Although members of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies have made significant strides towards the collective goals outlined in our mission statement, we routinely acknowledge that our ability to develop empirically supported treatments exceeds our success in improving dissemination and implementation of said interventions. Further, as noted by Kazdin and Blase (2011), even if we succeeded in having every clinician world-wide administer our best treatments with excellent competency, we still would be unsuccessful in markedly impacting the worldwide burden of mental illness because most treatments require intensive labor by expensive providers. To this end, Kazdin and Blase and others call for increased use of alternative strategies. Examples include: increased attention towards prevention; use of lower-cost, simplified interventions; task-shifting; train-the-trainer models; community participatory research methodology, and identification of novel funding sources. The Body Project is an empirically supported, cognitive dissonance-based prevention intervention that targets body image, a well-established risk factor for eating disorders, negative affect, unhealthy weight control behaviors, smoking behavior, and decreased physical activity. Supported by a global village of researchers, community activists, and organizational partners, the Body Project and is currently being implemented in 125 countries. The aim of this paper is to share lessons our team has learned in taking a prevention intervention from early testing to widespread implementation and connect these back to broader conversations occurring in our field regarding the importance of scalability and new directions in improving global mental health.
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
Becker, C. B. (2017). From efficacy to global impact: Lessons learned about what not to do in translating our research to reach. Behavior Therapy, 48(5), 718-730. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2016.12.007