Maintenance is the extent to which a program or policy becomes part of the routine organizational practices and policies. Within the RE-AIM framework, maintenance also applies at the individual level. At the individual level, maintenance is defined as the long-term effects of a program on outcomes after 6 or more months after the most recent intervention contact.
- Steps to improving Individual level maintenance
- Resources available during program should be reusable or easily available at low to no cost on an ongoing basis.
- A longer or gradually faded intervention may lead to longer sustainability after the intervention is over.
- Program participants may be encouraged to form support groups during the course of program that can continue to meet after the program has ended. Support group members should be matched based on common interest and demographics in order to smoothly transition into a long lasting maintenance phase.
- Steps to improving Organization level maintenance
- Whenever possible build upon an existing infrastructure for program delivery.
- Periodic check-ins thorough office emails and flyers can serve as reminders to continue working on the desired outcomes of the program once it is over.
- Interventions should be integrated into the regular practice of the delivery organization. This is possible if the program objectives can be matched to the mission statement of the organization and/or if intervention duties can be made part of employee job responsibilities.
- Environmental and policy interventions are very effective in allowing for maintenance at the organizational level. Be aware that users’ buy in is essential for environmental interventions to be successful at both individual and organizational level.