TitleThe influence of social determinants on evidence-based behavioral interventions—considerations for implementation in community settings
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsGandelman, A, Dolcini, MM
JournalTranslational Behavioral Medicine

Over the last decade, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Diffusion of Effective Behavioral Interventions (DEBI) program funded several hundred community-based organizations (CBOs) and health departments in a wide-scale HIV prevention national diffusion effort. We interviewed six California agencies funded to implement one of three group-level DEBIs to identify facilitators and/or challenges to effective implementation. We identified several social and structural factors affecting community members' participation in DEBIs, including language issues, stigma associated with HIV and sexual orientation, homelessness, and incarceration. Age, class, and socioeconomic status also significantly influenced member participation and CBO implementation success. Although changing individual behaviors is the ultimate measure of behavioral intervention/DEBI success, attention must be given to the larger social and structural factors that significantly affect risk for HIV. In fact, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy recognizes these factors as major barriers to HIV prevention and has developed recommendations that address health disparities. We present short-term, intermediate, and long-term strategies addressing social determinants of health and offer suggestions for adapting DEBIs to meet the broader needs of persons prioritized for DEBIs