How to select interventions for promoting physical activity in schools? Combining preferences of stakeholders and scientists

Mirko Brandes*, Berit Brandes, Louisa Sell, Jennifer M. Sacheck, Mai Chinapaw, David R. Lubans, Alexander Woll, Jasper Schipperijn, Russell Jago, Heide Busse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The failure to scale-up and implement physical activity (PA) interventions in real world contexts, which were previously successful under controlled conditions, may be attributed to the different criteria of stakeholders and scientists in the selection process of available interventions. Therefore, the aim of our study was to investigate and compare the criteria applied by local stakeholders and scientists for selecting amongst suitable school-based PA interventions for implementation. Methods: We conducted a three-round repeated survey Delphi study with local stakeholders (n = 7; Bremen, Germany) and international scientific PA experts (n = 6). Independently for both panels, two rounds were utilized to develop a list of criteria and the definitions of criteria, followed by a prioritization of the criteria in the third round. For each panel, a narrative analysis was used to rank-order unique criteria, list the number of scorers for the unique criteria and synthesize criteria into overarching categories. Results: The stakeholders developed a list of 53 unique criteria, synthesized into 11 categories with top-ranked criteria being ‘free of costs’, ‘longevity’ and ‘integration into everyday school life’. The scientists listed 35 unique criteria, synthesized into 7 categories with the top-ranked criteria being ‘efficacy’, ‘potential for reach’ and ‘feasibility’. The top ranked unique criteria in the stakeholder panel were distributed over many categories, whereas four out of the top six criteria in the scientist panel were related to ‘evidence’. Conclusions: Although stakeholders and scientists identified similar criteria, major differences were disclosed in the prioritization of the criteria. We recommend an early collaboration of stakeholders and scientists in the design, implementation, and evaluation of PA interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number48
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

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