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Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2012 Aug;32(2):93-100.

Developing a research agenda for promoting physical activity in Brazil through environmental and policy change.

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School of Health and Biosciences, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil.



To identify the highest priorities for research on environmental and policy changes for promoting physical activity (PA) in Brazil; to uncover any gaps between researchers' and practitioners' priorities; and to consider which tools, methods, collaborative strategies, and actions could be useful to moving a research agenda forward.


This was a mixed-methods study (qualitative and quantitative) conducted by Project GUIA (Guide for Useful Interventions for Activity in Brazil and Latin America) in February 2010-January 2011. A total of 240 individuals in the PA field (186 practitioners and 54 researchers) were asked to generate research ideas; 82 participants provided 266 original statements from which 52 topics emerged. Participants rated topics by "importance" and "feasibility;" a separate convenience sample of 21 individuals categorized them. Cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling were used to create concept maps and pattern matches.


Five distinct clusters emerged from the concept mapping, of which "effectiveness and innovation in PA interventions" was rated most important by both practitioners and researchers. Pattern matching showed a divergence between the groups, especially regarding feasibility, where there was no consensus.


The study results provided the basis for a research agenda to advance the understanding of environmental and policy influences on PA promotion in Brazil and Latin America. These results should stimulate future research and, ultimately, contribute to the evidence-base of successful PA strategies in Latin America.

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