Organizational readiness and implementation fidelity of an early childhood education and care-specific physical activity policy intervention: findings from the Play Active trial

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Many children do not accumulate sufficient physical activity for good health and development at early childhood education and care (ECEC). This study examined the association between ECEC organizational readiness and implementation fidelity of an ECEC-specific physical activity policy intervention.

METHODS: Play Active aimed to improve the ECEC educator's physical activity practices. We investigated the implementation of Play Active using a Type 1 hybrid study (January 2021-March 2022). Associations between organizational readiness factors and service-level implementation fidelity were examined using linear regressions. Fidelity data were collected from project records, educator surveys and website analytics.

RESULTS: ECEC services with higher levels of organizational commitment and capacity at pre-implementation reported higher fidelity scores compared to services with lower organizational commitment and capacity (all Ps < 0.05). Similarly, services who perceived intervention acceptability and appropriateness at pre-implementation to be high had higher fidelity scores (P < 0.05). Perceived feasibility and organizational efficacy of Play Active were associated with higher but nonsignificant fidelity scores.

CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that organizational readiness factors may influence the implementation of ECEC-specific physical activity policy interventions. Therefore, strategies to improve organizational readiness should be developed and tested. These findings warrant confirmation in the ECEC and other settings and with other health behavior interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-167
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of public health (Oxford, England)
Volume46
Issue number1
Early online date22 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024

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