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Using Research-Community Partnerships to Bridge the Science-Practice Gap in Children's Community Service Systems: Characterizing Studies and Collaborative Process

Thursday, 2 May 2013: 14:00-18:00
Banquet Hall (Kursaal Centre)
L. Brookman-Frazee, Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA

The growing field of implementation science is focused on increasing studies on improving methods to promote the systematic uptake of research findings and evidence-based practices into community-based service settings. A number of implementation research frameworks highlight the critical role of research-community partnerships to support the relevance and organizational “fit” of interventions to maximize uptake and to build organizational infrastructures to support intervention sustainability. Further, policy directives from the National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Institute of Medicine call for improved collaboration between researchers and other community stakeholders to enhance the translation of research results into community-based care. Although there are growing numbers of research-community partnerships (RCPs) in the field of mental health services, particularly within pediatric service settings, more work is needed to explicate collaborative processes. The goal of the current study is to make more explicit much of the tacit knowledge that many researchers have gained through collaborative efforts. 


The purpose of this study is systematically examine a representative group of RCPs that have been used to adapt evidence-based interventions, training, and broader implementation models to address mental health and behavioral issues for children including ASD, served in various community-based service systems. Specifically, a web-based survey completed by project principal investigators and community partners was employed to characterize the use of RCPs to tailor evidence-based intervention, training, and implementation models for delivery in across different childhood problems and service contexts.


Through a comprehensive literature and grants search, independent review and consensus coding, 38 studies using RCPs for the purpose of developing, adapting or implementing an intervention in routine care services were identified.  A web-based survey was administered to project principal investigators and community partners to characterize the projects and collaborative process. Survey items include both open and close-ended questions to identify common themes in study and RCP characteristics and processes.


Final mixed qualitative and quantitative data characterizing (1) characteristics of research studies using RCP models; (2) RCP functioning, processes, and products; (4) processes of tailoring EBPs for implementation in the community; and (3) investigator perceptions of the benefits and challenges of collaborating with community providers and consumers will be presented. Themes unique to ASD-specific studies will be highlighted.

Conclusions:  Theme across many RCPs will inform future collaborative projects and the development of RCP theory. This presentation provides the larger context and larger framework for the other presentations in this symposium.

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