Translational Research in South Africa: Evaluating Implementation Quality Using a Factorial Design
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HealthWise South Africa: Life Skills for Adolescents (HW) is an evidence-based substance use and sexual risk prevention program that emphasizes the positive use of leisure time. Since 2000, this program has evolved from pilot testing through an efficacy trial involving over 7,000 youth in the Cape Town area. Beginning in 2011, through 2015, we are undertaking a new study that expands HW to all schools in the Metro South Education District.
This paper describes a research study designed in partnership with our South African collaborators that examines three factors hypothesized to affect the quality and fidelity of HW implementation: enhanced teacher training; teacher support, structure and supervision; and enhanced school environment.
Teachers and students from 56 schools in the Cape Town area will participate in this study. Teacher observations are the primary means of collecting data on factors affecting implementation quality. These factors address the practical concerns of teachers and schools related to likelihood of use and cost-effectiveness, and are hypothesized to be “active ingredients” related to high-quality program implementation in real-world settings. An innovative factorial experimental design was chosen to enable estimation of the individual effect of each of the three factors.
Because this paper describes the conceptualization of our study, results are not yet available.
The results of this study may have both substantive and methodological implications for advancing Type 2 translational research.
KeywordsFactorial design Implementation quality Prevention Translational research
HealthWise was supported by NIDA grant 1R01DA029084-01A1. Preparation of this article was supported by NIDA Center Grant P50 DA100075, NIDA 1R01DA029084-01A1, and F31 DA028155.
Conflict of interest
We declare that our research team has no conflict of interest with our association with the Metro South Education District (MSED). Our relationship with the district does not involve grants (other than the one secured by the U.S. National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse for this study which the MSED endorsed), employment, consultancy, shared ownership, or any close relationship that would influence or alter interests, financial or otherwise, that would be affected by the publication of this paper.
This study has been granted human subjects approval by the IRB boards at both Penn State University and the University of the Western Cape. We have followed and will follow all requirements for the protection of human subjects as stipulated by the IRB application and approval.
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