Translating evidence-based programs from controlled settings into real-world community settings is challenging. Inevitably, life gets in the way, and programs are not implemented as they were originally designed or intended. Measuring implementation factors can help guide future implementation and improve program outcomes.
Our new study, published in the journal, Health Promotion Practice, presents methods to document and assess implementation of the Youth Empowerment Solutions (YES) program during a five-year randomized control study. The YES team collected process evaluation data on 25 YES groups from 12 schools over a period of 4 years. The evaluation assessed four key aspects of delivery: fidelity, dose delivered, dose received, and program quality.
The research team found wide variations in delivery for some measures, while others were more consistent across groups. These indicators of program delivery provided a strong basis for evaluating program implementation, taking actions to improve it, and ultimately, deepening understanding of program effectiveness.
The study suggests a model for using multiple methods to collect and analyze data about aspects of program delivery to guide future implementations.