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A mixed-methods exploration of implementation of a comprehensive school healthy eating model one year after scale-up

  • Patti-Jean Naylor (a1), Heather A McKay (a2), Maria Valente (a3) and Louise C Mâsse (a3)
Abstract
Abstract Objective

To study the implementation of a school-based healthy eating (HE) model one year after scale-up in British Columbia (BC). Specifically, to examine implementation of Action Schools! BC (AS! BC) and its influence on implementation of classroom HE activities, and to explore factors associated with implementation.

Design

Diffusion of Innovations, Social Cognitive and Organizational Change theories guided our approach. We used a mixed-methods research design including focus group interviews (seven schools, sixty-two implementers) and a cross-sectional multistage survey to principals (n 36, 92 % response rate) and teachers of grades 4 to 7 (n 168, 70 % response rate). Self-reported implementation of classroom HE activities and reported use of specific AS! BC HE activities were primary implementation measures. Thematic analysis of focus group data and multilevel mixed-effect logistic regression analyses of survey data were conducted.

Setting

Elementary schools across BC, Canada.

Subjects

Thirty-nine school districts, thirty-six principals, 168 grade 4 to 7 teachers.

Results

Forty-two per cent of teachers in registered schools were implementing AS! BC HE in their classrooms. Users were 6·25 times more likely to have delivered a HE lesson in the past week. Implementation facilitators were school champions, technical support and access to resources; barriers were lack of time, loss of leadership or momentum. Implementation predictors were teacher training, self-efficacy, experience with the physical activity component of AS! BC, supportive school climate and parental post-secondary education.

Conclusions

Our findings reinforce that continued teacher training and support are important public health investments that contribute to successful implementation of school-based HE models after scale-up.

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Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Email pjnaylor@uvic.ca
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