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Evaluation of organizational capacity in the implementation of a church-based cancer education program.

Knott CL, Miech EJ, Slade J, Woodard N, Robinson-Shaneman BJ, Huq M. Evaluation of organizational capacity in the implementation of a church-based cancer education program. Global implementation research and applications. 2022 Mar 1; 2(1):22-33.

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Implementation evaluations have increasingly taken into account how features of local context help determine implementation outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine which contextual features of organizational capacity led directly to the RE-AIM Framework implementation outcomes of intervention reach and number of days taken to implement, in an implementation trial of a series of cancer education workshops conducted across 13 African American churches in Maryland. We used a configurational approach with Coincidence Analysis to identify specific features of organizational capacity that uniquely distinguished churches with implementation success from those that were less successful. Aspects of organizational capacity (e.g., congregation size, staffing/volunteers, health ministry experience) were drawn from an existing measure of church organizational capacity for health promotion. Solution pathways leading to higher intervention reach included: having a health ministry in place for 1-4 years; or having fewer than 100 members; or mid-size churches that had conducted health promotion activities in 1-4 different topics in the past 2 years. Solution pathways to implementing the intervention in fewer number of days included: having conducted 1-2 health promotion activities in the past 2 years; or having 1-5 part-time staff and a pastor without additional outside employment; or churches with a doctorally prepared pastor and a weekly attendance of 101-249 members. Study findings can inform future theory, research, and practice in implementation of evidence-based health promotion interventions delivered in faith-based and other limited-resource community settings. Findings support the important role of organizational capacity in implementation outcomes in these settings.

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