A systematic review of community readiness tool applications: implications for reporting

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Mar 24;12(4):3453-68. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120403453.


Background: A systematic review characterised and synthesised applications of the Community Readiness Tool (CRT) and synthesised quantitative results for readiness applications at multiple time points.

Methods: Eleven databases in OvidSP and EBSCHOhost were searched to retrieve CRT applications. Information from primary studies was extracted independently by two researchers.

Results: Forty applications of the CRT met inclusion criteria focussing on 14 different health and social issues. The community of interest was most often defined solely on the basis of its geographical location (52.5%). Most studies used the CRT to plan (85%) and/or evaluate programs (40%). The CRT protocol was modified in 40% of studies. Six applications evaluated readiness at multiple time points, however limited reporting in primary studies precluded any synthesis of results. Applications identified methodological rigour, contextual information and community engagement as strengths, and time and resource costs as limitations.

Conclusions: The CRT is well suited for planning and evaluating complex community health interventions given its flexibility to accommodate diverse definitions of community and issues. CRT applications would benefit from improved reporting; reporting recommendations for use of the CRT are outlined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Planning / methods*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / methods*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Public Health