Capacity Building for and Implementation of Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change: Results from a Survey of the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program
AbstractAbstractPolicy, systems, and environmental (PSE) approaches are commonly used to improve population health. Cancer-related examples include providing data and education to stakeholders about policies that support healthy living, or health systems changes such as universal reminders about recommended cancer screening. The National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP) funds health departments to form cancer coalitions that develop and implement cancer plans. NCCCP initiated a demonstration program in 13 of 65 funded grantees to determine whether skilled, dedicated staffing and using a strategic process to examine data, form a workgroup, and develop an agenda would enhance their capacity to implement PSE approaches, recruit new partners, and provide data and education to stakeholders. The objective of this study was to compare demonstration program grantees to other NCCCP grantees on their ability to develop and implement PSE strategies, and the short-term results that were achieved. Program directors (PDs) from each NCCCP-funded jurisdiction completed web surveys at 2 time points during implementation to assess changes in their capacity for PSE approaches, identify implementation activities, and document short-term outcomes. Responses from demonstration program PDs and other PDs at both time points were compared in a descriptive analysis. Demonstration program grantees experienced greater increases in skills and capacity to address PSE approaches, engaged in necessary implementation activities more often, and achieved greater improvements in stakeholder and decision maker awareness and support for PSE strategies, compared to nonparticipating NCCCP grantees. These findings support continued implementation of PSE approaches for sustainable cancer prevention and control.