The PROSPER model uses a three-tiered community partnership, university researcher, and Cooperative Extension-based technical assistance system to support the delivery of evidence-based interventions in communities. This study examines the trajectory and predictors of the collaborative relationship between technical assistance providers and community teams across the three phases of organization, implementation, and sustainability. Members of 14 PROmoting School-university-community Partnerships to Enhance Resilience (PROSPER) community teams and directors of local agencies rated communities’ levels of readiness and adolescent substance use norms. Technical assistance providers rated their collaborative relationship with their teams at 14 occasions across 4.5 years. Results from mixed models show that levels of collaboration were stable until the sustainability phase, when they increased significantly. Team differences in change were significant during the implementation phase. Community readiness predicted levels of the collaborative relationship over time: high community readiness was associated with a high level of collaboration during organization, but a decline in collaboration during implementation. These results provide a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between technical assistance provision and community prevention teams and lead to recommendations to improve dissemination models to achieve a greater public health impact.
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Work on this paper was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA013709) and co-funding from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA14702) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DP002279).
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human participant research was approved by both universities’ Institutional Review Boards. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all research participants included in the study.
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Chilenski, S.M., Welsh, J., Olson, J. et al. Examining the Highs and Lows of the Collaborative Relationship Between Technical Assistance Providers and Prevention Implementers. Prev Sci 19, 250–259 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-017-0812-2