Spectrum of Prevention


Levels of intervention

  • Strengthening individual knowledge and skills
  • Promote Community Education
  • Educate Providers
  • Foster coalitions and networks
  • Change organisational practices
  • Influence policy and legalisation

The Spectrum of Prevention is a systematic tool that promotes a multifaceted range of activities for effective prevention. Originally developed by Larry Cohen while working as Director of Prevention Programs at the Contra Costa County Health Department in the US.

The Spectrum identifies multiple levels of intervention and helps people move beyond the perception that prevention is merely education. The Spectrum is a framework for a more comprehensive understanding of prevention that includes six levels for strategy development.

The six levels are complementary and when used together produce a synergy that results in greater effectiveness than would be possible by implementing any single activity or linear initiative.

At each level, the most important activities related to prevention objectives should be identified. As these activities are identified they will lead to interrelated actions at other levels of the Spectrum

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

– Mahatma Gandhi –