Adoption of Evidence-Based Health Promotion Programs: Perspectives of Early Adopters of Enhance(®)Fitness in YMCA-Affiliated Sites

Front Public Health. 2015 Apr 27:2:164. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2014.00164. eCollection 2014.


Purpose: To identify facilitators and barriers among early adopters of Enhance(®)Fitness (EF), in Young Men's Christian Association-affiliated (Y-affiliated) sites from the perspective of program staff. EF is an evidence-based group exercise program for seniors.

Methods: This qualitative study used semi-structured phone interviews with 15 staff members representing 14 Y-affiliated sites. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using qualitative content analysis informed by the RE-AIM framework.

Findings: Staff were, on average, 48.7 years old (SD 13.5) and had been involved with EF for 5.2 years (SD 3.1). Key themes related to facilitating adoption of EF were: match with the Y mission, support from different organizational levels, match between the target population need and EF, initial and on-going financial support, presence of champions, novelty of EF, an invitation to partner with a community-based organization to offer EF, and program-specific characteristics of EF. Key themes related to barriers interfering with EF adoption included competing organizational programs and space limitations, limited resources and expertise, and costs of offering the program.

Implications: Our findings identify the types of organizational support needed for adoption of evidence-based health promotion programs like EF. Recommendations for practice, research, and policy based on the findings, including assessing organizational readiness, researching late adopters, and developing revenue streams, may help facilitate program adoption. Packaging and sharing these practical recommendations could help community-based agencies and nationally networked organizations facilitate adoption of EF and other evidence-based programs.

Keywords: RE-AIM; adoption; community intervention; dissemination; dissemination framework; evidence-based programs; older adults; physical activity.