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Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice and Policy

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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal


Volume 3: No. 1, January 2006

Using Concept Mapping to Develop a Logic Model for the Prevention Research Center Program

This figure shows the national cluster map of 9 clusters and 88 statements. The polygonal clusters are arranged in a circle. Beginning at the top and reading clockwise, the cluster labels are as follows: diversity and sensitivity, community engagement, research agenda, research methods, core expertise and resources, active dissemination, technical assistance, training, and relationships and recognition.

Figure 1. National concept map showing the 9 clusters and 88 statements. PRC indicates Prevention Research Center; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Diversity and sensitivity cluster: associated statements
Understanding of cultural diversity and its impact on a PRC's mission; a PRC staff that reflects the diversity of the community; demonstrated ability to listen to and understand the audience; willingness to tackle tough and politically sensitive issues; demonstrated accountability to multiple stakeholders such as the community, academic institutions, and funding sources

Community engagement cluster: associated statements
A demonstrated view of the needs, interests, and values of the community; success in establishing community partnerships; demonstrated awareness of prevention-oriented research and service programs previously carried out in the community; mechanisms for documenting collaborations with the community; the capacity to effectively identify health promotion or prevention issues of interest to the community; a strong relationship with community leaders; visibility in the defined community; methods for regularly monitoring the changing health risks in the community; a community advisory group that is active in guiding the key functions of a PRC; ability to collaborate with communities to set research priorities that address community-identified needs; connections and strong relationships with the defined community; representatives of the defined community (e.g. ethnic community representative, individuals with HIV, voluntary health organizations, outreach workers) on the community advisory group

Research methods cluster: associated statements
A research focus on social, environmental, and political influences in addition to the behavior of individuals; success in conducting effective participatory research; implementation of a national needs assessment to monitor trends in chronic disease; contributions to the measurement of risk factors and disease; activities related to eliminating health disparities; an effective plan to conduct participatory research; demonstrated use of science in designing community-based health interventions; success in conducting behavioral interventions in the defined community; implementation of economic evaluations to determine the costs and benefits of prevention; methods for evaluating the level of community participation in research; ability to conduct multisite effectiveness trials of interventions that have been shown to be efficacious; demonstrated knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of participatory methods for research and training; measures of capacity for community involvement in research

Research agenda cluster: associated statements
Success in leveraging funding from other research project funds; success in conducting research with a variety of partners; demonstrated use of findings from internal center evaluations to guide changes in center activities; a flexible research agenda that can respond to emerging issues;  success in acquiring funds from a variety of sources to create a balanced research portfolio; an identified research theme to focus center efforts; a strategic plan for research growth and development relevant to the center's mission or purpose; a system to internally evaluate the relevance and worth of the PRC's programs; PRC-level objectives compatible and consistent with Healthy People 2010; fidelity to the center's theme such that the majority of funded projects are related to a major programmatic area; demonstrated influence on future prevention initiatives using local data

Core expertise and resources cluster: associated statements
An emphasis on hiring faculty and staff with experience in public health practice; documented specific and measurable outcomes; PRC employees with strong interpersonal and team-building skills; documented qualitative data collection and analysis skills among PRC researchers; a PRC unit or function focused on methodology relevant to the goals of the PRC; an evaluation strategy for the center's faculty and staff; an effective plan for keeping up-to-date on the latest research findings and best practices in the area of focus; PRC leaders who possess effective administrative skills; self-evaluation using internal and external resources (e.g., a Community Advisory Group) to implement self-evaluation measures; measures of multidisciplinary expertise in PRC projects; demonstrated physical infrastructure to carry out the PRC stated objectives; a PRC unit or function focused on program evaluation; a skilled staff to assist researchers in the administrative aspects of the research

Active dissemination cluster: associated statements
A systematic plan for the dissemination of PRC research findings; success in promoting research findings among practitioners to influence policy development and program planning; success in promoting research findings among policy makers to influence policy development and program planning; dissemination of prevention research to practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and the public in ways that these audiences can use the information; publication of community-based research in major peer-reviewed journals; integration of the translation of research findings into practice as a part of projects; a core PRC unit or function focused on dissemination of findings related to the goals of the PRC; timely publication of research findings in peer-reviewed journals; success in translating research findings for public health settings; leadership in disseminating research findings to the local health departments and to the community in a form that is in addition to and different from publications; development and implementation of studies on dissemination research; ability to communicate research methods, issues, and results in a clear and easy-to-understand manner

Technical assistance cluster: associated statements
Visible contributions from the PRC among international audiences; a means of regularly sharing with other PRCs updates on various prevention research projects; success in working with state and or county health departments in developing, implementing and translating research into practice; capacity to provide technical assistance to public health organizations; willingness to provide in-kind technical assistance to public health organizations that have limited resources

Training cluster: associated statements
Implementation of training programs that develop the next generation of prevention science researchers; a national scholar program that involves an exchange of researchers among PRCs and/or between PRCs and the CDC; a training component intended to ensure the availability of qualified prevention scientists in the future; a core PRC unit or function focused on training related to the goals of the PRC; PRC training programs for international audiences; a program to mentor mid-level researchers for future leadership positions in prevention research

Relationships and recognition cluster: associated statements
A beneficial relationship with the leadership at the CDC; success in working with national organizations in strategic planning, implementation, and advocacy; capacity to collaborate with other PRCs that share common research interests; a beneficial relationship with the university administration; a training program for community audiences; visibility at the national level; prominence within the academic health center; visibility in the academic institution in which the PRC is located; collaboration among PRCs through sharing research projects and the products of research projects; strong national leadership (i.e., CDC) to influence the direction, focus, and identity of the prevention research program; the ability to connect with other academic units at the institution where the PRC is located in order to conduct research

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This figure shows the local cluster map of 11 clusters and 75 statements. The polygonal clusters are arranged in a circle. Beginning at the top and reading clockwise, the cluster labels are as follows: communication and dissemination, outreach, promotes community involvement, responsive to community input, builds community capacity, committed community advisory group, trust, defining and measuring community outcomes, training and mentoring, human resources, translation of research into practice.

Figure 2. Local concept map showing clusters and statements. PRC indicates Prevention Research Center; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Communication and dissemination cluster: associated statements
Communication with the public using multiple different media; success at disseminating products of research with other PRCs; reports research findings back to community leaders; a strategic plan for disseminating products of research; success in disseminating research results back to the community in a useful form; effective communication with multiple audiences such as public health agencies, private health agencies, community groups, and the public; documented publicity of PRC events and activities; effective communication with policy makers and law makers; success in sharing evidence-based programs in addition to conducting research; develops research reports that are used by community leaders

Outreach cluster: associated statements
Success in sharing the "how-to's" of community involvement; an effective system of communication among partners and the community; continuous tracking and reporting of health indicators to community health agencies; develops awareness in the community of the difference between the economic impacts of health care and the economic impacts of health promotion and disease prevention; PRC staff that have designated responsibility for community outreach.

Promotes community involvement cluster: associated statements
Effective leadership that models and supports sensitive approaches to community partnerships; ability to advocate for community involvement in planning, implementing, and evaluating intervention research; demonstrated desire to share resources, power, and expertise with partners; success in implementing the principles of community work and knowing how these principles differ from clinical research; ability to link community members with relevant decision makers; knowledge of the community power structure and the decision-making systems in a community; capacity to share control with partners

Responsive to community input cluster: associated statements
An agenda that is largely determined by the community; research that is driven primarily by community needs rather than funders; participation of community members in all aspects of research design and intervention; an ability to elicit and monitor community concerns; documented strategies for developing a sense of responsibility among the community groups who assist with research; documented input from community representatives regarding the accomplishments of the PRC; success at responding to input from the community even when it may not result in ideas that are fundable; prioritized community research needs based on community input; effective use of data from the community (e.g., needs assessment) to identify and address specific health problems; demonstrated understanding of the structure of the community; willingness to act on community recommendations; an equal partnership between the PRC and community members; demonstrated respect for contributions of all members of the community

Builds community capacity cluster: associated statements
Demonstrated responsiveness for improving the health of the community; assessment of a community's capacity to implement health promotion and disease prevention among its community members; documented plans to allow time for the community to build ownership; programs that target the health needs of the community served; a demonstrated genuine care and concern for the health and well being of the community; established methods to enhance a community's capacity

Committed community advisory group cluster: associated statements
An established community advisory group for the PRC; documented guidelines addressing the role of the community advisory group; a community advisory board with members knowledgeable about specific needs and assets of the community; a diverse community advisory group with respect to multiple criteria, such as ethnicity, organizations represented, and target health condition; a community advisory group for the core research project

Trust cluster: associated statements
Recognition by members of the defined community that the PRC's activities benefit that community; recognized as a resource for the community; credibility within the community the PRC serves; considered as trustworthy within the community the center serves

Defining and measuring community outcomes cluster: associated statements
Commitment to act on the issues identified by prior research; a broad definition of health incorporated into the PRC’s mission; a documented focus on social issues that will have a beneficial effect on multiple disease risk problems; measurable PRC objectives; a multidisciplinary approach that goes beyond a sole focus on individual behavior changes; measures to define the community; evaluation of progress and success with new initiatives

Training and mentoring cluster: associated statements
Success at training students to be culturally and ethnically sensitive; ongoing training and learning opportunities for local public health practitioners; a mentorship or scholarship program that involves underrepresented groups or individuals

Human resources cluster: associated statements
Incentives or a reward system for faculty who undertake community-based, participatory research; adequate facility and personnel to support projects; capacity to effectively address disparities in health care and outcomes; research staff with "real-world" experience working with communities — that is, staff who have worked outside of academia; staff with dissemination skills; a diverse team of staff and faculty; established skills in community organization and community action; a diverse PRC staff; a PRC staff that includes community members; demonstrated ability to sustain successful programs

Translation of research to practice cluster: associated statements
Success in implementing community-based programs that have been shown to be effective; effective translation of research findings into practice; scientists who can communicate with nonscientists; translation of research findings into practice using culturally effective methods; capability to translate research into practical strategies to change practice and policy

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The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors’ affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.


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