Dissemination, or distribution, of empirically-supported interventions (ESIs) for psychopathology remains a significant challenge. This paper reviews the principles of community-partnership research (CPR) and explores why CPR might improve distribution of psychological ESIs. Benefits of CPR include building trust, pooling resources and knowledge, and better serving a community by directly involving its members in the design and implementation of research. In addition, after establishing a community’s trust using CPR, researchers are likely to be better positioned to partner with communities in the further distribution of ESIs via community networks. This paper reviews the case of dissonance-based eating disorder prevention interventions to provide an example of how CPR can facilitate the adoption and distribution of an ESI by a community, in this case, sororities. CPR also presents a number of challenges, however, because it is time consuming and does not always align with funding mechanisms and research designs used in randomized controlled trials. Further, CPR does not necessarily solve the challenge of training providers, though it may help with problem solving. Ultimately, we suggest that the benefits of CPR far outweigh the challenges, and hope that more researchers will adopt these practices so that more individuals can benefit from empirically supported psychological interventions.
Becker, C.B., Stice, E., Shaw, H., & Woda, S. (2009). Use of empirically supported interventions for psychopathology: Can the participatory approach move us beyond the research-to-practice gap?. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47(4), 265-274. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2009.02.007
Behaviour Research and Therapy