An exploratory study to examine intentions to adopt an evidence-based HIV linkage-to-care intervention among state health department AIDS directors in the United States
Department of Health Behavior, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA
Implementation Science 2012, 7:27 doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-27Published: 2 April 2012
Widespread dissemination and implementation of evidence-based human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) linkage-to-care (LTC) interventions is essential for improving HIV-positive patients' health outcomes and reducing transmission to uninfected others. To date, however, little work has focused on identifying factors associated with intentions to adopt LTC interventions among policy makers, including city, state, and territory health department AIDS directors who play a critical role in deciding whether an intervention is endorsed, distributed, and/or funded throughout their region.
Between December 2010 and February 2011, we administered an online questionnaire with state, territory, and city health department AIDS directors throughout the United States to identify factors associated with intentions to adopt an LTC intervention. Guided by pertinent theoretical frameworks, including the Diffusion of Innovations and the "push-pull" capacity model, we assessed participants' attitudes towards the intervention, perceived organizational and contextual demand and support for the intervention, likelihood of adoption given endorsement from stakeholder groups (e.g., academic researchers, federal agencies, activist organizations), and likelihood of enabling future dissemination efforts by recommending the intervention to other health departments and community-based organizations.
Forty-four participants (67% of the eligible sample) completed the online questionnaire. Approximately one-third (34.9%) reported that they intended to adopt the LTC intervention for use in their city, state, or territory in the future. Consistent with prior, related work, these participants were classified as LTC intervention "adopters" and were compared to "nonadopters" for data analysis. Overall, adopters reported more positive attitudes and greater perceived demand and support for the intervention than did nonadopters. Further, participants varied with their intention to adopt the LTC intervention in the future depending on endorsement from different key stakeholder groups. Most participants indicated that they would support the dissemination of the intervention by recommending it to other health departments and community-based organizations.
Findings from this exploratory study provide initial insight into factors associated with public health policy makers' intentions to adopt an LTC intervention. Implications for future research in this area, as well as potential policy-related strategies for enhancing the adoption of LTC interventions, are discussed.