The United States government has spent a great deal of effort and resources to develop and disseminate HIV prevention and treatment interventions that work. These interventions are called evidence-based interventions (EBIs). Previous research shows that HIV prevention and HIV and substance-use disorder treatment providers’ who lack agency resources are less likely to implement EBIs, while providers who practice interagency collaboration are more likely to do so. However, the research is limited because it doesn’t explain how providers are motivated over time to implement EBIs through interagency collaboration. The study of interagency collaboration has been neglected as a strategy for improving EBI implementation.
Interagency Collaboration Implementation – New York (ICI-NY)
Dr. Rogério M. Pinto chairs the Implementation Community Collaborative Board (ICCB), founded in New York City, with affiliates in Brazil, Spain, New Jersey and Michigan. The ICCB oversees ICI-NY, the first longitudinal, mixed method study to examine the impact of interagency collaboration on providers’ delivery of EBIs. Interagency collaboration consists of service providers making referrals, sharing information, evaluating the services they provide, and disseminating outcomes of their interventions. By improving communication between service providers, interagency collaboration improves integration of services and lowers the costs of providing services. Dr. Pinto has engaged 40 nonprofit agencies in New York to participate in the study helping him recruit over 400 providers. For more information about ICI-NY and resources about EBIs, please visit the Project ICI-NY website.
Interagency Collaboration Implementation – New Jersey (ICI-NJ)
ICI-NJ is an extension of ICI-NY in Newark, New Jersey. ICI-NJ has three main goals: 1) to explore factors associated with collaboration between agencies and providers in NJ; 2) to examine service providers’ perceptions about EBIs such as DEBI and ARTAS and about research and collaboration practices; and 3) to compare interagency collaboration practices between New Jersey and New York and how these practices may impact the delivery of DEBI and ARTAS. This study has public health impact by promoting interagency collaboration and EBI delivery, both of which are needed to increase the numbers of consumers receiving evidence-based services. Knowledge on how interagency collaboration influences EBI implementation will inform diffusion of various innovations across multiple HIV prevention delivery systems.
The NCCB and ICCB-NY worked together to recruit 140 HIV prevention and treatment service providers working in 11 nonprofit agencies in Newark, providing substance-use disorder and HIV treatment and prevention services. NCCB members created a list of all agencies providing HIV prevention and treatment services in the area. The NCCB then contacted the agencies via phone and e-mail to present the study and invite them to participate. Agencies that agreed to participate secured a private conference room in their property where providers volunteering to participate could meet with NCCB and/or CCB members to complete the anonymous surveys directly on a laptop. To be eligible, providers had to work at least 75% of the time for their participating agencies, providing HIV prevention services, they had to be at least 18 years old and they had to speak and read English. Providers were asked to complete an online, computer-assisted questionnaire lasting approximately 60 minutes about their perceptions of interagency collaboration, providers’ intention and actual delivery of EBIs. Each agency received a $500 cash incentive to participate and service providers received $30 incentives to complete their questionnaires. The project was overseen by Institutional Review Boards at Columbia and Rutgers Universities.
Providers who scored higher on the interprofessional-collaboration scale reported significantly higher rates of linkages to HIV testing. Providers in agencies with smaller budgets and in agencies offering substance use disorder services were more likely to link clients to HIV testing. Younger providers who received HIV training were also more likely to link clients to HIV testing. Findings suggest interprofessiona-collaboration training as a potential strategy to improve linkages to HIV testing for clients at risk for HIV infection. Future research is recommended to identify specific areas of interprofessional-collaboration that might have differential effects on links to HIV testing.
To read full article reporting results, click HERE.