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Intervention Review Process

The Center TRT in collaboration with our CDC partners and our National Advisory Board developed a systematic process for reviewing and translating interventions.  

The goal of the process is to identify, review, translate, and disseminate interventions that are supported by evidence of potential for public health impact.   Interventions recommended for review must target health, behavioral, environmental or policy outcomes that increase healthy eating and physical activity and reduce risk for obesity and related chronic diseases.

Center TRT's process for reviewing interventions involves the following steps:

  1. The intervention's developers submit either published reports of the findings from research testing of the intervention or data collected from evaluating the intervention in practice, implementation protocols and intervention materials.
  2. Center TRT staff review the implementation protocols, intervention materials, and supportive education materials for dissemination readiness.  
  3. Center TRT assembles a team of two expert reviewers to review each intervention. Reviewers apply the Center TRT Criteria for Reviewing and Categorizing Interventions by answering questions in one of three prescribed review tools.
  4. The findings from the expert review are presented to the CDC and a decision is made whether to disseminate the intervention as "research-tested", "practice-tested", "emerging", or not to disseminate.
  5. If an intervention is selected for dissemination, Center TRT staff then abstract practice-relevant information about the intervention into a template. The intervention template communicates the essential information needed by practitioners to make informed decisions about the potential use of an intervention.   To see the format for the template used for research-tested and practice-tested interventions, including a brief description of each section, click here.  Please note that the format for the emerging intervention template is a little different.

Center TRT dissemination categories

Research-tested interventions — are interventions for which efficacy/effectiveness has been tested in one or more research studies and the findings have been published in the peer reviewed literature.   Research-tested interventions must be effective at improving one or more obesity-related outcomes.

Practice-tested interventions — are practitioner-developed interventions that show promise based on their underlying theory, approach, and potential for public health impact based on findings from an evaluation suggesting they improved one or more obesity-related outcomes. These interventions have been evaluated in practice but have not been tested using more formal research methods.

Emerging interventions - are practitioner-developed interventions that show promise based on their underlying theory, approach, and potential for public health impact; but lack data demonstrating effects on one or more obesity-related outcomes. Essentially, emerging interventions meet all the review criteria for designation as practice-tested interventions with the exception of direct evidence of effect on outcome.

Center TRT may reclassify emerging interventions as practice-tested if the intervention's developers or others evaluate the intervention's effects on outcomes. If evaluation findings that support the intervention emerge after it is posted to the website, Center TRT will re-review and may re-classify it based on the additional evaluation data.   However, Center TRT expects some interventions to retain the "emerging" designation since adequate funding and/or community capacity to complete further evaluation may not be forthcoming.  

An example of an emerging intervention could be one that succeeded at making a policy change but anticipated environmental and/or behavior change has not yet been evaluated.   Such an intervention may be disseminated because it has good reach and/or addresses inequities that lead to health disparities related to nutrition and physical activity.

Please note: A few of the interventions disseminated as "emerging interventions" were identified through the Early Assessment of Programs and Policies to Prevent Childhood Obesity (EA).   For more information about the Center TRT process for disseminating EA project interventions, click here.