HPP 184 March: Implementation of Sexually Transmitted Infection Interventions: Insights from a Community-wide Assessment

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Although community-wide, multilevel interventions are widely regarded as the most effective method for addressing complex health issues such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), there is a dearth of research about the implementation of interventions of this nature. The aim of this study was to determine the implementation of locally developed and evidence-based STI interventions across an urban community using the Institute of Medicine’s intervention spectrum as a framework, to highlight collaborations, and to identify barriers to the implementation of community-wide, multilevel interventions. Semistructured interviews were conducted (N = 20) with staff from schools, after-school programs, community organizations, and clinics in a Midwestern metropolitan area. Results indicate that interventions were implemented at all levels of the Institute of Medicine’s intervention spectrum, although selective interventions that served a small number of youth were most common. Most interventions were locally developed or adapted from evidence-based programs. Despite reported collaboration between agencies, there was relatively little community- wide coordination of STI interventions due to factors such as community norms and competition for limited funding. These findings offer further insight into the gap between best practice recommendations and the implementation of community-wide, multilevel interventions. Implications for intervention development and implementation are discussed.

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