Examining the sustainability and effectiveness of co-created physical activity interventions in vocational education and training: a multimethod evaluation.
BMC public health. 2022;(1):765
BACKGROUND Co-creation approaches are increasingly used in physical activity promotion to develop interventions tailored to the target group and setting. The resulting complexity of such interventions raises challenges in evaluation. Accordingly, little is known about the effectiveness of co-created interventions and the underlying processes that impact their sustainable implementation. In this study, we attempt to fill this gap by evaluating co-created multi-component physical activity interventions in vocational education and training in nursing care and automotive mechatronics regarding (1) their sustainable implementation at the institutional level and (2) the effectiveness of single intervention components at the individual level. METHODS Following a multimethod design, we conducted a questionnaire survey (n = 7) and semi-structured interviews (n = 4) to evaluate the sustainability of the interventions. Quantitative data were analyzed descriptively, and qualitative data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. To examine the interventions' effectiveness, we conducted two non-randomized controlled trials (n = 111). Analysis of variance was used to examine differences between groups. RESULTS At the institutional level, long-term implementation of single intervention components in nursing care was observed; in contrast, long-term implementation in automotive mechatronics was not observed. In this context, various factors at the outer contextual (e.g., COVID-19 pandemic), inner contextual (e.g., health-promoting leadership), intervention (e.g., acceptance), and personal levels (e.g., champion) influenced sustainability. At the individual level, no significant intervention effects were found for changes in physical activity behavior and physical activity-related health competence. CONCLUSION The role of co-creation on the effectiveness and sustainability of physical activity promotion in vocational education and training cannot be answered conclusively. Only in the nursing care sector, a co-creation approach appeared promising for long-term intervention implementation. Sustainable implementation depends on various influencing factors that should be considered from the outset. Demonstrating effectiveness at the individual level was challenging. To conclusively clarify both the role and impact of co-creation, methodologically complex and elaborate evaluation designs will be required in future research projects. TRIAL REGISTRATION This study was retrospectively registered at clinicaltrials.gov on 24/08/2021 ( NCT05018559 ).
Changes in work and health of Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal cohort study.
BMC public health. 2022;(1):487
BACKGROUND Engagement in work is an important determinant of health. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, public health measures imposed to reduce viral transmission resulted in large-scale loss of work during the early stages of the pandemic, contributing to declined mental and physical health. As the pandemic unfolded, the Australian economy began to recover and some people could return to work, whilst localised lockdowns resulted in further loss of work for others. The long-term health effects of work loss remain unexplored within the COVID-19 pandemic context, in addition to whether any health effects are persistent upon returning to work. METHODS A prospective longitudinal cohort study of 2603 participants across Australia monitored changes in health and work between March and December 2020, with participants completing surveys at baseline and 1, 3 and 6 months later. Outcomes described psychological distress, and mental and physical health. Linear mixed regression models examined associations between changes in health and experiences of work loss, and return to work, over time. RESULTS Losing work during the early stages of the pandemic was associated with long-term poorer mental health, which began to recover over time as some returned to work. Physical health deteriorated over time, greater for people not working at baseline. Being out of work was associated with poorer mental health, but better physical health. These effects were larger for people that had recently lost work than for people with sustained work loss, and retaining employment played a protective role. Generally, returning to work resulted in poorer physical health and improvements in mental health, although this depended on the broader context of changes in work. CONCLUSIONS Work cessation during the pandemic led to poor health outcomes and had long-lasting effects. Returning to work benefits mental health but may reduce physical activity in the short-term. We encourage the provision of accessible mental health supports and services immediately following loss of work, and for people with prolonged forms of work loss. TRIAL REGISTRATION Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12620000857909 .