Using planned adaptation to implement evidence-based programs with new populations

Am J Community Psychol. 2008 Jun;41(3-4):290-303. doi: 10.1007/s10464-008-9160-5.


The Interactive Systems Framework (ISF) for Dissemination and Implementation (Wandersman et al. 2008) elaborates the functions and structures that move evidence-based programs (EBPs) from research to practice. Inherent in that process is the tension between implementing programs with fidelity and the need to tailor programs to fit the target population. We propose Planned Adaptation as one approach to resolve this tension, with the goal of guiding practitioners in adapting EBPs so that they maintain core components of program theory while taking into account the needs of particular populations. Planned Adaptation is a form of capacity building within the Prevention Support System that provides a framework to guide practitioners in adapting programs while encouraging researchers to provide information relevant to adaptation as a critical aspect of dissemination research, with the goal of promoting wider dissemination and better implementation of EBPs. We illustrate Planned Adaptation using the JOBS Program (Caplan et al. 1989), which was developed for recently laid-off, working- and middle-class workers and subsequently implemented with welfare recipients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Program Development
  • Social Work / organization & administration*
  • United States