Despite the availability of many evidence-based prevention interventions (EBIs), gaps exist in bringing these programs into widespread practice. Technical assistance (TA) is a strategy for enhancing the readiness of practitioners to implement EBIs. Although many millions of dollars are spent on TA each year, there is little consensus about what the essential features of TA are and how to provide TA with quality. A broad-based research synthesis methodology was used for analyzing the current evidence base for TA using three frames: (1) applying the Getting To Outcomes (GTO) model for categorizing evidence on TA that specifies tasks for planning, implementing, and evaluating TA; (2) understanding the relevance of a successful relationship between the TA provider and TA recipient; and (3) considering the extent to which TA fits the life cycle needs of the preventive intervention. Results indicated that an explicit model or organizing framework is rarely used to plan, implement, and/or evaluate TA; specific TA tasks performed vary widely across studies; TA is rarely delivered to recipients who are seeking to sustain innovations subsequent to adoption and implementation; however, there is systematic attention to relationships and relationship-building. Overall, this synthesis indicates that the extent to which TA is being delivered systematically is limited. We suggest that funders and other stakeholders develop and implement standards for TA quality in order to ensure that many of these limitations are addressed.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 9, 2016
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