Bridging the gap between prevention research and practice: the interactive systems framework for dissemination and implementation

Am J Community Psychol. 2008 Jun;41(3-4):171-81. doi: 10.1007/s10464-008-9174-z.


If we keep on doing what we have been doing, we are going to keep on getting what we have been getting. Concerns about the gap between science and practice are longstanding. There is a need for new approaches to supplement the existing approaches of research to practice models and the evolving community-centered models for bridging this gap. In this article, we present the Interactive Systems Framework for Dissemination and Implementation (ISF) that uses aspects of research to practice models and of community-centered models. The framework presents three systems: the Prevention Synthesis and Translation System (which distills information about innovations and translates it into user-friendly formats); the Prevention Support System (which provides training, technical assistance or other support to users in the field); and the Prevention Delivery System (which implements innovations in the world of practice). The framework is intended to be used by different types of stakeholders (e.g., funders, practitioners, researchers) who can use it to see prevention not only through the lens of their own needs and perspectives, but also as a way to better understand the needs of other stakeholders and systems. It provides a heuristic for understanding the needs, barriers, and resources of the different systems, as well as a structure for summarizing existing research and for illuminating priority areas for new research and action.

MeSH terms

  • Community Networks / organization & administration
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational
  • Program Development*
  • Violence / prevention & control*