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ADVOCACY FOR PREVENTION SCIENCE

Advocacy for Prevention Science describes scientific advances and principles which form a foundation for advocacy for prevention science. The document provides a list of specific actions and principles which SPR’s board agrees are worthy of public policy advocacy. This document, produced by SPR’s newly reconstituted Advocacy Committee chaired by Bob Saltz, and initiated by SPR’s incoming president, Tony Biglan, provides guidance to the SPR board and SPR members as the Society seeks to become more actively involved in education and discussion with policy makers toward the achievement of SPR’s mission.

Advocacy for Prevention Science (click here for the full document)

Proposed NIH, National Institute of Substance Use and Addiction Disorders

The NIH Request for Information (RFI), Notice Number NOT-OD-12-045: Input into the Scientific Strategic Plan for the proposed National Institute of Substance Use and Addiction Disorders deadline was May 11, 2012.  The Board of the Society for Prevention Research responded to the RFI offering 5 points which it believes are critical scientific opportunities and public health needs that should be considered when developing the Scientific Strategy of the new institute.  The 5 key points are: 1) Prevention Research Must Remain a Priority and Central to the Scientific Strategic Plan, 2) Establish a Prevention Research Branch, 3) Expand Type 2 Translational Research, 4) Greater Emphasis on Social and Behavior Science in the Scientific Strategic Plan, and 5) Pursue the Recommendations of the IOM Report.  For the full letter click here.

Community Monitoring Systems

The Board of the Society for Prevention Research has focused on the monitoring of the well-being of children and adolescents as one of its strategic goals. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institutes of Health that is coordinated through the National Science Foundation, SPR has been conducting a CMS project, led by Anthony Biglan, along with Patricia Mrazek and David Hawkins.

Standards of Evidence

The Society for Prevention Research is committed to the advancement of science-based prevention programs and policies through empirical research. Increasingly, decision-makers and prevention service providers seek tested and efficacious or effective programs and policies for possible implementation. However, until now, somewhat different standards have been used by different organizations seeking to identify and list programs and policies that have been tested and shown to be efficacious or effective. As part of SPR’s strategic plan, in 2003, the SPR Board of Directors appointed a committee of prevention scientists, chaired by Brian Flay, to determine the requisite criteria that must be met for preventive interventions to be judged tested and efficacious or tested and effective. The Standards of Evidence developed by this committee have been unanimously adopted by the Board of Directors of SPR on April 12, 2004, as the standards which SPR asserts should be met if a program or policy is to be called tested and efficacious or tested and effective.

  • Standards of Evidence: Criteria for Efficacy, Effectiveness and Dissemination (click here for full document)
  • The journal article explicating SPR’s Standards of Evidence and the reasoning behind those standards has been accepted for publication in Prevention Science. The article, written collectively by SPR’s committee on standards of evidence chaired by Brian Flay, is called Standards of Evidence:Criteria for Efficacy, Effectiveness and Dissemination, by Flay et al. The full article is now available on line here and appears in print in the September, 2005 issue of Prevention Science.

Standards of Knowledge

The Society for Prevention Research is committed to the advancement of prevention science and the training of prevention researchers. As part of SPR’s strategic plan and under the leadership of then President Zili Sloboda, the SPR Board of Directors appointed a task group that included researchers and practitioners, to define prevention science and the type of research that falls within this definition, as well as prepare a document that begins to outline specific training needs for new prevention researchers.  The Standards of Knowledge for the Science of Prevention (click here for full document) developed by this task group puts forth a set of shared standards for training that is comprehensive and relevant both to prevention researchers and prevention practitioners. We hope, through this work, to facilitate a greater understanding of prevention science and aid in the training of prevention researchers.  As with any evolving field of study, this report is considered a “living document” that will, by necessity, be updated as we learn more about the design and delivery of prevention interventions and advance research design and statistical methodologies to improve our understanding of the key operational elements of effective preventive interventions.

Braided Funding

A Case for Braided Prevention Research and Service Funding was developed by an SPR task force chaired by David Olds. This document makes a strong case for the need for effectiveness trials and dissemination research to further the advances of prevention science. Further, it explains why and how collaborative funding across institutes that fund research and agencies that provide funding for preventive services could advance both knowledge regarding effective preventive interventions and the provision of evidence based preventive services at a broader scale.

A Case for Braided Prevention Research and Service Funding (click here for full document)

Type 2 Translational Research

SPR MAPS II Type 2 Translational Research: Overview and Definitions

Mapping Advances in Prevention Science (MAPS) are multidisciplinary task forces funded by the SPR conference grant from the National Institutes of Health. They serve the purpose of carrying momentum from exchanges on cutting-edge subfields of prevention science at the annual conference over to scientific activity between conferences, in order to advance them more rapidly. They are designed to: (1) foster promising, emerging areas of prevention science warranting greater concentration of scientific energy; (2) articulate an agenda to move research forward in such emerging areas; and (3) nurture the scientific leadership and capacity required to make the advances. The first MAPS (I) focuses on biological factors in prevention and the second MAPS (II) addresses Type 2 translational research.

The first product of the SPR MAPS II Type 2 Translational Research task force is the Type 2 Translational Research: Overview and Definitions Document. The definitions document, which has been approved by the SPR board of directors, was distributed to the SPR 2008 Annual Meeting attendees.

Type 2 Translational Research: Overview and Definitions (PDF)

SPR MAPS II Type 2 Translational Research: Position Statement, A Call for Bold Action to Support Prevention Programs and Policies To Achieve Greater Public Health and Economic Impact

A primary purpose of the SPR MAPS (Mapping Advances in Prevention Science) is to foster the emerging area of Type 2 translational research, in part through advocacy for necessary policy change. A prior paper produced by the MAPS Type 2 Translational Research Task Force (Overview and Definitions PDF) has articulated how this type of research is critically important to the realization of the enhanced public health and economic impact. The recent National Academies of Science report on prevention programs for youth underscores this point, referencing imbalances in resource allocation, misplaced policy priorities, and the benefits of health and social policy better informed by prevention science. SPR is well-positioned to assure these benefits are realized and that evidence-based prevention reaches those it could help. For these reasons, our MAPS Task Force has produced a position statement calling for four “bold actions” to achieve greater public health and economic impact through Type 2 translational research. We believe it is especially timely in the context of the current economic downturn and health care reform efforts.

Type 2 Translational Research Task Force: Position Statement, A Call for Bold Action to Support Prevention Programs and Policies To Achieve Greater Public Health and Economic Impact (PDF)

Type 2 Translational Research:  Addressing Core Challenges for the Next Generation of Type 2 Translation Research and Systems: The Translation Science to Population Impact (TSci Impact) Framework, Richard Spoth, Louise A. Rohrbach, Mark Greenberg, Philip Leaf, C. Hendricks Brown, Abigail Fagan, Richard F. Catalano, et al. is now available at Prevention Science ONLINE FIRST.  For the full article, click here.

Evidence-based preventive interventions developed over the past two decades represent great potential for enhancing public health and well-being.  Research confirming the limited extent to which these interventions have been broadly and effectively implemented, however, indicates much progress is needed to achieve population-level impact. In part, progress requires Type 2 translation research that investigates the complex processes and systems through which evidence-based interventions are adopted, implemented, and sustained on a large scale, with a strong orientation toward devising empirically-driven strategies for increasing their population impact.  “Addressing Core Challenges for the Next Generation of Type
2 Translation Research and Systems: The Translation Science to Population Impact (TSci Impact) Framework” (read full article)