Aim: This study used the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework to evaluate the impact of CLICK into Activity, a 12-week community-based physical activity programme for inactive adults with (or at risk of) long-term conditions.
Background: In the UK, inactivity is more prevalent among those with long-term conditions. General Practice (GP) referral to community-based physical activity has increased in recent years, however, the effectiveness of such programmes is inconclusive and evidence is limited on the wider contextual and individual factors facilitating delivery.
Methodology: A mixed methods evaluation was conducted with data obtained from a range of sources: questionnaires, qualitative interviews, and programme-related documentation, including cost data. Triangulation methods were used to analyse data, with findings synthesised across each dimension of the RE-AIM framework.
Results: The programme was adopted by nine GP surgeries, with a total of 602 eligible participants. Programme reach was 30.2% of the target population. A range of individual-, social-, and environmental-level factors were associated with programme participation. Improvements in physical activity outcomes were identified, although no differences were observed when comparing responses from participants that attended the programme with those that did not. Follow-up response rates were low, limiting our understanding of long-term programme impacts. Implementation facilitators included programme deliverer characteristics and tailoring content to target population needs, while barriers included a lack of GP staff engagement and scepticism about the value of physical activity. Implementing CLICK into Activity cost £175,000 over three years, with an average cost per person attending at least one programme session of £535.
Conclusions: Overall, CLICK into Activity was successfully implemented, with positive results attributed to participation, and contextual factors which may facilitate successful delivery identified. Findings highlight strategies to be explored in future development and implementation of community-based physical activity programmes targeting inactive adults with (or at risk of) long-term conditions.