Translating evidence-based interventions for implementation: Experiences from Project HEAL in African American churches
Holt, Cheryl L.
Tagai, Erin K.
Scheirer, Mary Ann
Santos, Sherie Lou Z.
Slade, Jimmie L.
Wang, Min Qi
Implementation Science 2014, 9:66
Holt, Cheryl L.
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Background Community-based approaches have been increasing in the effort to raise awareness and early detection for cancer and other chronic disease. However, many times, such interventions are tested in randomized trials, become evidence-based, and then fail to reach further use in the community. Project HEAL (Health through Early Awareness and Learning) is an implementation trial that aims to compare two strategies of implementing evidence-based cancer communication interventions in African American faith-based organizations. Method This article describes the community-engaged process of transforming three evidence-based cancer communication interventions into a coherent, branded strategy for training community health advisors with two delivery mechanisms. Peer community health advisors receive training through either a traditional classroom approach (with high technical assistance/support) or a web-based training portal (with low technical assistance/support). Results We describe the process, outline the intervention components, report on the pilot test, and conclude with lessons learned from each of these phases. Though the pilot phase showed feasibility, it resulted in modifications to data collection protocols and team and community member roles and expectations. Conclusions Project HEAL offers a promising strategy to implement evidence-based interventions in community settings through the use of technology. There could be wider implications for chronic disease prevention and control.