Assess, Plan, Do, Evaluate, and Report: Iterative Cycle to Remove Academic Control of a Community-Based Physical Activity Program
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Assess, Plan, Do, Evaluate, and Report: Iterative Cycle to Remove Academic Control of a Community-Based Physical Activity Program

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    Purpose and Objectives

    Responsive methods and measures are needed to bridge research to practice and address public health issues, such as older adults’ need for multicomponent physical activity. The objective of this study was to detail the longitudinal, quasi-experimental work that spans 5 years to describe outcomes across RE-AIM (reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance) dimensions of integrating a physical activity intervention for older adults into the Cooperative Extension System through the assess, plan, do, evaluate, report (APDER) cycle.

    Intervention Approach

    The participant-level intervention is Lifelong Improvements through Fitness Together (LIFT), an 8-week, group dynamics-based, strength-training program with 16 in-person sessions. The implementation intervention applies the iterative APDER cycle based on feedback for each dimension of RE-AIM. Each year, the APDER cycle was used to embed data collection procedures at the instructor and participant level to reveal the next evolution of the program.

    Evaluation Methods

    Each evolution of LIFT was measured through a pretest and posttest quasi-experimental design. Data were collected on each RE-AIM dimension through participant surveys and functional fitness assessments, number and representativeness of trainees, and process evaluation.


    Overall, LIFT was expanded to 4 states with 275 instructors, reaching 816 older adults; consistently improved functional fitness outcome measures; demonstrated strong program adherence; and was seen as feasible and enjoyable by instructors and participants. LIFT is now undergoing adaptations for virtual delivery as well as updating the exercise protocol to introduce yoga postures that target flexibility and balance.

    Implications for Public Health

    Overall, ongoing adaptations were necessary to ensure the program continued to fit the mission, values, and resources of the delivery system. Public health implications to support the need for ongoing adaptation include embedding pragmatic measures of adaptations and RE-AIM into standard evaluation pathways and using iterative APDER cycles.

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