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Keep It Up! 3.0: Study protocol for a type III hybrid implementation-effectiveness cluster-randomized trial

Mustanski, B, et al.

Contemporary Clinical Trials

Background: Despite evidence that eHealth approaches can be effective in reducing HIV risk, their implementation requirements for public health scale up are not well established, and effective strategies to bring these programs into practice are still unknown. Keep It Up! (KIU!) is an online program proven to reduce HIV risk among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and ideal candidate to develop and evaluate novel strategies for implementing eHealth HIV prevention programs. KIU! 3.0 is a Type III Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation cluster randomized trial designed to 1) compare two strategies for implementing KIU!: community-based organizations (CBO) versus centralized direct-to-consumer (DTC) recruitment; 2) examine the effect of strategies and determinants on variability in implementation success; and 3) develop materials for sustainment of KIU! after the trial concludes. In this article, we describe the approaches used to achieve these aims.

Methods: Using county-level population estimates of YMSM, 66 counties were selected and randomized 2:1 to the CBO and DTC approaches. The RE-AIM model was used to drive outcome measurements, which were collected from CBO staff, YMSM, and technology providers. Mixed-methods research mapped onto the domains of the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research will examine determinants and their relationship with implementation outcomes.

Discussion: In comparing our implementation recruitment models, we are examining two strategies which have shown effectiveness in delivering health technology interventions in the past, yet little is known about their comparative advantages and disadvantages in implementation. The results of the trial will further the understanding of eHealth prevention intervention implementation.