Transferring community-based interventions to new settings: A case study in heart health cholesterol testing from urban USA to rural Australia
Health promoters wishing to successfully replicate community-based heart health interventions from major research and demonstration programs, face numerous obstacles in the adoption process. Unfortunately, there is little specific literature to guide them through the process. A case study is presented to demonstrate that by closely examining differences between the resources and user settings in terms of geography, socio-demography, policy, organizational structure and perceived goals, health promoters can identify and avoid failure points. We examine the transfer and adaption of a cholesterol intervention from Pawtucket Heart Health Program in urban USA to a rural setting in Australia and we recommend a series of five logical steps when considering such adoptions. Process data from the adapted intervention, North Coast Cholesterol Check campaign, indicates that it is as successful as its counterpart in the USA. The new intervention his itself become a model program in Australia. This success can be largely attributed to the considerable planning effort which made it possible to modify the organizational structure to accept an innovative strategy and also to tailor the resource program for an ideal fit to the new user setting.