Prevention Science

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 674–683 | Cite as

A Framework for Testing and Promoting Expanded Dissemination of Promising Preventive Interventions That Are Being Implemented in Community Settings

  • W. Alex MasonEmail author
  • Charles B. Fleming
  • Ronald W. Thompson
  • Kevin P. Haggerty
  • James J. Snyder


Many evidence-based preventive interventions have been developed in recent years, but few are widely used. With the current focus on efficacy trials, widespread dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions are often afterthoughts. One potential strategy for reversing this trend is to find a promising program with a strong delivery vehicle in place and improve and test the program’s efficacy through rigorous evaluation. If the program is supported by evidence, the dissemination vehicle is already in place and potentially can be expanded. This strategy has been used infrequently and has met with limited success to date, in part, because the field lacks a framework for guiding such research. To address this gap, we outline a framework for moving promising preventive interventions that are currently being implemented in community settings through a process of rigorous testing and, if needed, program modification in order to promote expanded dissemination. The framework is guided by RE-AIM (Reach, Efficacy/Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance) (Glasgow et al., Am J Publ Health 89:1322–1327, 1999), which focuses attention on external as well as internal validity in program tests, and is illustrated with examples. Challenges, such as responding to negative and null results, and opportunities inherent in the framework are discussed.


Prevention Dissemination Evidence-based Parent-training Randomized trial 


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Alex Mason
    • 1
    Email author
  • Charles B. Fleming
    • 2
  • Ronald W. Thompson
    • 1
  • Kevin P. Haggerty
    • 2
  • James J. Snyder
    • 3
  1. 1.National Research Institute for Child and Family StudiesBoys TownUSA
  2. 2.Social Development Research GroupUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyWichita State UniversityWichitaUSA

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