1. Evidence Innovation
  2. Investing in What Works
  3. IWW Iinfographic Contextual Fit

IWW Iinfographic Contextual Fit

The Importance of Contextual Fit Infographics What does contextual fit look like in practice?</strong><br />Examples of the impact that contextual fit can have on implementation are available in every discipline. Consider one intervention focused on reducing substance abuse developed in the Midwest that emphasized both the development of after-school community activities and family support. The intervention had been used with significant success in two midwestern states and was highly anticipated by community organizers in an urban west coast context. Unfortunately, there was no effort to assess whether the roles, responsibilities, and specific strategies of the intervention were valued by and culturally comfortable with the families, youth, or local professionals. The poor match between the vision that parents in the host city had for themselves and the expectations of the intervention led to both poor-quality implementation and no change in substance abuse levels. (Additional examples in brief, pages 8-9.)
One reason contextual fit has received muted attention is that there is no accepted approach for how to measure it. Horner and colleagues (2003) provide one possible approach in their 16-item assessment of contextual fit (each item is rated on a 6-point Likert-like scale).  Although this self-assessment has been used in studies assessing the contextual fit of behavior support plans in school, home, and community settings, and the resulting outcome score has been correlated with fidelity of implementation, it has not been extended to studies or interventions outside of education. Currently, no contextual fit measure with documented psychometric properties can be used to evaluate the implementation of a broad range of evidence-based interventions across educational, mental health, juvenile justice, and community contexts. (More information in brief, pages 9-10.) For contextual fit to assume the role it is touted to fill in implementation science, a concerted effort is needed to build a solid empirical foundation. Three initial steps for future research are needed: (a) developing technically adequate measures of contextual fit, (b) documenting the role of contextual fit in the effectiveness and efficiency of implementation, and (c) determining the extent to which questions of contextual fit can be used to assess readiness for implementation. (Details in brief, page 11.) Download brief Intervention” refers to a procedure, or set of procedures designed for use in a specific context (or set of contexts) by a specific set of users to achieve defined outcomes for (a) defined population(s). Need precision An evidence-base efficiency skills/competencies Cultural Relevance resources Administrative/Organizational Support Process Elements Selecting EBI Initial Implementation of EBI Ongoing Implementation and Scaling Up of EBI