UBC Faculty Research and Publications

How Central Support Built Capacity to Deliver a Health Promoting Intervention for Older Adults Sims-Gould, Joanie; McKay, Heather Anne, 1954-; Franke, Thea


Most implementation frameworks note that a central support unit (CSU) is key to successful implementation and scale-up of evidence based interventions (EBIs). However, few studies investigated core functions of CSUs— such as capacity building—to better understand their essential role in implementing EBIs at scale. Therefore, the aims of our study are to (1) describe the role that a CSU plays to build capacity in delivery partner organizations, to enable implementation and scale-up of a health promoting intervention (Choose to Move (CTM)) for older adults, and (2) identify elements within capacity building strategies deemed essential to effectively implement CTM in diverse community contexts CTM is a flexible, scalable, community-based health promoting physical activity (PA) and social connectedness intervention for older adults. In 2018-2020, eight health and social service societies, rural or remote municipalities, or community based organizations delivered 22 CTM programs that served 322 older adults. We conducted in depth interviews with delivery partners (n=23), and a focus group with the central support system (n= 4). CSU provided a sounding board to organizations to create buy-in (adoption) and plan ahead. Essential elements within capacity building strategies included: a support unit champion, enhance delivery partner skills, self efficacy and confidence; interactive assistance to answer questions and clarify materials. There is a key role for capacity building under the stewardship of the CSU to promote implementation success. Investigating specific elements within capacity building strategies that drive implementation success continues to be a relevant question for implementation science researchers, that deserves further attention.

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