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Factors related to the implementation and scale-up of physical activity interventions in Ireland: a qualitative study with policy makers, funders, researchers and practitioners

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-01, 08:08 authored by Joey Murphy, Fiona Mansergh, Grainne O’Donoghue, Femke van Nassau, Jemima Cooper, Caera Grady, Niamh Murphy, Enrique García BengoecheaEnrique García Bengoechea, Marie H. Murphy, Benny Cullen, Catherine WoodsCatherine Woods

Background Current literature reports a gap between development of efective interventions to promote physical activity and the systematic uptake into real-world settings. Factors relating to implementation and scale-up of physical activity interventions have been examined, however the perspectives of multiple stakeholders from diferent domains are not well researched. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived factors related to physical activity intervention implementation and scale-up in diferent domains from diferent stakeholders on the island of Ireland.

Methods Practitioners, researchers, funders and policy makers in Ireland were invited to take part in a semi-structured interview exploring factors related to the implementation and scale-up of eleven diferent physical activity interventions. A thematic analysis was conducted to identify factors related to the implementation and scale-up of the included interventions. The data collection and analysis were guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research.

Results Thirty-eight participants took part in the interviews which identifed factors related to 1) intervention planning and practical considerations; 2) organisational structures, stafng and resources related to delivery; 3) refection, evaluation and updating of the intervention; and 4) practical consideration related to scale-up. Furthermore, participants referred to the ongoing commitment, engagement, and support needed throughout the implementation process.

Conclusions Future research and practice needs to consider how diferent factors are experienced at diferent implementation stages and by the diferent stakeholder groups involved. The fndings highlight multiple inter-related factors that infuence the implementation and scale-up of physical activity interventions, but also identifes many strategies that can be utilised to aid future successes.



International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2023, 20 (16)



Other Funding information

This work was funded by the Health Research Board (HRB APA-2017–030). The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily refect those of the Health Research Board. The funder had no involvement in data collection, data analysis or writing of this paper.

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  • Health Research Institute (HRI)

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  • (3) Good Health and Well-being

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  • Physical Education and Sports Science

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