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 Published03/2014

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.