Implementing Resistance Training in Secondary Schools: An Exploration of Teachers' Perceptions

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PurposeSchools are considered ideal locations to deliver public health interventions. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine teachers' perspectives regarding reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance of the Resistance Training for Teens (RT for Teens) program to aid in evaluating program translation.MethodsSemistructured interviews were completed with a random subsample of 19 teachers who had attended RT for Teens program training. Questions were focused on key translational elements of the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance framework. A hybrid deductive–inductive thematic analysis was conducted to explore teachers' perspectives regarding the effect of RT for Teens.ResultsRT for Teens had an extensive reach via a number of delivery modes, including physical education, school sport, and elective physical activity courses. Teachers reported high levels of student enjoyment, engagement, and motivation during program delivery. The RT for Teens workshop provided teachers with new knowledge, relevant skills and teaching techniques, and improved confidence to teach health-related fitness activities. Barriers identified by teachers included staffing issues as well as lack of time and motivation (student and teacher). Provision of resources, more specifically the exercise circuit cards, was the main facilitator of program implementation. Most teachers indicated their intention to continue implementing program components, also referring to sharing program resources with fellow staff. However, it is unknown to what extent they were implemented.ConclusionsInterviews with teachers have provided rich data to support the translational journey of the RT for Teens program, as it continues to progress through the dissemination phase. Information gathered from these interviews will assist in guiding future improvements in the design and delivery of school-based physical activity interventions.Trial RegistrationAustralian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry No: ACTRN12615000360516.

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