An evolving model of best practice in a community physical activity programme: a case study of ‘Active Herts’
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AbstractBackground: Community-based physical activity programmes typically evolve to respond to local conditions and feedback from stakeholders. Process evaluations are essential for capturing how programmes are implemented, yet often fail to capture delivery evolution over time, meaning missed opportunities for capturing lessons learnt. Methods: This research paper reports on a staged approach to a process evaluation undertaken within a community-based UK 12-month physical activity programme that aimed to capture change and adaptation to programme implementation. Twenty-five one-to-one interviews, and twelve focus groups took place over the three years of programme delivery. Participants included programme participants, management, and service deliverers. Results: Programme adaptations that were captured through the ongoing process evaluation included changes to the design of promotional material, programme delivery content, ongoing training in behaviour change and the addition of regular participant community events. We address how these strands evolved over programme delivery, and how the process evaluation was able to capture them. Conclusion: The pragmatic evaluation approach enabled changes in response to the local context, as well as improvements in the programme to be captured in a timely manner, allowing the delivery to be responsive and the evaluation flexible.
CitationCarr S, Burke A, Chater A, Howlett N, Jones A (2021) 'An evolving model of best practice in a community physical activity programme: a case study of ‘Active Herts’', Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 18 (12), pp.1555-1562.
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