There is likely no D&I model that will perfectly fit every aspect of your D&I project, so it may be necessary to Combine multiple models and/or Adapt a model for your D&I project. This section summarizes considerations for adapting an existing model to improve fit to the context of your D&I project.
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+/-What are some reasons to adapt a D&I model?
Adaptation of D&I models can be important to make the model fit with the context of your D&I project. Well thought out adaptation often improves the appropriateness of the selected model to the intervention being disseminated or implemented, the population, and the setting. Adaptations to D&I models might be necessary to:
- Align the constructs of the D&I model with the setting, population, or topic of the D&I project (tailoring the name of a construct to align with the context).
- Provide more specificity in constructs (i.e. providing examples of the construct or identifying sub-constructs more specific to the D&I project).
- Highlight relationships between constructs.
- Models should be living documents, or works-in-progress, not static entities.
+/-What are the benefits of adapting an existing D&I model instead of creating a new D&I model?
- It allows researchers to build on previous findings.
- It helps demonstrate generalizability of the model thereby enhancing our understanding of how to operationalize a model and its constructs.
- Adaptation contributes to the field by testing modifications to existing models, such as disregarding pieces shown to be ineffective or adding constructs that have been found important in a given context.
- It provides an excellent opportunity for model testing. This could add innovation to a study.
+/-What should be considered before adapting an existing D&I model?
- Initial identification of a D&I model to adapt should consider factors that influence the fit of a model such as
- The intervention and the implementation strategy(ies) (e.g., technology and resources needed for intervention delivery: high-speed Internet connection, media skills).
- The organization and practitioners/providers delivering the intervention.
- The target population and/or setting for the intervention/implementation (e.g., sociodemographics, geography, language, culture).
- If your study addresses health equity.
- Please note: When drastic changes are made to a model, it can become a weakness of a proposed D&I project.
- When D&I models are changed, adaptations should be documented and monitored so that the impact of changes on model applicability can be reported and incorporated into the literature.
+/-How much of a D&I model can be adapted?
It is difficult to provide detailed guidance on how much/little adaptation is appropriate or how much on an original model must be maintained (e.g. How many constructs can I change? What are the core elements of a model?). Like the other sections of this tool, there is not a single “cookbook” approach to model adaptation, every situation is different and every study is different. It helps to have someone on your team with experience in implementing and using models and to work with your stakeholders who can inform what adaptations are needed for the D&I model to be relevant to your context. Along the way, documenting adaptations and the reasons for those adaptations is important.