Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of a community-based, multidisciplinary, family-focused childhood weight management programme in Ireland: a qualitative study
E. Kelleher; J. M. Harrington; F. Shiely; I. J. Perry; S. M. McHugh
Year of publication
OBJECTIVE: To explore the barriers and facilitators experienced by those implementing a government-funded, community-based childhood weight management programme. DESIGN: Qualitative using semistructured interviews. SETTING: Two geographical regions in the south and west of Ireland. PARTICIPANTS: 29 national-level and local-level stakeholders responsible for implementing the programme, including professionals from dietetics, psychology, public health nursing, physiotherapy, health promotion and administration. METHODS: Framework analysis was used to identify barriers and facilitators, which were mapped onto six levels of factors influencing implementation outlined by Grol and Wensing: the innovation, the individual professional, the patient, the social context, the organisational context and the external environment. RESULTS: Most barriers occurred at the level of the organisational context. For all stakeholders, barriers arose due to the multidisciplinary nature of the programme, including the lack of role clarity and added complexity of working in different locations. Health professionals' low-perceived self-efficacy in approaching the subject of weight with parents and parental resistance to hearing about their child's weight status were barriers to programme implementation at the individual professional and patient levels, respectively. The main facilitators of implementation, occurring at the level of the health professional, included stakeholders' recognition of the need for a weight management programme and personal interest in the area of childhood obesity. Having a local lead and supportive colleagues were further implementation drivers. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the complexities associated with implementing a multidisciplinary childhood weight management programme, particularly translating such a programme to a community setting. Our results suggest the assignment of clear roles and responsibilities, the provision of sufficient practical training and resources, and organisational support play pivotal roles in overcoming barriers to change. This evidence can be used to develop an implementation plan to support the translation of interventions into real-world settings.