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Health Educ Behav. 2006 Feb;33(1):97-111.

Data to action: using formative research to develop intervention programs to increase physical activity in adolescent girls.

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  • 1Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.


Formative research is used to inform intervention development, but the processes of transmitting results to intervention planners and incorporating information into intervention designs are not well documented. The authors describe how formative research results from the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (TAAG) were transferred to planners to guide intervention development. Methods included providing oral and written reports, prioritizing recommendations, and cross-checking recommendations with intervention objectives and implementation strategies. Formative work influenced the intervention in many ways. For example, results indicated that middle schools offered only coeducational physical education and health education classes, so the TAAG intervention was designed to be appropriate for both sexes, and intervention strategies were developed to directly address girls' stated preferences (e.g., enjoyable activities, opportunity to socialize) and barriers (e.g., lack of skills, fear of injury) for physical activity. The challenges of using formative research for intervention development are discussed.

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