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Application of a Realistic Evaluation Approach on Three Public Health Programs Aiming at Prevention of Obesity

  • Rich literature abounds concerning the clinical effectiveness of programs aiming to produce weight gain/obesity prevention outcomes. However, there is very little evidence on how these outcomes are produced, and what interplay of factors made those programs effective (or not) in the environment that produced those effects. This study aims to describe the application of realistic evaluation in the field of obesity prevention, as an approach to unravel those components that influence the capacity of a program to produce its effects and to examine its significance in an effort to understand those components. The concepts of critical realism have informed the development of an interview topic guide, while three European programs were selected as case studies after a rigorous selection process. In total, 26 in-depth semi-structured interviews were taken, paired with personal observation and secondary data research. Several grounded context-mechanisms-outcomes (CMO) configurations were described within the respective context of each location, with the mechanisms introduced from each project resulting in distinctive outcomes. This study highlights the potential of realistic evaluation as a comprehensive framework to explain in which contextual circumstances of each program’s effects are produced, how certain underlying mechanisms produce those effects, and how to explicitly connect the context and the acting mechanisms into distinct outcome patterns, which will ultimately form unique configuration sets for each of the analyzed projects.

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Author:Vasiliki KolovouORCiD
DOI original:https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/3289330
Parent Title (English):Advances in Public Health
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2022
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Hannover
Release Date:2022/09/27
GND Keyword:Übergewicht; Öffentliches Gesundheitswesen; Gesundheitsschutz
Article Number:328933
Page Number:13
Link to catalogue:1820260267
Institutes:Fakultät V - Diakonie, Gesundheit und Soziales
DDC classes:610 Medizin, Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International