Pilot-Testing an Intervention to Enhance Wellness Policy Implementation in Schools:Wellness Champions for Change

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Abstract

Objective

To develop and pilot-test Wellness Champions for Change (WCC) to enhance local wellness policy (LWP) implementation by forming wellness teams.

Design

Randomized, controlled school-level pilot study.

Setting

Five Maryland school districts.

Participants

A total of 63 elementary, middle, or high schools.

Intervention(s)

Developed from stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and existing programs. Schools were randomized within district to (1) WCC training (6-hour, single-day teacher training), (2) WCC training plus technical assistance (TA), or (3) delayed training (control).

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Online teacher/administrator survey pre-post (spring, 1 year apart) that examined the direct effect of the intervention on active wellness team formation (postintervention, 8-item sum score) and LWP implementation (29 items, not implemented to fully implemented)/indirect effect of intervention on LWP implementation via active wellness team formation.

Analysis

Adjusted linear or logistic regression and mediation modeling.

Results

Postintervention, WCC plus TA and WCC had more active wellness teams (vs control, β = 1.49, P = .02 and β = 1.42, P = .03, respectively). No direct effect of intervention on LWP implementation was found. Formation of active wellness teams mediated the association between both WCC plus TA and WCC and LWP implementation (WCC plus TA confidence interval [CI], 1.22–16.25; WCC CI, 10.98–15.61 [CI was significant without 0]).

Conclusions and Implications

The WCC intervention approaches indirectly affected LWP implementation through the formation of active wellness teams. These results support building and school-level wellness teams.

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