NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH
PI: MELISSA DEROSIER
TERM: 09/17 – 07/21
There has been substantial progress in developing evidence-based prevention programs (EBPPs) for preventing risky behaviors and promoting positive mental health outcomes for youth. Unfortunately, EBPP adoption, quality implementation, long-term sustainability, and scalability in real world service settings continues to lag far behind, jeopardizing the ability to achieve the intended broad scale public impact. This SBIR Phase II project will address a key implementation barrier to broad scale adoption and sustained use of EBPPs—the need for ongoing tracking and documentation of how (process data) and to what extent (outcomes data) an EBPP results in intended youth outcomes under real-world conditions. Building on the existing collaboration between 3C Institute and Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development (University of Colorado Boulder, Institute of Behavioral Science), we will fully develop and pilot test Impact, an easy to use, cost- and time-efficient technology platform which gathers relevant process and outcomes data and produces meaningful real-time data analytics and reports (at provider, service setting, and state-wide levels) with continuous quality improvement (QCI) feedback for providers.
This project will accomplish three specific aims: (1) Fully develop the full software product, with all Impact functions customized for three Blueprints-supported EBPPs, using an iterative user-centered development-testing-revision process to ensure the software achieves optimal usability for intended end users. (2) Conduct a pilot field study with EBPP providers to assess Impact’s feasibility, usability, and value compared to standard data tracking methods as well as resulting improvements in provider perceptions, implementation quality, and youth outcomes. Providers will be randomly assigned to either: (a) use of Impact across the full 6-month trial period or (b) use of Impact starting at the mid-point. We expect Impact will result in significant improvements in all areas. (3) Prepare Impact for commercialization by conducting focus groups with EBPP providers and administrators to review pilot test results and gather stakeholder feedback to finalize the complete product. Preparation for Phase III commercial launch will include development of all needed demos, resources, and e-training materials on how to use the software, as well as integration of e-commerce functions. Impact’s modular, customizable technology infrastructure will be able to accommodate a wide array of EBPPs, providing a much needed cost-effective mechanism to support large-scale dissemination and use in school and community mental health service settings, thereby increasing the likelihood a program’s core features are adhered to over time and maximizing treatment benefits for youth. In addition, agency and state administrators will be able to easily track implementation for enhanced accountability and effective monitoring of cost-effectiveness and benefits.