Main content area

Implementation and scale up of population physical activity interventions for clinical and community settings: the PRACTIS guide

Koorts, Harriet, Eakin, Elizabeth, Estabrooks, Paul, Timperio, Anna, Salmon, Jo, Bauman, Adrian
The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity 2018 v.15 no.1 pp. 51
human resources, mechanistic models, physical activity, planning, public health, stakeholders
BACKGROUND: Few efficacious physical activity interventions are successfully translated and sustained in practice. We propose a practical guide for researchers to increase the likelihood of successful implementation and scale up of physical activity interventions in practice contexts. The guide is based on two principles: (i) differences between the research and practice context can be addressed during intervention development and implementation planning by focusing on system, delivery personnel, and intervention characteristics; and (ii) early planning for implementation barriers and facilitators can improve subsequent translation into practice. METHODS: From the published literature, we identified evidence of strategies to improve research-practice translation, along with narrative descriptions of different approaches to addressing translational challenges. These, along with constructs taken from widely cited implementation outcome, process, and mechanistic models were collated and inform the guide. RESULTS: The resultant PRACTIS guide (PRACTical planning for Implementation and Scale-up) comprised the following four iterative steps: Step 1) Characterize the parameters of the implementation setting; Step 2) Identify and engage key stakeholders across multiple levels within the delivery system(s); Step 3) Identify contextual barriers and facilitators to implementation, and; Step 4) Address potential barriers to effective implementation. CONCLUSIONS: A lack of practical guidance for researchers on how to effectively plan implementation and scale up of physical activity interventions prevents us moving quickly from evidence to action. We recommend that intervention development and adaptation for broad and sustained implementation be prioritized early in intervention planning and include active engagement from delivery organizations and stakeholders. The PRACTIS guide is also relevant for clinical and public health researchers in other areas of prevention.