Translating an Evidence-Based Behavioral Intervention for Women Living with HIV into Clinical Practice: The SMART/EST Women's Program

Int J Behav Med. 2015 Jun;22(3):415-24. doi: 10.1007/s12529-014-9399-1.


Background: The process of translating scientific findings into clinical and public health settings has only recently received priority attention within the scientific community.

Purpose: Fueled by "Funding Opportunity Announcements" from the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, scientists have begun to explore the pathways to effectively "transfer" promising research accomplishments into effective and sustainable service programs within the health care delivery system.

Method: Using Glasgow's RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance) model as a guide, this research team enrolled 428 socially disadvantaged, culturally diverse women living with HIV/AIDS to test the dissemination and implementation of an evidence-based behavioral intervention designed to improve and sustain the physical and emotional health of participants into the Community Health Center (CHC) setting when conducted by trained CHC staff.

Results: Findings demonstrate the ability of trained CHC staff group leaders to attain results equivalent or superior to those achieved when conducted by research staff on the three principal study outcomes: depression, medication adherence and HIV viral load. Four of five CHCs involved in the study also identified and successfully obtained funding to continue to run intervention groups, supporting the adoption and sustainability components of the translation model.

Conclusion: This study confirmed (a) the "translatability" of the Stress Management And Relaxation Training/Emotional Supportive Therapy (SMART/EST) Women's Program, from academic to CHC settings in two geographic regions with high HIV prevalence among women, (b) the ability of local staff (using the "train the trainer" model) to successfully achieve program fidelity and clinical outcomes, and (c) the sustainability the program beyond the auspices of research support, through supportive CHC leadership securing continued program funding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / organization & administration
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Middle Aged