Translational Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 629–637 | Cite as

Uptake of evidence-based physical activity programs: comparing perceptions of adopters and nonadopters

  • Sallie Beth Johnson
  • Samantha M Harden
  • Paul A EstabrooksEmail author
Original Research


Translating evidence-based physical activity interventions into practice have been problematic. Limited research exists on the adoption decision-making process. This study explored health educator perceptions of two evidence-based, physical activity programs—one was developed through an integrated research-practice partnership approach (FitEx) and the other was research-developed, Active Living Every Day (ALED). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 health educators who were trained on either ALED (n = 6) or FitEx (n = 6) and had either delivered (n = 6) or did not deliver (n = 6) the intervention. Program adopters identified with program characteristics, materials, processes, implementation, fit within system, and collaborations as more positive factors in decision-making when compared to those that did not deliver. FitEx health educators were more likely to deliver the program and found it to be a better fit and easier to use. An integrated research-practice partnership may improve adoption of physical activity programs in typical practice settings.


Adoption Physical activity promotion Decision-making Integrated research-practice partnerships Qualitative 



We would like to acknowledge the health educators who participated in our interviews and candidly shared their experiences with ALED or FitEx, as well as Joan Wages who served as the interviewer for this qualitative study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Adherence to ethical principles

This study followed accepted principles of ethical and professional conduct. The study received expedited review by the Virginia Tech Institutional Review Board (#08-466) and had approved exemption for waiver of written consent.

Supplementary material

13142_2015_371_MOESM1_ESM.docx (86 kb)
supplemental material Table 2 (DOCX 85 kb)
13142_2015_371_MOESM2_ESM.docx (124 kb)
supplemental material Table 3 (DOCX 124 kb)
13142_2015_371_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (537 kb)
Electronic supplementary material Figure 2 Interview themes; This figure displays graphs with code frequency and mean code weights by health educator status. Note: MU = MU; For code weight, 1 = negative, 5 = positive (PDF 537 kb)
13142_2015_371_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (537 kb)
Electronic supplementary material Figure 3 Select program perception and fit within system categories; This figure displays graphs with code frequency and mean code weights by health educator status. Note: MU = MU; For code weight, 1 = negative, 5 = positive (PDF 537 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of Behavioral Medicine 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sallie Beth Johnson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Samantha M Harden
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Paul A Estabrooks
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and ExerciseVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.Fralin Translational Obesity Research CenterBlacksburgUSA
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyVirginia Tech Carilion School of MedicineRoanokeUSA
  4. 4.Department of Family and Community MedicineVirginia Tech Carilion School of MedicineRoanokeUSA

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