Opportunity for collaboration: A conceptual model of success in tobacco control and cancer prevention
Collaborations between cancer prevention and tobacco control programs can leverage scarce resources to address noncommunicable diseases globally, but barriers to cooperation and actual collaboration are substantial. To foster collaboration between cancer prevention and tobacco control programs, the Global Health Partnership conducted research to identify similarities and differences in how the 2 programs viewed program success.
Using concept mapping, cancer prevention and tobacco control experts generated statements describing the components of a successful cancer prevention or tobacco control program and 33 participants sorted and rated the final 99 statements. Multidimensional scaling analysis with a 2-dimensional solution was used to identify an 8-cluster conceptual map of program success. We calculated Pearson correlation coefficients for all 99 statements to compare the item-level ratings of both groups and used t tests to compare the mean importance of ratings assigned to each cluster.
Eight major clusters of success were identified: 1) advocacy and persuasion, 2) building sustainability, 3) partnerships, 4) readiness and support, 5) program management fundamentals, 6) monitoring and evaluation, 7) utilization of evidence, and 8) implementation. We found no significant difference between the maps created by the 2 groups and only 1 mean difference for the importance ratings for 1 of the clusters: cancer prevention experts rated partnerships as more important to program success than did tobacco control experts.
Our findings are consistent with those of research documenting the necessary components of successful programs and the similarities between cancer prevention and tobacco control. Both programs value the same strategies to address a common risk factor: tobacco use. Identifying common ground between these 2 research and practice communities can benefit future collaborations at the local, state, tribal, national, and international levels, and inform the broader discussion on resource sharing among other organizations whose mission focuses on noncommunicable diseases.