Translating efficacy research to effectiveness studies in practice: lessons from research to promote smoking cessation in community health centers

Jane G. Zapka, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Karin V. Goins, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Lori Pbert, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Judith K. Ockene, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Document Type Article


Researchers and their community partners have been challenged by funders and political entities to translate what is learned in research into practice. Such translation is more challenging than it appears, and it is important to systematically make use of opportunities available to learn about facilitators and barriers to the implementation of effectiveness research in real-world settings. This article presents a case study of the process evaluation undertaken as part of Quit Together, a randomized trial of the effectiveness of an intervention to improve smoking cessation and relapse prevention among low-income pregnant and postpartum women who receive care at community health centers (CHCs). The analysis considers areas of program implementation failure that may need critical rethinking. The article demonstrates the importance of process-monitoring methods to examine context factors of collaborative research, outlines lessons learned and the challenges of research carried out in CHCs, and summarizes implications for researchers and for practitioners.