The vast majority of tools and interventions deemed efficacious within clinical or community-based trials are not widely or consistently promoted or adopted by public health policy-makers and practitioners in a timely manner. Characteristics of the interventions, target settings, and research designs contribute to lags in translation of research to practice. The purpose of this study is to report the planning and development of an evidence-based early childhood obesity prevention intervention, ¡Míranos! Look at Us, We are Healthy! (¡Míranos!) in collaboration with Head Start (HS) stakeholders.
¡Míranos! is a clustered RCT designed to test the effect of center- and home-based interventions that address enablers and barriers in obesity prevention in low-income, Latino children enrolled in HS program. The study team consisting of researchers and HS administrators and staff engaged in a participatory planning process that included a study retreat, advisory boards, workgroups, monthly study team meetings, pilot studies, and focus groups.
The planning included 1) using intervention mapping to guide the study design, 2) aligning the intervention with HS Program Performance Standards, 3) integrating activities into HS learning domains and goals, 4) piloting recruitment, intervention, and evaluation to gather support and feedback from HS stakeholders, 5) using a participatory and collaborative process to address the administrative and program concerns, 6) minimizing the HS staff burden with mobile technologies, and 7) neutralizing intervention costs
A proactive approach in study planning can increase the acceptability and scalability of interventions, and facilitate the adoptions of new policies and practices in HS.