Over the years, I have managed the Research-Tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs) website and have continued to be interested in how we can enhance the features for practitioner use of the website. The RTIPs website is a searchable database of evidence-based cancer control programs, which launched in 2003. It is designed to provide program planners and public health practitioners easy and immediate access to programs tested in research studies; publications of the study findings; and the program products or materials from the studies that may be of use to those considering implementing them within clinical and community settings.
We have noticed more recently that the usage of the RTIPs website is no longer increasing. Our site usage reports indicate the unique visitors and visit trends are lower than they were four years ago. We are interested in understanding whether this represents a decrease in interest in using the RTIPs website as a resource tool for evidence-based intervention programs, or if there may be other factors influencing this trend. In addition, we have been wondering whether the information provided on the RTIPs website is not as useful to the individuals searching for evidence-based programs as it could be. Alternatively, is it possible that there is a lack of awareness of the RTIPs website, and if awareness increased, so would website use?
In addressing these questions, we have been developing a strategic planning effort for the RTIPs website to further enhance the website features and add new resource tools to investigate if there is an increase in usage. Some of the actions that we are considering include the following: 1) archiving RTIPs programs that are outdated based on criteria (e.g., usage statistics, age of the program, current clinical practice guidelines, age of the materials); 2) integrating additional methods to assist public health practitioners in adapting existing evidence-based intervention programs to their context; 3) posting case studies from program implementers to share their experiences in implementing any of the programs featured on the website; and 4) developing a communication plan to promote the RTIPs website to other federal or nonfederal organizations and to public health practitioners.
Prior to determining which enhancements should be made to the RTIPs website, we will be conducting user testing with public health practitioners to determine whether these options would be helpful in increasing the usage and utility of the RTIPs website. In support of this process, I would be interested in feedback on any additional information that would be helpful to include on the RTIPs website as we continue this strategic planning process. For example, would information on how programs can or should be adapted be useful? Are there aspects of the RTIPs website that people find are helpful or, conversely, difficult to use? Is there information to share from those who have experience implementing or adapting a program, and how could that be featured on RTIPs?
Please feel free to share your feedback or suggestions with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annabelle Uy, M.S., is a program analyst for the Implementation Science Team in the Office of the Director in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute. She is also the manager of Research-Tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs) and oversees the evidence-based resource tool on the Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. portal.
Dispatches from the Implementation Science Team, is an episodic collection of short form updates, authored by members and friends of the IS team representing a sample of the work being done and topics that our staff are considering for future projects. Topics address some of the advances in implementation science, ongoing issues that affect the conduct of research studies, reflections on fellowships and meetings, as well as new directions for activity from our research and practice communities.