Using an Implementation Research Framework to Identify Facilitators and Barriers to Physical Activity and Weight Loss in Appalachia.

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From: Southern Medical Journal(Vol. 115, Issue 3)
Publisher: Southern Medical Association
Document Type: Article
Length: 432 words

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Byline: Tyra Turner, From Health Sciences, Departments of Family Medicine and Neurosurgery, and the Department of Neurosurgery at the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, West Virginia University, Morgantown, and Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, Buckeye, West Virginia.; Treah Haggerty; Patricia Dekeseredy; Julie Hare; Cara L. Sedney Abstract OBJECTIVES: West Virginia (WV) is the only state entirely located in Appalachia, a large, mostly rural area in the eastern United States. WV has the highest adult obesity rate in the United States, as well as one of the highest physical inactivity rates. Obesity has been found to be significantly higher in rural counties than in urban counties, and many rural communities do not have the resources to address this growing health concern. It is well documented that healthy eating and becoming more physically active can be successful in reducing weight and managing obesity-related illness. Despite this overwhelming evidence, obesity rates in WV continue to climb. The purpose of this study was to understand the factors associated with obesity in WV and identify what influences the behavior of people in regard to weight loss and exercise. METHODS: Four focus groups were conducted across the state of WV, transcribed, and thematically analyzed to examine the facilitators and barriers associated with healthy behaviors. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) was used as an approach to classify characteristics and plan implementation strategies integrating five domains. The CFIR has been used to identify potential barriers and facilitators to interventions and can be used before or during an intervention. In addition, the CFIR has been used as a framework to guide analysis and provide a means to organize intervention stakeholders' perceptions of barriers and facilitators to successful interventions. RESULTS: Participants identified barriers and facilitators across all 5 major domains of the CFIR--intervention characteristics, outer setting (eg, cultural norms, infrastructure), inner setting (eg, access to knowledge), characteristics of individuals, and the implementation process--and 16 subdomains. Participants discussed how socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental factors influenced diet and exercise. Cost, family culture, and limited access to resources (eg, healthy foods, community-based fitness programs, health care) were common themes expressed by participants. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study identify how individuals living in rural Appalachian view lifestyle changes and what influences their ability to pursue physical activity and healthy eating. Future programs to encourage healthy lifestyles in Appalachia need to consider the characteristics of the given community to achieve the goal of a tailored lifestyle intervention program that is feasible and effective. In addition, the findings suggest that the CFIR can be used to implement and refine intervention strategies that can be used in the real world.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A694431600