TitleFiscal loss and program fidelity: impact of the economic downturn on HIV/STI prevention program fidelity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsCatania, JA, Dolcini, MM, Gandelman, AA, Narayanan, V, McKay, VR
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Date Published2014 Mar

The economic downturn of 2007 created significant fiscal losses for public and private agencies conducting behavioral prevention. Such macro-economic changes may influence program implementation and sustainability. We examined how public and private agencies conducting RESPECT, a brief HIV/STI (sexually transmitted infection) counseling and testing intervention, adapted to fiscal loss and how these adaptations impacted program fidelity. We collected qualitative and quantitative data in a national sample of 15 agencies experiencing fiscal loss. Using qualitative analyses, we examined how program fidelity varied with different types of adaptations. Agencies reported three levels of adaptation: agency-level, program-level, and direct fiscal remedies. Private agencies tended to use direct fiscal remedies, which were associated with higher fidelity. Some agency-level adaptations contributed to reductions in procedural fit, leading to negative staff morale and decreased confidence in program effectiveness, which in turn, contributed to poor fidelity. Findings describe a "work stress pathway" that links program fiscal losses to poor staff morale and low program fidelity.