Relevant to: research, practice
In this paper, Dingfelder and Mandell apply diffusion of innovation theory to advance understanding of why efficacious interventions for autism are rarely adopted or successfully implemented in public mental health and education systems. They use a conceptual approach, based on an established model of Diffusion of Innovation, as a framework to consider how, why and at what rate autism interventions are adopted.
To test their approach, the authors present a series of guiding questions that program administrators consider when deciding whether or not to implement a given intervention. They demonstrate their approach by conceptually applying these questions to two different evidence-based interventions for autism in public schools – discrete-trial training and pivotal-response training – from the perspective of a program administrator.
The authors argue that researchers should adopt strategies that link intervention research and development with the settings in which it is hoped the intervention ultimately will be delivered. This paper provides a useful introduction to the concepts of Diffusion of Innovation theory. Although it focuses on autism intervention research, the principles will likely be more broadly relevant to most if not all forms of innovation.
This summary was developed from the following paper:
Dingfelder, H. and Mandell, D.S. (2011) Bridging the research-to-practice gap in autism intervention: an application of diffusion innovation theory. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 41(5): 597-609.