This proposed T32 seeks to provide research training in drug abuse/HIV prevention that reduces the gap between the existing evidence base in prevention science and the interventions that are delivered in real-world settings. That is, we provide training in the implementation science research that is needed to increase adoption of evidence-based drug abuse prevention/HIV risk reduction interventions in real-world settings. We seek to train 3 post-doctoral and 3 advanced pre-doctoral fellows for a two-year period. Core training faculty are drawn from the Arizona State University (ASU) Department of Psychology (including its prevention research center and REACH Institute) and School for Social and Family Dynamics. Affiliated training faculty are from the ASU Colleges of Business, Engineering, Science of Health Care Delivery, Nursing and Health Innovation, Department of Biomedical Informatics, and Mayo Clinic. The program is guided by an External Training Faculty of national experts in implementation science and a Community Advisory Board composed of decision leaders from service delivery settings (schools, courts, health care, and mental health care settings). Training consists of required courses in drug abuse and implementation science, an ongoing training seminar (including training in ethics and career development), and a workshop on HIV risk. These required didactic components are combined with a tailored program of mentored research apprenticeships. Training faculty conduct numerous NIH-funded projects in which collaborative research teams design, implement, and evaluate theory-based preventive interventions in natural service delivery settings and study the implementation science questions related to successful program uptake. Through this combination of didactic coursework and research apprenticeships, trainees acquire skills in designing interventions for implementation, models of cultural adaptation, community-based participatory research, engaging providers and participants, training providers, measuring implementation outcomes and participant outcomes in natural settings, considering contextual factors, using technology for program delivery, and measuring costs and benefits. A unique training resource is the ASU REACH Institute, which focuses on implementation science, including implementation at scale. Other unique strengths of our program include extensive faculty expertise and training opportunities in quantitative methods and in research methods with culturally diverse populations. The research contributions of our trainees will increase the adoption of evidence-based interventions in real world practice, helping to realize their public health impact at the population level.
Despite the development of evidence-based preventive interventions for reducing drug abuse and HIV risk, the public health impact of these interventions has not been realized because evidence-based interventions are not widely adopted in real-world practice. We respond to this public health need by training pre-doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in the implementation science agenda that is needed to reduce the research-practice gap in drug abuse prevention and HIV risk reduction.
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