In an umbrella review just published in BMC Public Health, we aimed at identifying evidence-based conditions important for successful implementation of interventions and policies promoting a healthy diet, physical activity (PA), and a reduction in sedentary behaviors (SB). In particular, we examined if the implementation conditions identified were intervention-specific or policy-specific. This study was undertaken as part of the DEterminants of DIet and Physical Activity (DEDIPAC) Knowledge Hub, a joint action as part of the European Joint Programming Initiative a Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life.
We conducted a systematic review of reviews and stakeholder documents. Data from nine scientific literature databases were analysed. Additionally, published documentation of eight major stakeholders such as the World Health Organization were systematically searched. The RE-AIM
(reach, efficacy. adoption, implementation, maintenance) framework was used to categorize elicited conditions. Across the implementation conditions 25 % were identified in at least four documents and were subsequently classified as having obtained sufficient support.
We identified 312 potential conditions relevant for successful implementation; 83 of these received sufficient support. Using the RE-AIM framework eight implementation conditions that obtained support referred to the reach in the target population; five addressed efficacy of implementation processes; 24 concerned adoption by the target staff, setting, or institutions; 43 referred to consistency, costs, and adaptations made in the implementation process; three addressed maintenance of effects over time. The vast majority of implementation conditions were supported by documents referring to both interventions and policies. There were seven policy-specific implementation conditions, which focused on increasing complexities of coexisting policies/legal instruments and their consequences for implementation, as well as politicians’ collaboration in implementation.
The use of the proposed list of 83 conditions for successful implementation may enhance the implementation of interventions and policies which pursue identification of the most successful actions aimed at improving diet, PA and reducing SB.