Perceived Utility of the RE-AIM Framework for Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Initiatives for Older Adults: A Case Study from the U.S. Evidence-Based Disease Prevention Initiative.
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Dissemination and implementation (D&I) frameworks are increasingly being promoted in public health research. However, less is known about their uptake in the field, especially for diverse sets of programs. Limited questionnaires exist to assess the ways that frameworks can be utilized in program planning and evaluation. We present a case study from the United States that describes the implementation of the RE-AIM framework by state aging services providers and public health partners and a questionnaire that can be used to assess the utility of such frameworks in practice. An online questionnaire was developed to capture community perspectives about the utility of the RE-AIM framework. Distributed to project leads in 27 funded states in an evidence-based disease prevention initiative for older adults, 40 key stakeholders responded representing a 100% state-participation rate among the 27 funded states. Findings suggest that there is perceived utility in using the RE-AIM framework when evaluating grand-scale initiatives for older adults. The RE-AIM framework was seen as useful for planning, implementation, and evaluation with relevance for evaluators, providers, community leaders, and policy makers. Yet, the uptake was not universal, and some respondents reported difficulties in use, especially adopting the framework as a whole. This questionnaire can serve as the basis to assess ways the RE-AIM framework can be utilized by practitioners in state-wide D&I efforts. Maximal benefit can be derived from examining the assessment of RE-AIM-related knowledge and confidence as part of a continual quality assurance process. We recommend such an assessment be performed before the implementation of new funding initiatives and throughout their course to assess RE-AIM uptake and to identify areas for technical assistance.