Prevention Science

, Volume 20, Issue 8, pp 1200–1210 | Cite as

Influence of an Implementation Support Intervention on Barriers and Facilitators to Delivery of a Substance Use Prevention Program

  • Jill S. CannonEmail author
  • Marylou Gilbert
  • Patricia Ebener
  • Patrick S. Malone
  • Caitlin M. Reardon
  • Joie Acosta
  • Matthew Chinman


Implementation support interventions have helped organizations implement programs with quality and obtain intended outcomes. For example, a recent randomized controlled trial called Preparing to Run Effective Programs (PREP) showed that an implementation support intervention called Getting To Outcomes (GTO) improved implementation of an evidence-based substance use prevention program (CHOICE) run in community-based settings. However, more information is needed on how these interventions affect organizational barriers and facilitators of implementation. This paper aims to identify differences in implementation facilitators and barriers in sites conducting a substance use prevention program with and without GTO. PREP is a cluster-randomized controlled trial testing GTO, a two-year implementation support intervention, in Boys & Girls Clubs. The trial compares 15 Boys & Girls Club sites implementing CHOICE (control group), a five-session evidence-based alcohol and drug prevention program, with 14 Boys & Girls Club sites implementing CHOICE supported by GTO (intervention group). All sites received CHOICE training. Intervention sites also received GTO manuals, training, and onsite technical assistance to help practitioners complete implementation best practices specified by GTO (i.e., GTO steps). During the first year, technical assistance providers helped the intervention group adopt, plan, and deliver CHOICE, and then evaluate and make quality improvements to CHOICE implementation using feedback reports summarizing their data. Following the second year of CHOICE and GTO implementation, all sites participated in semi-structured interviews to identify barriers and facilitators to CHOICE implementation using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). This paper assesses the extent to which these facilitators and barriers differed between intervention and control group. Intervention sites had significantly higher average ratings than control sites for two constructs from the CFIR process domain: planning and reflecting and evaluating. At the same time, intervention sites had significantly lower ratings on the culture and available resources constructs. Findings suggest that strong planning, evaluation, and reflection—likely improved with GTO support—can facilitate implementation even in the face of perceptions of a less desirable implementation climate. These findings highlight that implementation support, such as GTO, is likely to help low-resourced community-based organizations improve program delivery through a focus on implementation processes.

Trial Registration

This project is registered at with number NCT02135991 (URL: The trial was first registered May 12, 2014.


Implementation support Fidelity Evidence-based program Community-based, CFIR GTO 



We would like to acknowledge the contributions of Keisha McDonald, Elizabeth D’Amico, Laura Damschroder, and Christian Lopez for their assistance.


All the authors are funded by a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Preparing to Run Effective Prevention (R01AA022353-01) to conduct the reported research. The funder had no role in the design of the study, data collection, analysis, interpretation of data, or writing of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with ethical standards of the institutional research committee (RAND Human Subjects Protection Committee FWA00003425) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study.

Supplementary material

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11121_2019_1037_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (424 kb)
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11121_2019_1037_MOESM3_ESM.doc (56 kb)
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11121_2019_1037_MOESM4_ESM.doc (216 kb)
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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RAND CorporationSanta MonicaUSA
  2. 2.Malone QuantitativeDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Center for Clinical Management Research, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare SystemAnn ArborUSA

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