The implementation of mental health promotion programmes
Barry, Margaret M.
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Barry, M., Domitrovich, C. & Lara, M.A. (2005). The implementation of mental health promotion programmes. Promotion & Education, Suppl. 2, 30-36
The evaluation of programme implementation has a critical role to play in advancing knowledge and practice in mental health promotion. While much progress has made in recent years in establishing a sound evidence base for mental health promotion (Hosman and Jané-Llopis,1999; Friedli, 2003), research on programme implementation has been relatively neglected. The published research studies and systematic reviews are mainly concerned with programme outcomes and provide little or no data on implementation or the quality of programme delivery necessary for positive outcomes to be produced (Durlak, 1998; Dane and Schneider, 1998; Domitrovich and Greenberg, 2000). As a result there is a dearth of published information to guide practitioners and decision-makers regarding the practical aspects of programme adoption and replication. From those studies that have monitored implementation, it is clear that implementation is often variable and imperfect in field settings. Durlak (1998) cautions that programmes may not be implemented with a high degree of fidelity and that between 23% to 81% of programme activities may be omitted. When implementation is documented it is clear that the level and quality of implementation influences programme effectiveness and that higher quality implementation is associated with stronger, more positive outcomes (Dane and Schneider, 1998; Durlak, 1998; Domitrovich and Greenberg, 2000; Mihalic, Fagan, Irwin, Ballard and Elliott, 2002).