A Behavioral Economic Perspective on Adoption, Implementation, and Sustainment of Evidence-Based Interventions

Friday 8:10 – 8:40

Presenter: Lawrence A. Palinkas

University of Southern California


For the most part, current models of evidence-based intervention (EBI) dissemination and implementation offer a systems approach to understanding and identifying potential facilitators and barriers to adoption, implementation and sustainment. However, these models do not necessarily reflect the priorities or decision-making processes of clinic, agency and systems leaders when considering whether to adopt, implement and/or sustain. Drawing upon two ongoing mixed methods investigations of EBI implementation, one for child mental health in New York State and one for HIV prevention in Mexico, this presentation will illustrate the application of principles of behavioral economics in understanding how and why EBIs are adopted, implemented and sustained. These principles are rooted in the observations that the assessment of the costs and acceptability of EBIs and the capacity of organizations and individuals to adopt, implement and sustain them is not always a rational process in the traditional economic sense but often reflects notions of bounded rationality, use of heuristics in decision-making, and loss aversion.