• Scaling up Evidence-Based Interventions in US Public Systems to Prevent Behavioral Health Problems: Challenges and Opportunities

      Fagan, A.A.; Bumbarger, B.K.; Barth, R.P. (Springer New York LLC, 2019)
      A number of programs, policies, and practices have been tested using rigorous scientific methods and shown to prevent behavioral health problems (Catalano et al., Lancet 379:1653–1664, 2012; National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2009). Yet these evidence-based interventions (EBIs) are not widely used in public systems, and they have limited reach (Glasgow et al., American Journal of Public Health 102:1274–1281, 2012; National Research Council and Institute of Medicine 2009; Prinz and Sanders, Clinical Psychology Review 27:739–749, 2007). To address this challenge and improve public health and well-being at a population level, the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) formed the Mapping Advances in Prevention Science (MAPS) IV Translation Research Task Force, which considered ways to scale up EBIs in five public systems: behavioral health, child welfare, education, juvenile justice, and public health. After reviewing other efforts to scale up EBIs in public systems, a common set of factors were identified as affecting scale-up in all five systems. The most important factor was the degree to which these systems enacted public policies (i.e., statutes, regulations, and guidance) requiring or recommending EBIs and provided public funds for EBIs. Across systems, other facilitators of scale-up were creating EBIs that are ready for scale-up, public awareness of and support for EBIs, community engagement and capacity to implement EBIs, leadership support for EBIs, a skilled workforce capable of delivering EBIs, and data monitoring and evaluation capacity. It was concluded that the following actions are needed to significantly increase EBI scale-up in public systems: (1) provide more public policies and funding to support the creation, testing, and scaling up of EBIs; (2) develop and evaluate specific frameworks that address systems level barriers impeding EBI scale-up; and (3) promote public support for EBIs, community capacity to implement EBIs at scale, and partnerships between community stakeholders, policy makers, practitioners, and scientists within and across systems.