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Health Promot J Austr. 2016 Feb;27(3):204-207. doi: 10.1071/HE16056.

Improving the translation of health promotion interventions using effectiveness-implementation hybrid designs in program evaluations.

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University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia.


Bridging the gap between research-based evidence and public health policy and practice is a considerable challenge to public health improvement this century, requiring a rethinking of conventional approaches to health research production and use. Traditionally the process of research translation has been viewed as linear and unidirectional, from epidemiological research to identify health problems and determinants, to efficacy and effectiveness trials and studies of strategies to maximise the implementation and dissemination of evidence-based interventions in practice. A criticism of this approach is the considerable time it takes to achieve translation of health research into practice. Hybrid evaluation designs provide one means of accelerating the research translation process by simultaneously collecting information regarding intervention impacts and implementation and dissemination strategy. However, few health promotion research trials employ such designs and often fail to report information to enable assessment of the feasibility and potential impact of implementation and dissemination strategies. In addition to intervention effects, policy makers and practitioners also want to know the impact of implementation strategies. This commentary will define the three categories of effectiveness-implementation hybrid designs, describe their application in health promotion evaluation, and discuss the potential implications of more systematic use of such designs for the translation of health promotion and evaluation.So what?Greater use of effectiveness-implementation hybrid designs may accelerate research translation by providing more practice- and policy-relevant information to end-users, more quickly.


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