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"The SPF Process" by Center on the Family. All rights reserved.


After a community has carefully chosen and planned their prevention strategy, it is then time to implement the prevention program or programs. Implementation is the next step in the SPF process. At this stage it is important to think about the prevention program’s ‘active ingredients,’ or its goals, objectives, timeline, and protocols. It is likely that a program will need to be adapted to fit local conditions so as to be a good match for the cultural norms, values, and beliefs of a community. If an intervention is not seen as relevant to the target population, it is not likely to be effective. However, communities and organizations should be thoughtful and purposeful about the changes they make to their prevention programs. When making cultural adaptations to a program, changes need to be recorded and should not alter the features of the program that are thought to be the key ingredients for change.

When implementing culturally appropriate programs, service providers and planners often have to strike a balance between fidelity to the original program design and cultural adaption.

  • Adaptation: Any change a prevention program undergoes in order to meet specific needs. Two types of adaptation include changes to program:
  • Content: Making changes or additions to program manuals, tasks, and tools so that the content is more relevant to the target population. In order to be effective these changes should reflect the use of both culturally relevant names, terms, and examples (surface structure) and culturally relevant concepts, themes, and issues (deep structure).
  • Delivery: Making changes to the way programs are carried out (e.g., online vs. in the classroom)
  • Fidelity: The degree that an implemented prevention program stays ‘true’ to what its designers intended. Fidelity can be described along 4 dimensions:
  • Adherence: How much did your program stick to the original design? It is not always possible or even desirable (in the case of cultural adaptations) to administer a program exactly as designed. However, it is important to note any deviations from the design to see if these have impacted your outcomes in some way.
  • Dose: How much of the program did your target population receive? This refers to the number of classes or meetings participants actually attended, as well as the length and intensity of the program activities. It is important to keep track of the dose because it is quite possible that participants who attended more activities will show more change than those who left the program early.
  • Quality of delivery: In the end, how high was the quality of your program delivery? This refers to the level of staffing and training as well as the resources deployed during program activities. It is possible to follow a program manual precisely but without a focus on the quality of the delivery. This is often the result of poor planning, inadequate training, or lack of enthusiasm on the part of program staff.
  • Participant responsiveness: How did your target population respond to the program? A successful prevention program is not only well implemented with a high-level of quality, but it is also relevant to your participants. If your program is not meaningful and useful to your target audience, than even high-quality implementation will result in disappointing outcomes. Therefore, measuring the level of participant engagement is critical to understanding whether a program is effective.

SPF in Hawai'i: Implementation

The SPF-SIG project funded a total of 17 evidence-based prevention programs in the state of Hawai'i. These included activities which targeted individual-level change by using programs intended to increase the prevention knowledge and skills of teens (prevention education programs). Altogether the prevention education programs reached 10,048 youth participants statewide. Each county also implemented what are known as environmental strategies. These prevention programs target community-level change such as advocating for changes in public policy and increasing community awareness around issues of substance abuse.




Castro, F., Barrera, M., and Martinez, C. (2004). The cultural adaptation of prevention interventions: resolving tension between fidelity and fit. Prevention Science, 5(1), 41-45.
Dusenbury, L., Brannigan, R., Falco, M., and Hansen, W. (2003). A review of research on fidelity of implementation: implications for drug abuse prevention in school settings. Health Education Research Theory & Practice, 18(2), 237-256. 
Moncher, F., and Prinz, R. (1991). Treatment fidelity in outcome studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 11, 247-266.
SAMHSA. (2015, October 1). Step 4: Implement. Retrieved from

April 2020

Apr 02 Thu
ADAD Training: Relapse Prevention
The purpose of this course is to provide relapse prevention tools for substance abuse counselors and mental health providers. Participants will identify potential risk factors, gain a basic understanding of developing relapse prevention plans, and evaluate effectiveness of relapse prevention strategies.

Kakuhihewa State Building ADAD Building, Room 111 A/B 601 Kamokila Blvd Kapolei, HI 96707

Apr 03 Fri
ADAD Training: Self-Care Practices for Mental Health Professional
The importance of self-care for professionals entails continuously "looking after your own mental health and wellbeing so that you can more effectively support the young people you work with". Participants will be able to discuss the importance of self-care and impact - both positive and negative. Participants will also learn new skills to decrease burnout and stress-related illness, become more effective in the workplace. Also, apply these skills to everyday practice.

Kakuhihewa State Building ADAD Building - Room 111 A/B Kapolei, HI 96707

Apr 09 Thu
ADAD Training: Group Therapy

Participants will be able to: 1. Have a strong understating of the different types of groups available for treatment and post-treatment settings. 2. Confidently understand the levels of care and be familiar with the assessment criteria.  3 Identify group dynamics and facilitate group discussions in a creative way that helps all members feel included and validated.


Hawaii State Laboratory 2725 Waimano Home Rd. Pearl City, HI 96782

Apr 13 Mon
ADAD Training: HIV, Hepatitis, & STIs 101

Upon attending this training, participants will be able to:
1. Describe the transmission routes and prevention methods for viral hepatitis, HIV, and STDs.
2. List components of an effective risk assessment for sexually transmitted and other communicable disease.
3 Demonstrate risk reduction counseling techniques for people living with and at-risk for viral hepatitis, HIV, and STDs. 


Kakuhihewa State BuildingADAD Building, Room 111 A/B 601 Kamokila Blvd. Kapolei, HI 96707