Online Program

Research to reality: A mentorship approach to building cancer control capacity

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Michael Sanchez, MPH, CHES, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Peyton Purcell, MPH, CPH, Office of Communication and Education, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Cynthia A. Vinson, PhD, MPA, Implementation Science Team, National Cancer Institute, Behtesda, MD
Madeline LaPorta, MS, Office of Communications and Education, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Alissa Gallagher, MPH, Office of Communications and Education, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Margaret Farrell, MPH RD, Implementation Science Team; Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Background: Despite a wealth of intervention research in cancer control, integration of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) into practice often fails. Many models of training and technical assistance exist but little is known about the effects of mentoring and communities of practices to promote evidence-based practice. The National Cancer institute's Research to Reality (R2R) Mentorship Pilot Program explores mentorship as a strategy to improve public health practitioners' ability to translate cancer control research into practice.

Methods: Six mentee-mentor pairs were matched to collaborate on a work-related project addressing an objective of the mentee's local Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan. Over 18-months, pairs shared experiences and lessons learned on storyboards, participated in webinar trainings, and met regularly. A mixed-methods evaluation included: 1) pre- and post-program competencies self-assessment; 2) interviews of mentees and mentors; 3) content analysis of project activities and deliverables.

Results: Preliminary results suggest improvements in mentees' competency areas. We identified four key successes and challenges to evidence-based practice experienced by mentees including: 1) establishing and maintaining partnerships; 2) data collection and analysis; 3) navigating context; and 4) program adaptation and evaluation. Content analysis of program deliverables and storyboards will assess the extent to which EBIs were utilized and how mentors guided mentees to navigate the "real world" context in which evidence-based decision making occurs.

Conclusions: Mentorship is a promising approach to integrate EBIs into practice by improving competencies of public health professionals, building researcher-practitioner collaborations, developing mutual understanding of research translation barriers and success, and to identify strategies to navigate complex “real-world” issues.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate how mentorship programs can support practitioners’ ability to navigate evidence-based decision making within a context of inadequate resources, political barriers, and organizational constraints. Identify opportunities for how researchers and practitioners can share and learn from each other to address complex issues relative to intervention implementation. Discuss barriers and successes with translating evidence-based interventions into practice.

Keyword(s): Cancer, Public Health Education and Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Michael Sanchez is a Public Health Advisor with the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at NCI. He supports Division efforts to translate evidence-based research into public health and clinical practice. He has over 10 years of experience in health education, workforce development, and research translation within research and practice settings at local, state, and national level. He's a Certified Health Education Specialist with a Masters of Public Health from the University of Washington.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.