Approaches to the Evaluation of Cultural Adaptations of Home Visiting in Tribal Communities




Aleta Meyer, Erin Geary, Debra Heath, Vanessa Hiratsuka, Melina Salvador, Jenae Sanchez, and Nancy Whitesell

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Family Spirit
  • Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP)
  • Other Models
  • Parents as Teachers (PAT)


The research that underlies evidence-based practices is often based on relatively homogenous study samples, thus limiting our ability to understand how the study findings apply in new situations as well as our understanding of what might need to be adapted. In a preliminary effort to address those gaps, the requirements for the Tribal Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) included the expectation that grantees design and implement rigorous evaluations to address local priorities and to help build the knowledge base regarding the use of evidence-based home-visiting programs in tribal communities. A priority that emerged across many Tribal MIECHV grantees was to determine the added benefit of the cultural adaptations that they were making to their home-visiting programs. While there is literature to describe recommended processes for making cultural adaptations to evidence-based programs themselves, there are very few guidelines for evaluating these adaptations. In this article, we review the varied evaluation approaches utilized by Tribal MIECHV grantees and provide three case examples of how evaluators and tribal communities worked together to articulate evaluation questions and choose appropriate and feasible evaluation designs. The lessons derived from these Tribal MIECHV evaluation experiences have implications for the role of the evaluator in diverse communities across the country evaluating home visiting and other evidence-based practices in settings characterized by unique cultural contexts. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • Program administrative record reviews
  • Standardized assessment tools
  • Surveys or questionnaires



For More Information

Meyer, A., Geary, E., Heath, D., Hiratsuka, V., Salvador, M., Sanchez, J., & Whitesell, N. (2018). Approaches to the evaluation of cultural adaptations of home visiting in tribal communities. Infant Mental Health Journal, 39(3), 347-357. doi: 10.1002/imhj.2170
Author Contact Information:
Aleta Meyer


  • Participant Characteristics
  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes
  • Program Enhancements, Innovations, and Promising Approaches