Measuring the diffusion of innovative health promotion programs
Once a health promotion program has proven to be effective in one or two initial settings, attempts may be made to transfer the program to new settings. One way to conceptualize the transference of health promotion programs from one locale to another is by considering the programs to be innovations that are being diffused. In this way, diffusion of innovation theory can be applied to guide the process of program transference. This article reports on the development of six questionnaires to measure the extent to which health promotion programs are successfully disseminated: Organizational Climate, Awareness-Concern, Rogers's Adoption Variables, Level of Use, Level of Success, and Level of Institutionalization. The instruments are being successfully used in a study of the diffusion of health promotion/tobacco prevention curricula to junior high schools in North Carolina. The instruments, which measure the four steps of the diffusion process, have construct validity since they were developed within existing theories and are derived from the work of previous researchers. No previous research has attempted to use instruments like these to measure sequentially the stages of the diffusion process.