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Implementing evidence-based interventions in health care: application of the replicating effective programs framework

Amy M Kilbourne12*, Mary S Neumann3, Harold A Pincus4, Mark S Bauer5 and Ronald Stall6

Author Affiliations

1 VA Ann Arbor National Serious Mental Illness Treatment Research and Evaluation Center; Ann Arbor, MI, USA

2 Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, MI, USA

3 Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention; National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Atlanta, GA, USA

4 Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University; New York, NY, USA

5 VA Boston Healthcare System and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

6 Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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Implementation Science 2007, 2:42  doi:10.1186/1748-5908-2-42

Published: 9 December 2007



We describe the use of a conceptual framework and implementation protocol to prepare effective health services interventions for implementation in community-based (i.e., non-academic-affiliated) settings.


The framework is based on the experiences of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Replicating Effective Programs (REP) project, which has been at the forefront of developing systematic and effective strategies to prepare HIV interventions for dissemination. This article describes the REP framework, and how it can be applied to implement clinical and health services interventions in community-based organizations.


REP consists of four phases: pre-conditions (e.g., identifying need, target population, and suitable intervention), pre-implementation (e.g., intervention packaging and community input), implementation (e.g., package dissemination, training, technical assistance, and evaluation), and maintenance and evolution (e.g., preparing the intervention for sustainability). Key components of REP, including intervention packaging, training, technical assistance, and fidelity assessment are crucial to the implementation of effective interventions in health care.


REP is a well-suited framework for implementing health care interventions, as it specifies steps needed to maximize fidelity while allowing opportunities for flexibility (i.e., local customizing) to maximize transferability. Strategies that foster the sustainability of REP as a tool to implement effective health care interventions need to be developed and tested.