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Implementation Science Strategies Promote Fidelity in the Food, Feeding, and Your Family Study

      Abstract

      Objective

      Use of implementation science strategies to promote fidelity in the Food, Feeding, and Your Family study.

      Design

      Cluster randomized controlled trial with 3 conditions: control, in-class, or online, delivered in English or Spanish. Observations of 20% of classes.

      Setting

      Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) in 2 states.

      Participants

      EFNEP peer educators (n = 11).

      Intervention

      Parental feeding content incorporated into EFNEP lessons (in-class) or through text with links to videos/activities (online). Extensive educator training, scripted curriculum, frequent feedback.

      Analysis

      Assessment of fidelity compliance. Qualitative analysis of verbatim educator interviews and classroom observer comments.

      Results

      During 128 class observations (40–45 per condition), peer educators followed scripted lesson plan 78% to 89% of the time. There was no evidence of cross-contamination of parental feeding content in control and only minor sharing in online conditions. Variations with fidelity were primarily tied to the EFNEP curriculum, not the parent feeding content. Educators (n = 7) expressed favorable opinions about the Food, Feeding, and Your Family study, thought it provided valuable information, and appreciated support from EFNEP leadership.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Incorporating implementation science strategies can help ensure successful adherence to research protocols. With proper training and support, EFNEP peer educators can deliver an evidence-based curriculum as part of a complex research study.

      Key Words

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