Review on fidelity concepts and methods used in process evaluations of school-based obesity programmes

Until now, there is no clear overview of how fidelity is assessed in school-based obesity prevention programmes. This review aimed to gain insight in the concepts and methods employed to measure fidelity and to gain insight into the quality of measuring fidelity in school-based obesity prevention programmes. The results of this review indicate that measurements of fidelity are multifaceted, encompassing different concepts and varying operationalisation of fidelity components. Moreover, methods were conducted in a range of different ways and mostly conducted with a low methodological quality. We call for more consensus on the concepts and clear reporting on the methods employed for measurements of fidelity to increase the quality of fidelity measurements. Moreover, researchers should focus on the relation between fidelity and programme outcomes and determine to what extent adaptations to programmes have been made, whilst still being effective.

Rosanne Schaap, Kathelijne Bessems, René Otten, Stef Kremers, Femke van Nassau. Measuring implementation fidelity of school-based obesity prevention programmes: a systematic review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity201815:75

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