Evidence uncertain about strategies to enhance implementation of health promoting school-based policies and practices

Improving the implementation of school-based policies and practices to improve student health

The review sought to assess how effective strategies were in supporting the implementation of school-based policies and practices to address student diet, physical activity, excessive weight gain, tobacco or alcohol use.

27 trials included, 18 of which were conducted in the USA. The trials tested a range of implementation support strategies, including educational materials, educational meetings, the use of opinion leaders, external funding, local consensus processes, and tailored interventions.The evidence is current to 31 August 2016.

It is uncertain whether the strategies tested improve implementation of the targeted school-based policies or practices, student health behaviours, or the knowledge or attitudes of school staff. It is also uncertain whether the strategies tested result in unintended adverse effects or whether they are cost-effective. The overall quality of evidence was assessed as very low for all outcomes that included trial-reported effects.

Important limitations of the review include trial heterogeneity, and the lack of consistent terminology describing implementation strategies.

Read the review here