Implementation of evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention interventions: theoretical and practical implications of the concept of transferability for decision-making and the transfer process

T. Schloemer*, F. De Bock, P. Schroeder-Baeck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention require incorporating evidence of the effectiveness of interventions into policy and practice. With the entry into force of the German Act to Strengthen Health Promotion and Prevention (PrävG), interventions that take place in people’s everyday living environments have gained in importance. Decision-makers need to assess whether an evidence-based intervention is transferable to their specific target context. The Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) recommends that transferability of an intervention should be clarified before any decision to implement it. Furthermore, transferability needs to be finally determined after an evaluation in the target context. In this article, we elaborate on theoretical and practical implications of the concept of transferability for health promotion and disease prevention based on the Population–Intervention–Environment–Transfer Models of Transferability (PIET-T). We discuss how decision-makers can anticipate transferability prior to the intervention transfer with the help of transferability criteria and how they can take transferability into account in the further process. This includes the steps of the analysis of a health problem and identification of effective interventions, the steps of the initial transferability assessment and identification of the need for adaptation, and the steps of the implementation and evaluation. Considering transferability is a complex task that comes with challenges. But it offers opportunities to select a suitable intervention for a target context and, in the transfer process, to understand the conditions under which the intervention works in this context. This knowledge helps to establish an evidence base, which is practically relevant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-543
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • Public Health
  • Implementation Science
  • Effectiveness
  • Evaluation
  • Complex intervention

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