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Talks at Twelve: Deinera Exner-Cortens, Thursday, April 10, 2014

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Program Scale-up in Canada: Lessons Learned from National Implementation of the Fourth R
Deinera Exner-Cortens, Centre for Prevention Science, London, Ontario

Thursday, April 10, 2014
12:00-1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room


This talk is open to all. Lunch will be served. Metered parking is available in the Plantations lot across the road from Beebe Hall.

Despite the large number of evidence-based programs targeting key public health problems, the sustainable translation of these programs into practice remains elusive. In her talk, Deinera will report on practitioner feedback related to bringing the Fourth R, a curriculum-based program focused on promoting healthy relationships among adolescents, to scale in six Canadian provinces and territories. Twenty-one practitioners (71% female) who were involved in the national Fourth R scale-up over the past decade participated in the study. Quantitative survey and qualitative interview data were collected, focusing on barriers to and attributes of successful program scale-up. Interview data were analyzed using qualitative descriptive methodology. On average, participants had been involved with the Fourth R for seven years, and most were affiliated with a school board. Three broad themes related to successful program scale-up emerged from the survey and interview data: 1) the importance of program characteristics (e.g., ease of use); the importance of the system (e.g., ministry of education endorsement/recognition); and the importance of the strategy (e.g., framing implementation around existing legislation and provincial priorities). While implementation fidelity was discussed by a number of participants as important to successful scale-up, only 50% reported that their jurisdiction had an existing process to monitor fidelity. The findings from this study highlight key factors that impacted the national scale-up of a school-based healthy relationships program in Canada, and can be used to inform future dissemination of curriculum-based health promotion programs.

Deinera Exner-Cortens, Ph.D., MPH, is a postdoctoral fellow at the CAMH Centre for Prevention Science in London, ON. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University in 2013. Deinera's research focuses on understanding interpersonal violence in intimate relationships. Past and current projects in this area include media framing of domestic homicides in Botswana, intimate partner violence in the lives of Canadian Aboriginal women, prevalence of sexual violence in gay, lesbian and bisexual populations in the United States, longitudinal outcomes of teen dating violence victimization and the evaluation of a campus-based sexual violence prevention program. In her doctoral dissertation, Deinera explored the association of teen dating violence with future re-victimization by adult intimate partners, as well as the measurement of psychological aggression. Her current work focuses on evaluating healthy relationships programming for adolescents.

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