Implementation Strategies to Support Built Environment Approaches in Community Settings

May 01, 2023 | Balis

BACKGROUND: Built environment approaches are recommended to improve population physical activity levels. Implementation strategies are needed to improve uptake, but little is known about effective strategies to translate research to practice in community settings. PURPOSE: Inform implementation strategies through understanding delivery agents’ perceptions of (1) built environment approaches, (2) a toolkit developed to support implementation, and (3) other required implementation strategies. METHOD: A toolkit was developed to detail the process of partnering to change the built environment and provide examples of built environment approaches (e.g., walking paths, traffic calming). Data were collected through focus groups (N = 3) with Extension Agents (n = 46) in 2020. The semi-structured focus group script was based on the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research and the Technology Acceptance model. Rapid content analysis techniques and a deductive, grounded theory approach were used to interpret the data. Results. Focus groups generated meaning units coded into themes of perceptions of the intervention (subthemes: barriers, resources needed, and facilitators) and perceptions of the toolkit (subthemes: components to add, positive perceptions, and helpful components). The most common resources needed were coalition guidance and funding. CONCLUSION: Agents experience barriers and facilitators to implementing built environment approaches and have specific needs for support. Based on the results, we created implementation strategies: (1) Places for Physical Activity toolkit, (2) Coalition Coaching, and (3) Mini-Grants. Future work is needed to investigate the effectiveness of these implementation strategies.

PubMed Abstract

Balis, L. E., & Vincent, J. (2023). Implementation Strategies to Support Built Environment Approaches in Community Settings. Health Promot Pract, 24(3), 502-513. doi:10.1177/15248399221081835