To improve community health, effective interventions require effective dissemination. But which dissemination strategy will be effective in a particular community setting is often unclear. When researchers simply allow word to get out—passive diffusion—information may travel slowly, and adoption of new practices may be limited. To foster healthy behaviors and practices in a community, effective interventions need active dissemination.
Researchers are evaluating dissemination strategies for an Internet-based workplace health intervention and a fall-prevention program. They will also study how well community partners can disseminate established programs that provide physical activity and depression-management for seniors.
Workplace Solutions, an intervention to enhance employers' implementation of evidence-based health promotion practices, was co-developed with the American Cancer Society (ACS) in 2001. To enhance dissemination of this program, researchers are interviewing ACS staff about how Workplace Solutions was delivered. They are also surveying organizations that employ 100 to 5,000 low-wage workers about their willingness to adopt and implement a Web-based version of Workplace Solutions. In partnership with ACS, researchers will use the information gathered to develop and pilot-test a Web-based version of Workplace Solutions. Researchers will contact employers that register on the Workplace Solutions Web site and measure their satisfaction with the intervention and their intentions to adopt and implement the health promotion practices it promotes.
The fall-prevention program involves older adults who have experienced a fall and called 9-1-l. Researchers are studying how well emergency responders in one fire district in King County, Washington, as part of their response to the initial falling emergency, can counsel older people and encourage them to seek follow-up fall-prevention programs. Results are compared with those from another fire district in the same county where the number of fall-related 9-1-1 calls is recorded, but no preventive intervention is given to this control group.
A third study in the second half of the grant period will address the question of how community partners can effectively disseminate a depression management program (PEARLS
) or a physical activity program (EnhanceFitness
Collectively, the activities described above constitute the Healthy Aging Dissemination Research Project.