, Volume 50, Issue 3-4, pp 402-414

The Interactive Systems Framework Applied to the Strategic Prevention Framework: The Rhode Island Experience

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Abstract

The Interactive Systems Framework for Dissemination and Implementation (ISF) was introduced as a heuristic systems level model to help bridge the gap between research and practice (Wandersman et al., in Am J Commun Psychol 41:171–181, 2008). This model describes three interacting systems with distinct functions that (1) distill knowledge to develop innovations; (2) provide supportive training and technical assistance for dissemination to; (3) a prevention delivery system responsible for implementation in the field. The Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) is a major prevention innovation launched by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The SPF offers a structured, sequential, data-driven approach that explicitly targets environmental conditions in the community and aims for change in substance use and problems at the population level. This paper describes how the ISF was applied to the challenges of implementing the SPF in 14 Rhode Island communities, with a focus on the development of a new Training and Technical Assistance Resources Center to support SPF efforts. More specifically, we (1) describe each of the three ISF interacting systems as they evolved in Rhode Island; (2) articulate the lines of communication between the three systems; and (3) examine selected evaluation data to understand relationships between training and technical assistance and SPF implementation and outcomes.