Context before implementation: a qualitative study of decision makers’ views of a peer-led healthy lifestyle intervention for people with serious mental illness in supportive housing
People with serious mental illness die at an earlier age than people in the general population largely due to cardiovascular disease. Healthy lifestyle interventions can help reduce this health inequity. In this qualitative study, we examined the perceptions that decision makers in supportive housing agencies had toward a peer-led healthy lifestyle intervention and their views of contextual factors that could shape implementation at these agencies. A purposive sample of 12 decision makers from three supportive housing agencies was recruited. We presented participants a vignette describing our peer-led intervention and used semistructured qualitative interviews to examine their views. Interviews were recorded, professionally transcribed, and analyzed using directed content analysis. Participants reported positive views toward the intervention with the most valued intervention attributes being relative advantage over existing services, compatibility to clients’ needs, ability to pilot the intervention, and cost. A model emerged from our data depicting multilevel contextual factors believed to shape the implementation of our intervention at these agencies, including system- (funding, marketability, and external regulations), organization- (leadership support, fit with organization, staff buy-in and burden), and client-level (adaptability to clients’ needs, and clients’ buy-in) factors. Study findings illustrate the importance of understanding the context of practice before implementation. This examination can help identify critical views from decision makers that could undermine or advance the integration of peer-led interventions in supportive housing agencies and help identify structures, policies, and organizational practices that can inform the implementation process.
Cabassa, L. J., & Stefancic, A. (2018). Context before implementation: a qualitative study of decision makers' views of a peer-led healthy lifestyle intervention for people with serious mental illness in supportive housing. Transl Behav Med. doi: 10.1093/tbm/iby034