R E Glasgow, T M Vogt, and S M Boles
Progress in public health and community-based interventions has been hampered by the lack of a comprehensive evaluation framework appropriate to such programs. Multilevel interventions that incorporate policy, environmental, and individual components should be evaluated with measurements suited to their settings, goals, and purpose. In this commentary, the authors propose a model (termed the RE-AIM model) for evaluating public health interventions that assesses 5 dimensions: reach, efficacy, adoption, implementation, and maintenance. These dimensions occur at multiple levels (e.g., individual, clinic or organization, community) and interact to determine the public health or population-based impact of a program or policy. The authors discuss issues in evaluating each of these dimensions and combining them to determine overall public health impact. Failure to adequately evaluate programs on all 5 dimensions can lead to a waste of resources, discontinuities between stages of research, and failure to improve public health to the limits of our capacity. The authors summarize strengths and limitations of the RE-AIM model and recommend areas for future research and application.