Research to Practice: Implementing Physical Activity Recommendations

Feb 22, 2017 | S. M. Davis, T. H. Cruz and R. L. Kozoll

INTRODUCTION: Dissemination and implementation science focuses on bridging the gap between research and practice. The Community Preventive Services Task Force published recommendations for increasing physical activity based on scientific review and consensus. Little research on the dissemination and implementation of these recommendations has been conducted in under-represented populations at high risk for inactivity and chronic disease.

METHODS: Partnering with one rural community (beta site), the University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center studied the translation of Community Preventive Services Task Force recommendations to practice. Strategies for increasing physical activity were selected, implemented, and analyzed in 2009-2013. Participant observations; content analysis of meeting minutes, field notes, and other documents; and in-depth interviews were conducted over the 5-year period to identify factors important for carrying out Community Preventive Services Task Force recommendations for physical activity in a rural New Mexico community.

RESULTS: Included among the implementation outcomes were new sidewalks and trails, a community-wide campaign, social support of walking, and park improvements. The following factors were identified as important to the implementation process: an active community-academic partnership; multiple partners; culturally appropriate strategies; and approaches that fit local context and place characteristics (topography, land ownership, population clusters, existing roadways).

CONCLUSIONS: This study illustrates how evidence can be translated to practice and identifies key factors in that process. The successful beta model provides a practical blueprint for dissemination and implementation in rural, under-represented populations. This model is currently being disseminated (scaled up) to other rural New Mexico communities.

PubMed Abstract

Davis SM, Cruz TH, Kozoll RL. Research to Practice: Implementing Physical Activity Recommendations. American journal of preventive medicine. 2017;52(3s3):S300-s303.