This proposal addresses Challenge Area (15): Translational Sciences and the Challenge Topic 15-NR-101* NIH Partners in Research Program: Pathways for Translational Research. We will identify means to effectively disseminate, adopt and use an established, evidence-based worksite health promotion/injury reduction program for firefighters in 12 departments (~1200 total firefighters) in the Pacific NW. The program is research-based and was developed, studied to establish efficacy and beta tested to go to scale with NIH funding. The proposal builds on that prior work and a record of accomplishments in fire service settings. The study design is a prospective observational cohort trial to define a hierarchical model for effective translation, and that model will be validated with meditational analyses of each translational phase. The theory-based framework components will be measured optimally using existing reliable instruments, many drawn from investigators'prior work. Findings will be enriched in these complex environments by triangulating with additional qualitative data. Investigators have existing collegial ties and unique complimentary perspectives and skill sets, including occupational health promotion, organizational psychology, advanced statistical abilities and strong ties to the community of firefighters. The fire service offers advantages as a study setting: a high risk group in need of the program, relative stability in a turbulent economy, high participant recruitment/retention, ease of data collection, and because of our community partnering, clear lines to apply findings. The proposal will provide identified instrumental variables and a roadmap for translation that can be validated and manipulated in this and other settings. Conducting this trial will have immediate economic benefits for the study site communities, as improving the health of firefighters and reducing costs due to early retirement, overtime, illness and injury will allow those funds to be redirected toward other community needs. Once the roadmap for translation is established, extending it broadly to the 30,000 fire departments across the U.S. would allow almost $1 billion dollars a year to be saved and channeled into providing other jobs and services.

Public Health Relevance

Research sometimes is described as all break-through and no follow-through. This study will define a roadmap for the real-world implementation and use of an effective worksite wellness program and identify and rank the factors that affect each phase of that process. Knowing how to move science to service in worksites will improve employee health and have economic stimulus benefits due to reduced costs of illness, injury, illness, overtime and employee turnover - funds that can be redirected to grow the business and hire more workers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
NIH Challenge Grants and Partnerships Program (RC1)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-A (58))
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Cotton, Paul
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Oregon Health and Science University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Kuehl, Hannah; Mabry, Linda; Elliot, Diane L et al. (2013) Factors in adoption of a fire department wellness program: champ-and-chief model. J Occup Environ Med 55:424-9
Pirlott, Angela G; Kisbu-Sakarya, Yasemin; Defrancesco, Carol A et al. (2012) Mechanisms of motivational interviewing in health promotion: a Bayesian mediation analysis. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 9:69
Elliot, Diane L; Mackinnon, David P; Mabry, Linda et al. (2012) Worksite wellness program implementation: a model of translational effectiveness. Transl Behav Med 2:228-35
Elliot, Diane L; Kuehl, Kerry S; Goldberg, Linn et al. (2011) Worksite health promotion in six varied US sites: beta testing as a needed translational step. J Environ Public Health 2011:797646
Elliot, Diane L; Kerry, Kuehl S; Moe, Esther L et al. (2010) The IGNITE (investigation to guide new insight into translational effectiveness) trial: Protocol for a translational study of an evidenced-based wellness program in fire departments. Implement Sci 5:73