Strategic Directions in Preventive Intervention Research to Advance Health Equity


Boyd, R.C., Castro, F.G., Finigan-Carr, N. et al. Strategic Directions in Preventive Intervention Research to Advance Health Equity. Prev Sci (2022).

As commissioned by the Society for Prevention Research, this paper describes and illustrates strategic approaches for reducing health inequities and advancing health equity when adopting an equity-focused approach for applying prevention science evidence-based theory, methodologies, and practices. We introduce an ecosystemic framework as a guide for analyzing, designing, and planning innovative equity-focused evidence-based preventive interventions designed to attain intended health equity outcomes. To advance this process, we introduce a health equity statement for conducting integrative analyses of ecosystemic framework pathways, by describing the role of social determinants, mechanisms, and interventions as factors directly linked to specific health equity outcomes. As background, we present health equity constructs, theories, and research evidence which can inform the design and development of equity-focused intervention approaches. We also describe multi-level interventions that when coordinated can produce synergistic intervention effects across macro, meso, and micro ecological levels. Under this approach, we encourage prevention and implementation scientists to apply and extend these strategic directions in future research to increase our evidence-based knowledge and theory building. A general goal is to apply prevention science knowledge to design, widely disseminate, and implement culturally grounded interventions that incrementally attain specific HE outcomes and an intended HE goal. We conclude with recommendations for conducting equity-focused prevention science research, interventions, and training.