Translating research interventions into real world practice: Lessons from the Infant Feeding, Activity and Nutrition Trial (InFANT) Program

Author: 
Rachel Laws Karen Campbell Kylie Ball Kylie Ball Kylie Hesketh Cathy Cooper
Publication type: 
Conference presentation
Program: 
Stream 1 Families with young children
Year: 
2015

Population Health Conference

This presentation is available here

Background

Effective interventions need to be scaled up and delivered as part of a multi-faceted approach to achieve population health impact. In Victoria this is reflected in a complex systems approach to prevention. This study aims to explore the experience of disseminating The Infant Program into routine practice in local government areas in Victoria as part of Healthy Together Victoria.  

Methods

Qualitative semi-structured interviews (n=17) and a focus group have been conducted with key stakeholders involved in the roll out of the Infant Program including researchers, those implementing the program on the ground and policy makers. Data collection has focused on models for implementation, key implementation challenges and successes and key lessons for researchers, policy makers and implementers.

Results/discussions

Pre-packaged evidence-based programs were highly valued by practitioners and the Infant Program filled an important gap by addressing lifestyle behaviours promoting healthy weight in children under 2 years. There was a tension between program adaption to suit the local context and maintaining program fidelity. Program malleability will be important for continued successful engagement. Engaging key partners and embedding the program into existing roles and service delivery structures will be key to program sustainability. Implementing the program in the real world was perceived to result in broader positive impacts beyond those measured in the original research trial.

Conclusions/implications

This study provides unique insights into the process by which research interventions are scaled up and implemented in real world public health practice, offering valuable information for researchers, practitioners and policy makers.