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Transl Behav Med. 2019 Jan 1;9(1):1-10. doi: 10.1093/tbm/ibx067.

A scoping study of frameworks for adapting public health evidence-based interventions.

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Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA, USA.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, Houston, TX, USA.


Evidence-based public health translation of research to practice is essential to improve the public's health. Dissemination and implementation researchers have explored what happens once practitioners adopt evidence-based interventions (EBIs) and have developed models and frameworks to describe the adaptation process. This scoping study identified and summarized adaptation frameworks in published reports and grey literature. We followed the recommended steps of a scoping study: (a) identifying the research question; (b) identifying relevant studies; (c) selecting studies; (d) charting the data; (e) collating, summarizing, and reporting the results; and (f) consulting with experts. We searched PubMed, PsycINFO, PsycNET, and CINAHL databases for articles referencing adaptation frameworks for public health interventions in the published and gray literature, and from reference lists of framework articles. Two reviewers independently coded the frameworks and their steps and identified common steps. We found 13 adaptation frameworks with 11 program adaptation steps: (a) assess community, (b) understand the EBI(s), (c) select the EBI, (d) consult with experts, (e) consult with stakeholders, (f) decide on needed adaptations, (g) adapt the original EBI, (h) train staff, (i) test the adapted materials, (j) implement the adapted EBI, and (k) evaluate. Eight of these steps were recommended by more than five frameworks: #1-3, 6-7, and 9-11. This study is the first to systematically identify, review, describe, and summarize frameworks for adapting EBIs. It contributes to the literature by consolidating key steps in program adaptation of EBIs and describing the associated tasks in each step.

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