Experiences in disseminating evidence-based prevention programs in a real-world setting.


The primary aim of family-based prevention programs is to promote children’s health. Unfortunately, it is difficult to reach families with such evidence-based prevention programs (EBP). Therefore, implementing EBP on a population level could be a promising approach to reach more families, including those faced with socioeconomic challenges who are usually less likely to participate in randomized controlled trials (RCT). Is a population rollout appropriate to reach more and different families than those participating in RCT, especially those representative of the target population? We implemented three EBP in a city in an uncontrolled trial. The effects of this population rollout were tracked on the level of the participating families and on the level of all families living in the city. More than 3480 families (30 % of the population) with children up to 12 years of age participated based on practitioner report. Analyses indicate that a greater percentage of low socioeconomic-status families attended a program compared with a randomly surveyed sample from the city’s general population. The sizes of the within-subject effect for parental strategies, child behavior problems, and children’s quality of life for a subsample of n = 411 families were similar to those of other uncontrolled EBP studies. The study contributes to highly needed type 2 translation research. The population-based dissemination of EBP could be a promising approach to reach families at risk. However, there are considerable barriers to the implementation process, which currently limit the effectiveness of this rollout in a community.