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Disseminating Policy and Environmental Change Interventions: Insights from Obesity Prevention and Tobacco Control
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    Evidence-based interventions are increasingly called for as a way to improve health behaviors such as tobacco use, physical inactivity, and poor diet. Numerous organizations are disseminating interventions that target individual-level behavioral change. Fewer are disseminating interventions that target the policy and environmental changes required to support healthier behaviors. This paper aims to describe the distinct features of policy and environmental change and the lessons learned by two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded dissemination projects, the Center for Training and Research Translation (Center TRT) and Counter Tobacco.


    Both Center TRT and Counter Tobacco have conducted formative research with their target audiences to customize dissemination to address practitioner-reported needs and preferences. The Centers’ have developed the following approach to disseminating policy and environmental change interventions: (1) Identify the best available evidence rather than waiting for the best possible evidence, (2) disseminate menus of broad intervention strategies, (3) provide implementation guidance, (4) incorporate stories from the field, (5) build practitioners’ capacity, and, (6) integrate dissemination into practitioners’ existing professional and social networks. In 2012, over 26,000 unique visitors accessed the Center TRT website and downloaded over 12,400 documents. The Counter Tobacco website has had 10,907 unique visitors since its launch in August 2011, and the number of visitors is increasing rapidly.


    Both Centers have had success reaching their intended audiences. Research is now needed to assess the extent of practitioners’ use of disseminated recommendations, guidance, and tools in practice and the impact of the resulting interventions.

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