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Subst Use Misuse. 2001 May-Jun;36(6-7):825-43.

Community readiness and health services.

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  • 1Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, USA.


Community readiness theory is a practical tool for implementing changes in community health services. The theory provides methods for assessment, diagnosis, and community change. First, community key informants are asked semi-structured questions that provide information about what is occurring in the community in relation to a specific problem. The results evaluate readiness to deal with that problem on six dimensions; existing efforts, knowledge about the problem, knowledge about alternative methods or policies, leadership, resources, and community climate. The eventual result is a diagnosis of the overall stage of community readiness. There are nine stages, tolerance or no awareness, denial, vague awareness, preplanning, preparation, initiation, institutionalization or stabilization, confirmation/expansion, and professionalization. Each stage requires different forms of interventions in order to move the community to the next stage until, eventually, initiation and maintenance of health services programs and policies can be achieved.

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