Little is known about the role of organizational or administrative support in implementation of health promotion interventions, particularly outside of school settings. The purpose was to determine the change in fruit and vegetable (FV) intake among children living in residential children's homes (RCHs) and assess the relationships among change in organizational support, intervention implementation, and child nutrition outcomes. Data were collected from 29 RCHs and 614 children living in RCHs, as part of a group randomized design with delayed intervention, at three cross-sectional waves: 2004, 2006, and 2008. RCH staff made environmental changes to increase intake of FV. Implementation and organizational support data were collected from staff at the RCHs. Child FV intake were measured via 24-h dietary recalls. A two-way (condition by time) repeated measures ANOVA was conducted to test whether FV intake increased in response to the intervention. A two-level path analysis with a robust maximum likelihood estimator was used to explore the relationships among organizational support, intervention implementation fidelity, and child FV intake. There was a significant increase in FV intake within all RCHs from 2004 to 2006 (P = 0.022 for the intervention group, P = 0.015 for the control group). This increase was maintained in both groups from 2006 to 2008 (post-intervention mean servings: intervention = 3.2 vs control = 3.4). Increases in organizational support resulted in greater overall implementation fidelity. When RCH staff, supervisors, and the RCH CEO were perceived to be supportive of the intervention, more environmental changes were made to encourage eating FV. Fostering organizational support may improve implementation of interventions.
Keywords: Nutrition; Process evaluation; Stakeholders; Youth.
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