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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2014 Nov-Dec;46(6):576-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2014.04.293. Epub 2014 May 27.

Implementing a multicomponent school-based obesity prevention intervention: a qualitative study.

Author information

1
Department of Kinesiology, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI. Electronic address: mgreaney@mail.uri.edu.
2
Commonwealth Community Care, Springfield, MA.
3
Nutrition Department, Public Health Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA.
4
Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA.
5
Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, MA.
6
Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI.
7
Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA; Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA.
8
Nutrition Department, Public Health Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA; Human Nutrition Program, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore barriers and facilitators to implementing and sustaining Healthy Choices, a 3-year multicomponent obesity prevention intervention implemented in middle schools in Massachusetts.

METHODS:

Using purposive sampling, 56 in-depth interviews were conducted with middle school employees representing different positions (administrators, teachers, food service personnel, and employees serving as intervention coordinators). Interviews were recorded and transcribed. Emergent themes were identified using thematic analyses.

RESULTS:

State-mandated testing, budget limitations, and time constraints were viewed as implementation barriers, whereas staff buy-in, external support, and technical assistance were seen as facilitating implementation. Respondents thought that intervention sustainability depended on external funding and expert assistance.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Results confirm the importance of gaining faculty and staff support. Schools implementing large-scale interventions should consider developing sustainable partnerships with organizations that can provide resources and ongoing training. Sustainability of complex interventions may depend on state-level strategies that provide resources for implementation and technical assistance.

KEYWORDS:

intervention; obesity prevention; qualitative; school

PMID:
24878150
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2014.04.293
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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