation of interventions;
- Integrate considerations of programme theory, implementation theory, organizational change, internal validity, external validity, evaluation designs, and the practical aspects of dissemination, implementation and evaluation;
- Value the trade-offs between scientific standards of intervention development and testing, and the need to adapt interventions to stakeholders, settings, and target populations.
Application of knowledge and understanding
- Prepare, conduct and report an interview;
- Conduct a systematic stakeholder analysis;
- Students are able to critically analyse existing interventions in terms of core components;
- Students can report their insights with respect to programme and implementation theory;
Learning skills. 8)
Students are able to:
- Cooperate in small groups, preparing them to cooperate with stakeholders in different settings;
- Initiate, evaluate, and support change processes in different settings;
Brownson, R. C., Colditz, G. A., & Proctor, E. K. (second edition). (2018). Dissemination and implementation research in health: Translating science to practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: The Free Press. Rossi, P. H., Lipsey, M. W., & Freeman, H. E. (2004). Evaluation: A systematic approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage